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(posts on Canadian Health Care)







'My heart, my choice,' Williams says, defending decision for U.S. heart surgery

2/22/10 Canadian Press

His doctors in Canada presented him with two options - a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would've required breaking bones, he said.

He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn't require any bone breakage.

"I wanted to get in, get out fast, get back to work in a short period of time," the premier said.





8/22/09 (By Travis)

Canadians visit U.S. to get health care
Deal lets many go to Michigan hospitals


Hospitals in border cities, including Detroit, are forging lucrative arrangements with Canadian health agencies to provide care not widely available across the border.

Agreements between Detroit hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the province, said ministry spokesman David Jensen.

The Karmanos Institute is one of several Detroit health facilities that care for Canadians needing services not widely available in Canada.

Canada, for example, has waiting times for bariatric procedures to combat obesity that can stretch to more than five years, according to a June report in the Canadian Journal of Surgery.







Posted 4/1/08 ( by Travis)

Ran across these interesting graphs comparing Canada and the United States Healthcare while compiling a 'Free Market Healthcare' Power point presentation for an upcoming talk (this ppt will be uploaded when finished). 






Posted 3/15/08 ( by Travis)

Even huge tumour can't secure care in Ontario
Globe and Mail ^ | March 11, 2008 | LISA PRIEST


    Inside Sylvia de Vries lurked an enormous tumour and fluid totalling 18 kilograms. But not even that massive weight gain and a diagnosis of ovarian cancer could assure her timely treatment in Canada.

    The Ontario Health Insurance Plan says it won't pay for the $60,000 cancer treatment because Ms. de Vries did not fill out the correct form seeking preapproval for out-of-country care.

    As well, it says no medical documentation was submitted that indicated a delay in obtaining the service in Ontario would result in death or medically significant, irreversible tissue damage.

    That administrative misstep has left Ms. de Vries, a 51-year-old corporate communications manager, with a staggering cancer bill.




Stronach went to U.S. for cancer treatment: report


    Liberal MP Belinda Stronach, who is battling breast cancer, travelled to California last June for an operation that was recommended as part of her treatment, says a report.

    He said speed was not the reason why she went to California.

    Instead, MacEachern said the decision was made because the U.S. hospital was the best place to have it done due to the type of surgery required.

    While it is rare for MPs to seek treatment outside Canada, MacEachern said Stronach was not lacking confidence in the system.

    Stronach, who announced last April she would be leaving politics before the next election, paid for the surgery in the U.S., reports the Star.

    "In fact, Belinda thinks very highly of the Canadian health-care system, and uses it when needed for herself and her children, as do all Canadians. As well, her family has clearly demonstrated that support," MacEachern told the Star.




Posted 9/6/07 (By Travis)

Patients suing province over wait times (Canadians flee to US for care)

9/6/07 Toronto Star 

    An MRI in May 2005 revealed a tumour in her brain. Her family doctor couldn't expedite appointments booked with specialists for July 19 and Sept. 19, 2005. As the tumour pressed on her optic nerves, her vision deteriorated. Afraid to wait any longer, she went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. <.>

    Worried the tumour might be cancerous, McCreith and his family wanted an MRI. He was given an appointment date four months later. McCreith went to the U.S. and paid $494.67 (U.S.) for an MRI. Armed with the scan, he saw his Ontario family doctor, who referred McCreith to a neurologist. He was examined on Feb. 8, 2006. He was referred to a neurosurgeon but would have to wait three months.Unhappy with this, he returned to Buffalo. In early March, during a biopsy, the tumour was found to be malignant and surgically removed.




Posted 12/20/06 (By Travis)

A Short Course in Brain Surgery




Posted 11/30/06 (By Travis)

Canadians Agree That A Patient Wait Time Guarantee Is The Most Important Priority For Canada’s New Government

11/29/06 Ipsos News Center

    Ottawa, ON –According to an Ipsos Reid survey among the general public, a majority of Canadian adults rank a patient wait times guarantee as more important than any other of the Government’s priorities. Of the five policy promises made by the Government of Canada during the last federal election, 42% of Canadians said that “a patient wait time guarantee that would reduce wait times for key health services” was the most important to them personally. This compares to lowering taxes (19%), restoring accountability to Ottawa (14%), tackling crime (14%), and implementing a choice in childcare program (9%).

