Skip to comments.Canada has four-tiered health care
Posted on 06/11/2005 10:24:12 AM PDT by fanfan
The supporters of our supposed single-tier health-care system are aghast that Thursday's Supreme Court ruling could threaten Canadians' equal access to treatment.
It is a long-held myth, of course, that there is no queue-jumping in this country. Most Canadians have no special privileges when it comes to receiving care, but some do. Military personnel, the RCMP, prisoners and workers' compensation claimants don't fall under the medicare umbrella.
So while the typical Canadian waits and waits for a diagnostic test or surgery, the members of these groups are entitled to speedy access. All of them are exempt from the Canada Health Act.
I'm not suggesting that certain groups shouldn't be entitled to faster treatment. If our soldiers and cops had to wait as long as ordinary folks for care, Canada would fall short in both the peacekeeping and policing arenas.
It irks me that a prisoner can get quicker specialist consultations or surgery than law-abiding Canadians, but that's the law. Go bark to your MP about it.
Just last week, you may recall, a New Brunswick man who told police in Toronto he was planning a shooting rampage was jailed for three years. He wasn't actually going to kill anyone. The 44-year-old man, who had no prior criminal record, just wanted heart surgery. And he got it quickly while in custody.
Yes, he resorted to drastic measures to jump the queue, but people desperate for treatment will do extraordinary things. Some spend $50,000 to get surgery abroad.
Injured workers don't have to wait, though. Last year, a Workers' Compensation Board claimant in Alberta wrote us about his experience. "The average person waits, what, months or years for an MRI? I waited two days," he wrote in a letter to the editor.
He only waited 12 days for back surgery, he added. "Only a fool would believe we all get the same treatment."
The myth lives on, however. "We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country," Prime Minister Paul Martin declared Thursday.
We've probably got a four-tier system, quips Nadeem Esmail, senior health policy analyst with the Fraser Institute. The first tier comprises those who are wealthy enough to go abroad for timely care, he says.
The second is made up of the aforementioned special population groups - military, RCMP, prisoners and WCB claimants. I suppose you could include professional athletes in that tier. They have private insurance and don't have to wait in line.
People in the third tier have pull or influence - they know a doctor or have a friend on the hospital board, says Esmail.
In the fourth tier are average Canadians who need care but have no way of expediting the process.
Esmail argues that instead of suspending the privileges that have been bestowed on certain groups, all Canadians should have the option of buying private insurance.
Dr. Joel Lexchin, an emergency physician and York University health policy professor, says there will always be some manipulation of the system.
But he doesn't think people should be given special consideration and permitted to jump the queue.
A stay-at-home mom with small children who breaks her leg needs to get back to her duties as urgently as an employee who's injured on the job, he says.
"I don't think there should be any distinction," he adds.
Predictably, the difference is about money, says Esmail. If you're injured at work, the WCB has an incentive to patch you up quickly because you're getting income support while you wait for care.
It's in their interest to get you into a private clinic fast. The rest of us? Take a number.
Please let me know if you want on or off the Canada/Adscam ping list
It makes me so happy to know that Karla Holmolka (Teale) gets better, faster health care than all law abiding taxpayers.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaa!
And this is the type of socialized medical care that the clintoons tried to stick the taxpayers for.
Don't try to tell me their top politicians don't get special treatment too. As for National Healthcare in the U.S., I'll go for it if I get the same level of care a member of Congress or Pro athlete gets.
I live in Phoenix, and we have a lot of Canadian winter visitors. I get to spend time visiting with many of Canadians when I stop at restaurants for breakfast.
One of the things I hear over and over is, they vacation here, but they're really concerned if they become really ill or need surgery and have to return to Canada for treatment if their condition isn't under some Canadian health service priority.
Makes me glad for our health care system, as imperfect as it is.
"threaten Canadians' equal access to treatment..."
Equal access to nothing is not very useful.
"I'm not suggesting that certain groups shouldn't be entitled to faster treatment."
This is their basic problem. They don't demand results. They are too willing to tolerate failure.
Why shouldn't the health care system have enough doctors, nurses, and technicians to provide fast health care to everyone who needs it? Every other industry does that.
