Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Truth About Healthcare in Canada

More from Thomas DiLorenzo. In the same column, he smokes out the truth about healthcare in Canada:

All countries that have adopted socialized healthcare have suffered from the disease of price-control-induced shortages. If a Canadian, for instance, suffers third-degree burns in an automobile crash and is in need of reconstructive plastic surgery, the average waiting time for treatment is more than 19 weeks, or nearly five months. The waiting time for orthopaedic surgery is also almost five months; for neurosurgery it's three full months; and it is even more than a month for heart surgery (see The Fraser Institute publication, Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada). Think about that one: if your doctor discovers that your arteries are clogged, you must wait in line for more than a month, with death by heart attack an imminent possibility. That's why so many Canadians travel to the United States for healthcare.

All the major American newspapers seem to have become nothing more than cheerleaders for the Obama administration, so it is difficult to find much in the way of current stories about the debacle of nationalized healthcare in Canada. But if one goes back a few years, the information is much more plentiful. A January 16, 2000, New York Times article entitled "Full Hospitals Make Canadians Wait and Look South," by James Brooke, provided some good examples of how Canadian price controls have created serious shortage problems.

A 58-year-old grandmother awaited open-heart surgery in a Montreal hospital hallway with 66 other patients as electric doors opened and closed all night
long, bringing in drafts from sub-zero weather. She was on a five-year waiting list for her heart surgery.

In Toronto, 23 of the city's 25 hospitals turned away ambulances in a single day because of a shortage of doctors.

In Vancouver, ambulances have been "stacked up" for hours while heart
attack victims wait in them before being properly taken care of.

At least 1,000 Canadian doctors and many thousands of Canadian nurses have migrated to the United States to avoid price controls on their salaries.

Wrote Mr. Brooke, "Few Canadians would recommend their system as a model for export."

Canadian price-control-induced shortages also manifest themselves in scarce access to medical technology. Per capita, the United States has eight times more MRI machines, seven times more radiation therapy units for cancer treatment, six times more lithotripsy units, and three times more open-heart surgery units. There are more MRI scanners in Washington state, population five million, than in all of Canada, with a population of more than 30 million (See John Goodman and Gerald Musgrave, Patient Power).

In the UK as well — thanks to nationalization, price controls, and government rationing of healthcare — thousands of people die needlessly every year because of shortages of kidney dialysis machines, pediatric intensive care units, pacemakers, and even x-ray machines. This is America's future, if "ObamaCare" becomes a reality.

Read DiLorenzo's full healthcare article here.

15 comments:

  1. On the other hand in the US, if you don't have the money (hence an heath insurance), you're as likely to die... If you count MRI machines per insured people in the US, numbers become even more impressive!! Choice come down to not so great healthcare for everyone, or quite a good healthcare for the privileged few... The last category can always fly south and get treated in the US.

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  2. I live in Montreal. It's true that some hospitals servicing the downtown area are overcrowded, and that some specialized procedures require waiting times that are longer than desirable.

    But the Fraser Institute report is highly misleading. I invite you to come to Canada and do a man-in-the-street survey as to whether Canadians are happy with their healthcare system, and whether they'd prefer a 'free-market' system similar to south of the border. Results will be quite different from what the Fraser Institute and other ideological policy shops would lead you to believe.

    I've never needed to worry about affording insurance, and never left any doctor's office with a bill.

    The Canadian system isn't perfect(what system is?) but on the whole I think most Canadians are quite happy with it.

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  3. Who said anything about the Fraser Institute? I personally have all kinds of problems with their studies, especially their "freedom reports"

    Sounds to me like you are pretty healthy. Please leave a comment when you are seriously ill, and on one of those waiting lists.

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  4. I'm a cancer survivor living in Toronto. My wait time for surgery was three days. My overall treatment was paid for by our socialist system. I was unemployed at the time. God help me if I was living in the States.

    Your information is skewed by corporate think tanks who want a profit based system here just like the horrid system in the States.

    If you insist on slandering Canada's system, we will throw the mud right back at you. Be careful with your mud sliging.

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  5. Looks like you are going to have to throe the mud on yourself. Here's the Toronto's Globe and Mail:

    Canada, once able to boast about its high rank in the world for low infant-mortality rate – sixth place in 1990 – saw its rank plummet to 25th place in 2005, according to figures published this year by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    Specifically, Canada's infant mortality rate of 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births is tied with Estonia's and more than double Sweden's rate of 2.4


    In a report titled The Wait Time Strategy (available as a pdf at the health.gov.on.ca website) the number of days between decision to treat and treatment is listed. These are the average number of days waiting for December 2006 and January 2007.

    Cancer Surgery 68 days
    Angiography 28 days
    Angioplasty 17 days
    Bypass Surgery 48 days
    Cataract Surgery 183 days
    Hip Replacement 257 days
    Knee Replacement 307 days
    MRI 105 days
    CT 62 days


    If you got your surgery in 3 days, that means to balance to the average, others had to wait and divide up another 65 days to the average wait of 68 days.

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  6. This is just another hit piece against a more egalitarian health care system. People in the US who are against it are happy being peasants and guinea pigs for big pharma and bankers in white coats. Doctoring has become just another whores profession, like the law and politics.

    The truth hurts, but don't look for any American doctor to alleviate your pain.

    BTW, "Nobama care" is just more fascist policies to merge banks/pharmaceutical corporations/insurance companies with the state.

