Skip to comments.Dear America (Canada Warns U.S. About Socialized Medicine)
Posted on 07/12/2004 12:37:27 PM PDT by RetiredArmy
by Klaus Rohrich
Last week John Kerry called for a national healthcare system in the U.S., like the one in Canada. If you Americans are planning to institute a national universal healthcare system similar to ours, you might want to look somewhere other than Canada for the ideal model.
To give you a brief overview of Canadas Universal healthcare system, it all started off well enough and ran like a top for many years. I remember when it was normal to call a doctor and get an appointment the same day, when one could get to see a specialist the next day or when someone needed a by-pass operation he or she didnt have to wait a year to get it. Of course, in those days health care wasnt exactly free, either. You see, all Canadians (except those who truly could not afford it) had to pay a monthly premium for their coverage.
Then the federal Liberals (the equivalent of your Democrats) decided to pass the Canada Health Act, which made medical coverage a basic human right. The act stipulated that health care was to be provided by the government only and that any form of private care was illegal. It put the burden of paying for healthcare into the hands of taxpayers, as the service would now be paid from the governments general coffers.
In addition, there were numerous other provisions, such as controlling costs by limiting doctors salaries and keeping nurses and other healthcare professionals at relatively low wages.
So the first thing that happened was that the doctors threatened to go on strike. The government called their bluff and told them to go ahead, but the doctors chickened out. Next, many of our best doctors moved to the United States, where government was not going to limit the amount of money they could earn.
Of course, the end result is predictable. Most jurisdictions in Canada now have a doctor shortage, despite the governments denial of this stark reality. Anyone without a family physician is forced to attend a soviet-style walk-in clinic to receive routine medical care. As transient physicians staff these clinics, there is no relationship that develops between the doctor and his patients and items such as annual physical examinations are not available in these clinics. If ones family doctor should retire, move or become deceased, then all of the doctors patients will be scrambling to find a new doctor. Yet, the government appears to be creating this doctor shortage on purpose, as enrollment in medical schools is strictly regulated and only a certain number of applicants are ever accepted, regardless of their academic standing.
The patient to doctor ratio varies from 2,000 to 4,000 patients per doctor, depending on geographical location. And many tests and procedures are beginning to be de-listed; meaning that the public healthcare system will no longer pay for them. Among these are items such as PSA examinations, which is used to screen for prostate cancer in men, physiotherapy or chiropractic treatments, certain dermatological procedures, such as the removal of skin growths and eye examinations.
The province of Ontario has recently decided that its "free health care" is now subject to an annual premium (spelled T-A-X), imposed on every taxpayer in the province. While this has angered most Ontario taxpayers, the government is refusing to look at any other alternatives to the way it currently provides healthcare.
While on a recent visit to Torontos Orthopedic and Arthritic Hospital, a facility specializing in the treatment of bone and joint problems, I overheard the harried receptionist at the clinic explaining why the patient would have to wait four to five months to receive surgical treatment.
"There are only so many orthopedic surgeons to go around." She explained. The patient was fortunate to have seen a surgeon and was waiting for a date for his procedure. Prior to his appointment with the surgeon, the patient had to be referred in writing by his family doctor, which usually takes from four to six weeks. After the initial visit, the surgeon likely requested an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging procedure to determine the severity of the problem. Getting an MRI in Canada can take up to six months, although many Canadians choose to cross the border into the U.S. where they can get it next day for about $450.
After the MRI, the results of which can take as long as six to eight weeks to get back to the doctor, the patient has to make another appointment with the surgeon to find out if the procedure is warranted. From there an appointment is made, which usually takes two to three months. So from the time that one is aware of a serious problem, such a herniated vertebral disc until the time, the problem is actually dealt with, as much as a whole year can pass.
Other procedures can take longer, as in the case of hip or knee replacements, which can take three to four years of waiting.
Those Canadians who can afford it (including, by the way Paul Martin, our Prime Minister) will get their medical treatment at private clinics in the U.S. to avoid waiting. Often individuals who do this are vilified by other Canadians as "line jumpers", even though they jump the line outside the public healthcare system and pay for it themselves.