    Pretty interesting survey, and indicative of the problems inherent in socialized medicine. The only snag is that the government cannot lower wait times lists because government creates them! How can the problem create the solution? Also of interest is that lowering taxes is second on the list. Restoring accountability, sort of general, but as Ron Paul so eloquently opinioned, best done by shrinking the power and influence of government officials. The last issue, implementing choice in childcare programs, is a Canadian issue I am not familiar with, but it sounds like some unions in Canada have a monopoly on where parents' tax money is spent, just like they have here in the United States with our public schools. :)

    So, Canadians seem to have their heads on strait. :) My only disagreement with them is that 74% "trust the CMA (Canadian Medical Association) to do what is best for the patients". I don't share their optimism. Doctor organizations represent doctors, not patients. 



Posted 8/31/06 (By Travis)

Is Nationalized Health Care Terminal?


    Canada's nationalized health-care system, admired by the left all over the world and deplored by the right all over Canada, took another hit last week. The Canadian Medical Association, long its unfailing supporter, suddenly turned against it.

    The CMA elected as president Dr. Brian Day, a Vancouver surgeon and one-time supporter of state medicine, who is now an outspoken critic of Canada's "Medicare" system. In fact, he runs the largest private clinic in the country, offering an array of surgical procedures to people prepared to pay for them. In doing so, he challenges the Canada Health Act, which prohibits for-profit medical practice. <.>

    Long waits for medical and hospital services are the system's chief symptom of failure. The causes are many, not least a steady exodus of young Canadian doctors to the U.S. – which means, of course, that Canadians are training many doctors to work elsewhere.

    State Medical Schools here in the US do the same thing, train doctors at subsidized tuitions, who then go practice in other states. But, the taxpayers don't seem to mind...




Posted 5/16/06

The High Price of Cheap Drugs / Why Low Drug Prices in Canada are too Good to be True

2004 Summer Issue Hoover Digest by Russel Roberts

    I recently an across this article, which I think is very well written and is a must read for anyone following the Canadian prescription drug debate. 




Posted 2/28/06

Canada's Private Clinics Surge as Public System Falters

2/28/06 New York Times A very interesting and surprisingly well written piece from the New York Times on the developments that have occurred since Canada's Supreme Court ruled that preventing private citizens from paying for health care outside of the public system was unconstitutional. Once freedom has taken root, its contagiousness knows no bounds: 

    The country's publicly financed health insurance system — frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity — is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.

    But how do these clinic know where to open? Are they performing the 'proper' and 'needed' procedures? The Government of Canada cannot answer the above questions, although they certainly tried. Top down, heavy handed government can never meet the 'needs' of the people. As Ronald Reagan said, "The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan."

    The Canadian people themselves are perfectly capable of fashioning their own health care and they alone can determine the 'proper' and 'needed' amounts. In a previous post I described the shortages of MRI machines in Canada. Could the government fix the problem? No! But now private industry is doing so:

    Private diagnostic clinics offering MRI procedures are opening around the country.


    Dr. Day, for instance, is planning to open more private hospitals, first in Toronto and Ottawa, then in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Ontario provincial officials are already threatening stiff fines. Dr. Day says he is eager to see them in court.

    These officials will sue in order to compel people to continue to die on the waitlists. 

    "We've taken the position that the law is illegal," Dr. Day, 59, says. "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years."

    If you recall, this previously posted story stated:

    Ordinary people, other than those designated as emergencies, cannot get a CAT scan quickly at any price because they are not allowed to pay for it. However, in an 18-month period, York Central Hospital in a Toronto suburb did more than 70 CAT scans on animals suspected of having such problems as tumors. The tests were done at night and the charge was $300 each.21 The practice was stopped only in response to adverse publicity.

    But now the kicker:

    Canadian leaders continue to reject the largely market-driven American system, with its powerful private insurance companies and 40 million people left uninsured, as they look to European mixed public-private health insurance and delivery systems.

