Sad today about Canada's healthcare future

joyfulguyAugust 22, 2006

The Canadian Medical Association just elected a President who operates a privately owned healthcare system.

Wants more private health care here.

It seems that each province hosts their annual meeting on a rotating basis, and recommends a person to be President for that year, which is almost always accepted by the convention, and British Columbia, current host, designated this guy.

But, quite unusually, the convention nominated someone who favours public care to run against him.

The nominee from the floor lost.


ole joyful

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Sorry to hear, OJ. I never understood how the free market was going to provide services cheaper and more efficiently. Doesn't having a profit motive mean that money that used to go for care now goes to profit in someone's pocket? I have never understood how that is supposed to save taxpayers money.

I had a medical ethics class in college where they showed the high-rise that housed the billing offices for a US hospital. The Canadian billing office was one room.

A Canadian friend who lives and works here in the US learned that when her sons needed medical care when they were back home in Ontario, the hospital did not even know how to bill an insurance company, so they ended up getting the care for free.

How can adding middle men ever mean that folks get more health care for their dollars (or Loonies)?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:36PM
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How can adding middle men ever mean that folks get more health care for their dollars (or Loonies)?

I don't know as the argument against single-payer healthcare was ever about covering more people for less money -- it was about offering the best possible medical care technologically possible. Nevermind that that level of care was not available to everyone. Nevermind that, despite this system, the U.S. is #1 in health care in only a very few selected categories, and, in critical areas like infant mortality, isn't close to #1. The U.S. healthcare system is broken, but I fear there are too many moneyed interests to make any real change possible. :-(

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:44AM
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We have always looked to Canada as a role model. We cast our eyes north and heave a deep sigh when finding medical care here becomes difficult.

I hope you won't see the changes you are anticipating.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 1:33PM
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I don't know. I have a very good Canadian friend who needed a hip replacement. She was on the wait list for three years, her quality of life was painful during that time. And, no, it was not all free. Her physical therapy, brace and aftercare was expensive. As is, most of her dental work. She was a teacher during her working years, so she does have a savings for these things.

We need to fix things here in the US, but I haven't seen anything to make me want to model it after Canada's. Also, I've seen the taxes Canadian's pay (while living in the US) and it would be almost 50% of our income. I can buy a lot of health insurance for that difference in taxes.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 4:13PM
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nancy in mich,

You didn't say anything about the cost of advertising.

The U.S. spends about 15% of G D P on medical stuff, Canada something like 10%, lower than that in some European countries, I hear.

I haven't claimed that the Canadian system is perfect - far from it.

And the prices keep going up. My old Uncle who died a couple of years ago had had three hip replacements - never heard of such things 40 - 50 years ago.

Let alone replacement of kidney livers, hearts, etc., all of which are hugely expensive per individual treatment, and we're all doing large numbers of them. "All" that is, in developed countries: not so in underdeveloped areas (except for a few rich).

And a lot of Boomers who are nearing retirement age: higher costs per cpita coming soon (when there'll be small proportionate numbers in the workforce.

They say that private service will shorten the lines at the pubic service system, but quite a few who have studied the system in areas where they've tried it disagree.

Private system absorbs quite a large proportion of (scarce) medicos, who carry fewer patients per, which means more patients per medico in the public system.

In Canada there seems to more of a concept of "Live and help live", rather than "Grab all that you can for yourself while living: let the other guy look out for him/herself".

The fat corporations (who love to talk about "competition keeping the marketplace in order" and other messages which, in my opinion,carry a whiff of barnyard by-product about them)love that concept: makes a lot of us peons (while they manufacture stuff in low-wage countries).

o j

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 4:56PM
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I have to differ from ole joyful on this.
The vote by the Canadian Medical Association is an admission that the Canadian healthcare model is broken.

The workmanÂs compensation board in BC is bypassing the medicare system in order that injured employees get back to work in a reasonable amount of time. It costs them less to pay the extra medical fees and not have to pay compensation to the injured employees.

The theory of a state monopoly system is that people with ability will vote for the necessary taxes so that they can get the services.
In practice people with the ability manage to find ways to get to the head of the line. Some others go out of country to get treatment in a timely manner.
If the residents of the U.S. are tempted to follow the Canadian medical model they should ask themselves if they want a medical system run the same way as their school board.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:04PM
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If the residents of the U.S. are tempted to follow the Canadian medical model they should ask themselves if they want a medical system run the same way as their school board.

While the U.S. educational system leaves a lot to be desired, at least every kid in the U.S. is offered an education. Would that we could say that every person in the U.S. was offered free health care (beyond emergency care).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 8:49AM
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