If our soldiers and cops had to wait as long as ordinary folks for care, Canada would fall short in both the peacekeeping and policing arenas. >>
This must have been written decades ago, eh?
Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaa!
Agreed! Canada's military is like the guards at Buckingham Palace, just for show.
In Canada the socialist politicians and top scumbag bureaucrats all get immediate care at special hospitals and clinics in Ottawa unavilable to the moron general population that votes for these vermin.
<< Why shouldn't the health care system have enough doctors, nurses, and technicians to provide fast health care to everyone who needs it? Every other industry does that. >>
Because while in America a medical need and/or hospitalization is an opportunity for everyone concerned with attending to the patient's needs and wants to make a great deal of money, in C, eh, N, eh, d, eh's totalitarianized scheme every illness, medical need and/or hospitalization TAKES from the taxpayer-provided pool of Loonies, whose existence, administered as it is by inevitably-corrupt and incredibly-bloody-stupid bureaucrats and politicians is, like our very own "Social Security Trust Fund," but the delusional fantasy of the [Canadian] loonies who voted in the criminally-insane communists who instigated the scam in the first place --and who "administer" it now.
As for enough [Canadian] doctors, nurses, and technicians to provide fast health care?
They all long ago migrated to America and to Australia where doctors, nurses, and technicians able to provide fast health care are all still paid a living wage.
This describes Hillkary Care very well. If she runs and is elected, the US will soon resemble Canuckistan.
Hey, our Congress doesn't pay in to Social Security, and retires with the Pension of the Gods. Doesn't say much for the moron voters on this side of the border.
And you would be absolutely on target.
Don't let it happen to you.
Do I understand US health care correctly?.....If you can afford it, you are expected to have insurance; if you can't afford it, you will still receive timely medical treatment. Is that right?
Here in Canada, we receive timely medical treatment if we are:
Politicians or criminals, (whoops, same thing for the liberals), sports stars or workers covered by WCB.
The rest of us can just die waiting, while paying our taxes on time.
The Canadian health care system is even more left-leaning than the currently already-leftist New Zealand system. We have a dual system for elective surgeries (a parallel private health care exists alongside public health system on this side) and as I understand it there is no such thing in Canada.
If you have health insurance, you can literally have the elective surgery done tomorrow, and if you don't, the government still provides the surgery for free, but you will have to queue. I know the CBC did a special feature on the NZ system a few years ago and they seem so outraged at the "right-wingedness" of our current system.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Quebec Medical Law (posted 6/9/05)
6/9/05 CTV News This article will definitely be added to the blog grouping 'Government Health'. The Supreme Court of Canada has decided to strike down Quebec's prohibition of using private insurance for services covered under medicare because the care was poor, the wait lengthy, and they realized that forcible socialized medicine was probably killing more Canadian citizens than it was saving. Just kidding! The last part wasn't actually in the news article, but should be. Zeliotis spent more than a year in pain, waiting for a hip replacement in 1997. He finally got a new hip but says he should have had the right to pay earlier for the surgery himself, even though it's illegal to pay for health services covered by medicare. He and Dr. Chaoulli (His doc) argued that spending months waiting for surgery amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights to life, liberty and security of the person. Of course, he's right. The Canadian government decided to destroy Zeliotis's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in order to, ostensibly, provide life, liberty, and happiness to others. Don't be shocked. After all, we make a regular practice of this in the Untied States too. Phillippe Trudel, who's representing Zeliotis, told Canada AM ahead of the ruling that he didn't believe that a decision in his client's favour would lead to the destruction of the public health system. How can it? Zeliotis is still forced to waste his tax dollars on the public system or face jail time. All he is fighting for is his 'right' to pay extra for real care. This reminds me of the current US public school system. Parents are forced to pay taxes to the public schools, despite their decision to either homeschool, or pay extra to send their kids to private schools. However, before this recent Canadian court ruling, it would have been analogous to the US Government making it illegal for private schools or homeschoolers to even exist! If the Canadian health system is so great, why not let people choose to opt out of it? Not just pay extra for private care, but really opt out of it, and not be forced to pay any taxes towards something you won't use. The government will never let its citizens do this because the elitists know it would set off a stampede out of the government care.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of the miseries.
- Winston Churchill
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