    First, the figure of 40 million is misleading, and I believe the reasons have been discussed on here before. Secondly, our health care system is not a 'free market system'. It is so mired in bureaucracy and regulations and tax breaks and licensing and policy 'meddlings' that the best that can be said of it is that it is simply 'more' free market based than the European countries. Thirdly, I don't see why a country with such an experience would want more of the same, or a lesser degree of the same. On this website, we've documented many of the shortcomings of the 'British Health Care' system. Planners like Tony Blair keep saying:

    A flustered Mr Blair admitted there were problems with NHS dentistry. He told the Sky News question and answer session: "I can't suddenly produce more dentists. We have to train them. We are opening new dental training schools. It takes time."

    His plans will fail. The Europeans seem to believe that it is beneficial for Government to solve and fix and meddle with the health care system, just like the Canadians did, and apparently still do. Indeed, the same problems of waitlists, poor quality care, and lack of access are occurring, with varying degree, in European countries. Again, government is not the solution, but the problem. Why does Canada just crawl along the spectrum in the right direction? Why not jump strait to the other side? 

    Democracy and capitalism seem to have triumphed. But, appearances can be deceiving. Instead of celebrating capitalism’s virtues, we offer it grudging acceptance, contemptuous tolerance, but only for its capacity to feed the insatiable maw of socialism. We do not conclude that socialism suffers from a fundamental flaw. We conclude instead that its ends are worthy of any sacrifice – including our freedom

- CA Justice Janice Rogers Brown

(added to 'Canadian Health Care')




Supreme Court Strikes Down Quebec Medical Law (posted 6/9/05)

6/9/05 CTV News This article will 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 harming more Canadian citizens than it was saving. Just kidding! The last part wasn't actually in the news article, but perhaps 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




Man Gets 3 years for Toronto Shooting Spree Hoax (posted 6/12/05)

6/1/05 A follow up on my previous post on Canadian health care. Skeptical readers, I assure you this story is true. A New Brunswick man who told police that a friendly dog scuttled his plan for a bloody shooting rampage was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after admitting it was all a ploy to get life-saving surgery while in jail. Ontario Court Justice Brent Knazan described James Stanson as a "manipulative, duplicitous, entitled con-man" who headed east to Toronto last June "to hatch a plan that would lead to his detention (and) the medical treatment he needed." "It is important that I give a sentence that denounces (Stanson's) conduct and deters anyone else from doing the same," Knazan said, rejecting the defence's request for a sentence of one year less a day. How could this deter others? 3 years in jail or your life? Hmmmmm.. let's think about it! 

The 44-year-old former jail guard has since told court he invented the story because he wanted to be detained so he could receive heart surgery -- surgery he got last November, while in custody. An explanation is found here:

Canada has four-tiered health care

6/11/05 Edmonton Sun 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 (police), 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. Now it makes sense! Because this man was forcibly prevented by the government from buying private health insurance (it's illegal in Canada), and apparently couldn't afford to travel to the United States for the expensive surgery (as many wealthy Canadians do), he had to join one of the above 'exempt groups' or die on the waiting list with the rest of the masses. 


     As Ayn Rand said: "The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." Who shall die then, the rich or the poor? Government, shall, in its infinite and benevolent wisdom, decide who shall live and who shall die. How debauched and debased is a culture when people must commit crimes in order to be 'saved' by their government? Here are the words of California Justice Janice Rogers Brown, a justice the Washington Post editorial board said was a rightwing judicial activist: 

Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible. 



(posted 8/27/05)

    A final thought on Canadian Health Care. I realized I haven't touched on a rather serious objection. I have stated that Canada is 'harming it's own citizens with their socialized health care policies'. But isn't the United States 'harming our own citizens' by their inaction? 

    First, only an estimated 6-15%, of Americans don't have health insurance. A small number of these individuals are wealthy - thus they can afford to gamble on a worse case scenario. Some are relatively well off and choose to gamble anyway. Friends of mine make a good living, but just don't buy health insurance. A vast majority, if not all of the rest, receive treatment at non profit hospitals, children's hospitals, emergency rooms, county health centers, and are the recipients of other pro-bono work. 

    Thus, nearly all Americans have access to and receive some sort of Health Care. In fact, as documented, government will kidnap your children if you don't provide them with 'appropriate' health care. Illegal immigrants use our health care system all the time, which isn't a problem of immigration, but a problem of socialism. 