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  7. This is just another hit piece against a more egalitarian health care system. People in the US who are against it are happy being peasants and guinea pigs for big pharma and bankers in white coats. Doctoring has become just another whores profession, like the law and politics.

    The truth hurts, but don't look for any American doctor to alleviate your pain.

    BTW, "Nobama care" is just more fascist policies to merge banks/pharmaceutical corporations/insurance companies with the state.

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  8. People that need help in Canada get help! The system is far from perfect but respects the fact that all get health care rich or poor. In U.S. if you don't have insurance or money you are dead. What is there like 50 million in the U.S. without heath insurance, no one cares about these people as long as #1 is getting looked after, right!

    Thank God I don't live down there.

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  9. 47 million of your fellow Americans have no medical insurance whatsoever. Too many of you live in fear of getting sick because of crippling medical bills. A health system based on the profit motive will have as many or more flaws than a public system.

    Canada has 14 different health care systems, not one. They are run by the provinces and territories under a Federal mandate. National stats may not reflect regional differences. Your stats do not reflect this.

    Fix your own broken system before you crap all over ours. Ours has nothing to do with yours just like the Europeans have nothing to do with ours, although we can no doubt learn from them and each other.

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  10. disappointed 'canadian'July 29, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    Why isn't anybody mentioning the fact that immigrants HAVE NO ACCESS to real health services in Canada? I live here for 15 years and I have never seen a specialist other than my Gynecologist. I am not very happy with her either but I cannot choose another one... only a generalist. Would you send your wives see general practitioners to get checked in gynecological matters? All the nurses who refused to give me an appointment to a new gynecologist assured me that was the case.
    I can't get a family doctor either (they only take recommended patients) you know.. the system is overcrowded ...!!!
    I cannot get any kind of help with my medical issues. And even when I got to see a doctor (in a walk-in clinic) they would't send me see a specialist (although I have a specific problem that needs to be further investigated) because, they say, they can handle my situation and specialists are 'not to be disturbed by our suppositions'.
    Needless to say how depressed I am, how helpless and disgusted I feel in a society full of lies and demagogy.

    P.S. I am white if you wondered where my problems were coming from, but I can assure you that color doesn't matter for immigrants. We are all treated like disposable shit.
    Colored people don't even dare complain.

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  11. Holy shit, Wenzel! You've got all the pinko-commies after you on this healthcare issue. These people have no shame, no experience, no knowledge. They'll cherry pick any kind of factoid to prove their point, no matter how many lives it destroys in the end.

    Sorry, I like the healthcare the way it is. I don't want rationed healthcare. I don't want my life to have a price on it.

    On the bright side, if this bill passes, maybe Michael Moore will finally leave this planet. We should ration the shit out of that fat piece of shit's healthcare. He should be the first one to go!

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  12. Get a life mccarthy. This is not the 1950s. You can still have your "private" health care.

    The way it should work is that the people of a state have the sovereign right to choose public, private, or both. The ones that don't want public care do not have to pay taxes into it. If they are discovered mooching the system then they will be hell to pay. It would be a misdemeanor with heavy penalties to have private care and scam to get public. The state can actually sue you. Each person contributing to public would receive a membership card with added privileges, incentives, etc. and state would pay for everything with a reasonable tax for the people who want it. This is of course dependent on an educated public that participates in, and is informed about their LOCAL government. The state has a right to compete with private. Welcome to free market capitalism. The reason it has to be the state, and not the federal government, is that health care, although a human rights issue is not specifically mentioned in our constitution. Therefore the decisions should remain with the duly elected people of the state legislature. We need to reduce federalism. "Nobama care" is a disaster because it is purely fascist by design with the merger of banks/corporations and the federal government. Also keep in mind that insurance companies will be kicked out of public health care system. Let private health care enjoy the privileges of insurance companies. Because we all know that history has shown the benevolence of insurance companies ;)

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  13. One reason the Canadian healthcare plan suffers is because doctors in countries that have government sponsored plans can make more money by moving their practices or plying their trade in the U.S., the result of which is fewer doctors to service their citizens and therefore longer waits. Possibly if that loophole was closed a bit, the Canadian plan, as well as the U.K.'s plan, would work a lot better.

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  14. The developer to this website is a pure idiot. I am American, and I think our healthcare system is a damn joke. We let our American people die! if they don't have a healthcare card valid they're as good as dead... the reason why sometimes doctors leave canada to move to the USA to make more money is because they're money hungry pieces of shit! and they don't deserve to work in the healthcare field..
    You vow to help the sick, not charge someone over 3,000,000,000 for a surgery that costs 10,000 damn crooks.. We are to greedy! and we allow the insurance companies to put a price on our loved ones... Private Insurance companies should be banned from providing healthcare for people... The problem with us in America we're to free, we allow publics to vote for whatever they want.. And that should stop. I VOTE FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE!.

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  15. The developer to this website is a pure idiot. I am American, and I think our healthcare system is a damn joke. We let our American people die! if they don't have a healthcare card valid they're as good as dead... the reason why sometimes doctors leave canada to move to the USA to make more money is because they're money hungry pieces of shit! and they don't deserve to work in the healthcare field..
    You vow to help the sick, not charge someone over 3,000,000,000 for a surgery that costs 10,000 damn crooks.. We are to greedy! and we allow the insurance companies to put a price on our loved ones... Private Insurance companies should be banned from providing healthcare for people... The problem with us in America we're to free, we allow publics to vote for whatever they want.. And that should stop. I VOTE FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE!.

    ReplyDelete