Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Canada to Heart Patients: Sorry If You Die Before We Can Treat You

Isn't this just ducky. The leftist "vaunted" Canadian health care system, is now sending out letters with this:

"If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."

It is no wonder that many Canadians in need of diagnostic testing, such as MRIs, flock to the US every year. The article states:

"The patient wasn't dead, according to the doctor who showed the letter to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. But there are many Canadians who claim the long wait for the test and the frigid formality of the letter are indicative of a health system badly in need of emergency care."
Considering how much Canada spends on it's health care system, one has to wonder where all that money is going to. On top of that, the system is going broke.
""Every day we're paying for health care, yet when we go to access it, it's just not there," said Pelton.

The average Canadian family pays about 48 percent of its income in taxes each year, partly to fund the health care system. Rates vary from province to province, but Ontario, the most populous, spends roughly 40 percent of every tax dollar on health care, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The system is going broke, says the federation, which campaigns for tax reform and private enterprise in health care.

It calculates that at present rates, Ontario will be spending 85 percent of its budget on health care by 2035. "We can't afford a state monopoly on health care anymore," says Tasha Kheiriddin, Ontario director of the federation. "We have to examine private alternatives as well.""
Canadian official acknowlege that their are significant problems with their health care system.
"The federal government and virtually every province acknowledge there's a crisis: a lack of physicians and nurses, state-of-the-art equipment and funding. In Ontario, more than 10,000 nurses and hospital workers are facing layoffs over the next two years unless the provincial government boosts funding, says the Ontario Hospital Association, which represents health care providers in the province."
Of course, their are Canadians who believe that their Health care system is superior to our market driven one.
"Raisa Deber, a professor of health policy at the University of Toronto, believes Canada's system is one of the world's fairest.

"Canadians are very proud of the fact that if they need care, they will get care," she said. Of the United States, she said: "I don't understand how they got to this worship of markets, to the extent that they're perfectly happy that some people don't get the health care that they need."

Canada does not have fully nationalized health care; its doctors are in private practice and send their bills to the government for reimbursement.

"That doctor doesn't have to worry about how you're going to pay the bill," said Deber. "He knows that his bill will be paid, so there's absolutely nothing to stop any doctor from treating anyone."

Deber acknowledges problems in the system, but believes most Canadians get the care they need. She said the federal government should attach more strings to its annual lump-sum allocations to the provinces so that tax dollars are better spent on preventive care and improvements in working conditions for health-care professionals."
My only comment to that is when I needed an MRI, it did not takes months to get it scheduled, I had the MRI within 3 days of the doctor prescribing it. You can read the rest of the article, which I found to be very informative. - Sailor

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