    More disturbing is that our elderly population, single women, and poor children are increasingly being placed in socialized systems similar to Canada. This emphasis on the elderly clearly indicates that both political parties, especially the Democratic party, are more interested in gaining votes (as the elderly are the most powerful voting block in the country), than reducing poverty, as the elderly are the richest of all Americans:

    Looking at net worth gives you a very different picture of affluence. It shows, for example, that the oldest householders control more wealth than do householders in the highest-income age group. Moreover, comparing the 1988 survey with identical data from 1984 reveals that the share of wealth controlled by working-age Americans is eroding, while the share controlled by elderly Americans is increasing. (this analysis if flawed as it doesn't take into account wealth creation - making the pie bigger)

    Another source:

    The elderly are easily the wealthiest segment of society, with a poverty rate little more than half that of the under 18-set who will help foot the bill.

    In any case, 14% of Americans are covered by Medicare and 14% of Americans are covered by Medicaid. Increasingly, doctors are deciding not to treat these patients, for the same reason doctors are fleeing Canada: low compensation, long waitlists, restrictive medical choices, bloated bureaucracies etc... All of these programs should be abolished before they start harming our citizens (if they're not already), the way Canada is harming its citizens. They are dangerous. The government Medicare program, offered to elderly, has destroyed the private insurance market in this population. Medicaid, offered to poor women and children and, increasingly, other populations as well, works in the same way we saw with Welfare, discouraging work and perpetuating poverty (see hypothetical graph 4/14 here). So, nearly 1/3rd of Americans are already subject to Socialized Health care and this is not even including other bloated medical programs such as the Veterans Health Administration.

    Those that remain in private care are not free from government interference either. In it's infinite wisdom, government decided that employers (really employees) should pay for the health care of employees and so created huge tax breaks for health care that businesses must use to stay competitive. Tax breaks to businesses providing health care should be abolished. This will probably result in personal health accounts and more individual responsibility for health care. 

    But.. but.. won't businesses just screw the workers and not give them any health care? Well, do you think businesses currently pay for their employees' health care? Of course not, the employees do, businesses just pay them less to cover it, but the system is highly inefficient, with business forced to be the useless middle man. Without government interference, businesses probably won't 'pay' directly for any health care, but they will pay their employees more. The employees will most likely choose to spend their extra wages on health insurance. Wages will rise based on supply and demand. Similarly, if companies (workers!) were not forced to pay Social Security to the government, they would pay their workers more. 

    Other government imposed barriers in our health system include an overbearing litigious system and the resulting risk aversion and higher cost of preventive medicine, convoluted insurance regulations (de-incentivising healthy living), the extensive licensing laws that prevent innovation and give certain groups a monopoly on a service and put upstart competitors out of business, and the FDA, which takes somewhere between 10-12 years to approve new drugs and ultimately harms 'public safety' exponentially more than it protects it (I realize I haven't backed much of this up with statistics yet). 

    However, all of this is missing my main point. Let's pretend that government restrictions are removed here in the United States, yet more US citizens are dying then in Canada from lack of health care. Pretend. Who is harming them? Is it the US government? No! Who is it? Well, you could throw blame around any which way, but it ultimately falls on the American people for not voluntarily contributing to a non-profit that could help. You could not blame the US government because the US government wasn't involved in healthcare. In Canada, because the government created a tyrannical monopoly on health care, the government is to blame! Do you see the difference? Recognize the difference between the 'people' and the 'government'. 

    Government does not exist to 'save lives', or control the behavior of people elitists deem are to stupid to run their own lives. Government exits to protect liberty. By protecting liberty it allows the people to 'save' more lives than government ever could. If health care regulations and socialism were repealed in the United States only the people could be blamed for anyone falling through the cracks. In Canada, it is not the people that are to be blamed, although they did elect the politicians that constructed the monstrosity, but the government.



(Posted 6/13/05)

I am not going to give Canada a free pass on this. I am assuming the reader has read the 6/12 and 6/9 posts below. Some more examples of how Canadian Liberals are harming their own citizens with their socialistic health care policies:

The Best Treatment Money Can Buy

6/10/05 The Globe and Mail 

TORONTO -- Barbara Hogan would be dead today if she hadn't gone to a private U.S. clinic for treatment of her breast cancer. 