From where I sit, the U.S. healthcare system looks pretty good. Yes, its expensive, but the facilities are in place to provide care in a timely fashion. Those unable to afford medical treatment can still receive treatment provided at charity or county hospitals.
The Canadian healthcare system is currently threatening to collapse of its own inertia. Yes, its a good system we have here in Canada, so long as you make sure you never get sick. Thats why Americans would be well advised to look at a more flexible system than ours.
Klaus Rohrich is President and Creative Director of Taylor/Rohrich Associates Inc., a marketing and advertising firm that specializes in niche marketing residential real estate developments www.trmarketing.com. Email: email@example.com.
Excellent post. Why in the world would anyone want to import such a disaster here?
If its THAT bad in Canada, can you imagine the horror that would result by trying to apply such a system here? Our demographics are quite a bit different.
Listen, socialized medicine is defintely not the answer but we need our RNC boys and girls to come up with a solution before the voting public without insurance becomes the majority. It is happening fast. Once it does happen then the libs win with their rhetoric and scare tactics. We need to fix it before that happens.
Be nice to Canadians, if we adopt their socialized medicine where will they go to get treated?
Where will all of the Canadian Doctors that moved to the U.S. move to? For that matter where will all of the U.S. Doctors move to?
I thought Mr. Kerry was against Outsourcing?
(Airlines will have great specials "Round trip see your Doctor Flights to India" coming to an airport near you)
Of course, the Cannuks better talk down their broken down system as much as they can, or else there won't be anywhere they can come to for medical help.
While most people can understand the need to avoid socialized health care, the elitist liberals don't care. They just want the government to control it. And this is the ultimate goal of these elitist liberals...total governmental control over every aspect of our lives. They just want the power, but their useful idiot stooges actually believe life is better when the government controls everything. This is the monster we are up against. If we are to retain any control over our lives we have to make sure they never succeed.
Just what our Canadian friends have told us, "a wonderful system, as long as you don't get sick".
Just today on a mailing list I'm on, a venomous liberal was writing and complaining about the PUBS that don't want government health care and that Canadian health care couldn't be THAT bad. Thanks for this link, cause I just forwarded it in to the list. Let's see how all the rabid Bush bashers attack it.
They still want it and nothing you will say will make them change their minds.
Mexico, where else? You could relocate the entire medical industry to northern Mexico. Just think of the economic boom that would hit the area.
Why? Because scummy little Socialist/Marxist control freaks like Clinton, Kerry, Dean and Kennedy are not content with just screwing up their own lives. They won't be able to feel "normal" until every one is reduced to their own corrupt level. Socialized medicine has nothing to do with fairness or efficiency but everything to do with raw power and control.
The Democrats would love to make voters dependent on them for their health care. They see how well its worked for the Liberals in Canada and they're green with envy. Its not about "free" health care, its about power for the Left.
He told me that his life and business would be much better if he did not have to pay up to 50% taxes on all his income! He said he could hire more employees, have a larger and better home for his family if they wanted it, but he could not because he had to give the German government 50% taxes on his income to support social programs. He hated socialized medicine. Sit home on your butt and get free medical care. Even back then, he told me that getting in to see a specialize doctor took weeks or months to do.
I agree with much of this post, although it paints perhaps an overly bleak picture. Depending on which province you live in and what type of medical care you need, you can have a very good experience with our system or a very bad one. Heart attack victims generally get good immediate care. Some provinces have good cancer treatment systems. Overall, though, there is much room for improvement. The shortage of family physicians, due to the low-ball rates they are given for seeing patients, is very real in my province, certainly. For sure, don't do what we have done, but learn from it. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.
Sand: if you need the actual link, go to Newsmax.com, about 1/2 way down the page and you will see the article. Click on it and it opens to the page in the publication in Canada where this is posted. If you need it for proof.
Hmmm,is this the same Canada that looks down its nose at all things American?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.