Canadians Face Long Waitlists for Health Care

3/19/05 Associated Press

TORONTOA letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: "If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies." <.>

Another watershed lawsuit was filed last year against 12 Quebec hospitals on behalf of 10,000 breast-cancer patients in Quebec who had to wait more than eight weeks for radiation therapy during a period dating to October 1997. One woman went to Turkey for treatment. Another, Johanne Lavoie, was among several sent to the United States. Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 1999, she traveled every week with her 5-year-old son to Vermont, a four-hour bus ride. "It was an inhuman thing to live through," Lavoie told Toronto's Globe and Mail.

Borderline Care

6/13/05 Investors Business Daily (great article) In one 12-month period, according to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 71 patients in Ontario died while on the waiting list for heart-bypass surgery. Another 121 lost their places in line because waiting made them too sick to survive surgery. Literally, condemned to death by waiting. <.> Canada is one of only three countries in the world to forbid its citizens to buy health care privately. The other two are North Korea and Cuba.



(Posted 6/13/05)

Government Health Care archived post grouping has been subdivided into Canadian Health Care and British Health Care.  Our media constantly lauds Canada on its great health care. Stories sadly described how Americans are going to Canada to buy cheaper drugs, ignoring that many Canadians come here for cheaper drugs (different brands are cheaper in each country) or drugs they can't buy in Canada, and, most importantly, they don't mention, even in passing, that the lucky Canadian citizens who can afford it desperately come here in order to not have their healthcare destroyed by their government! To see how this is covered in the US media check out this google grouping. 159 articles and only a smattering of these are from the US. As far as I know, none of the major networks have covered this and few major news organizations. However, that is why this site and countless others throughout the blogosphere exist. As Bill Whittle so eloquently puts it in Sanctuary:

And there is hope here, on these pages. Not my pages -- I’m but a speck of flotsam in an electronic ocean. But these pages, these ghostly pages pulled from the ether down highways of colored light. These pages may be able to save us.

Because now, for the first time in human history, a small person can talk to millions. The defeatism and cynicism of our betters is no longer the only voice we hear. Now, for the first time, we common people, we citizens, can speak directly to each other about life within the Sanctuary, and those unseen people, those builders and maintainers of decency and civilization have at their command a tool with which to make their voices heard. We can patrol and repair these crumbling walls from within and man the gates ourselves.

There are millions of us. Millions. And we do not have to go gently into that good night.



(Posted 6/17/05)

Another collection of stories added to Government Health and Canada Health care.

Doctors Eying the U.S.: Canada Is Sick About It

10/19/03 Windsor Journal Story detailing how two more neurosurgeons are joining the exodus of Canadian doctors to the United States. Yes, it's not just patients that flee socialism, doctors are fed up with it too. The people in their town desperately offer the surgeons gifts and freebies because (although this story doesn't say this), it is quite possible that even more people in the town will now die on the waitlist. The two surgeons are sharply critical of Canada's health care system, which is driven by government-financed insurance for all but increasingly rations service because of various technological and personnel shortages. Both doctors said they were fed up with a two-tier medical system in which those with connections go to the head of the line for surgery. (A familiar pattern. This 'equal system' is actually more unequal, as a small group of elitists dominate it. Take this further and you get a situation like North Korea (which, like Canada and Cuba, forcibly prevent its citizens from purchasing private health insurance):  There are two worlds in North Korea: One is the world of senior military officers, Communist Party members, and the country’s ruling elite. They enjoy a lavish lifestyle, fancy restaurants, diplomatic shops with European foods, nightclubs, even a casino. The world for ordinary people in North Korea is completely different. In their world, one can see young children, undersized, undernourished, mute, with sunken eyes and skin stretched tight across their faces, wearing uniform blue-and-white-striped pajamas. Anyone who’s seen pictures of Dachau or Auschwitz would find the scene distressingly familiar.) 

    Returning to Canada: "It's the system that is pushing us out," said Dr. Chakravarthi, a 53-year-old Indian immigrant. <.> There was a net migration of 49 neurosurgeons from Canada from 1996 to 2002, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, a large loss given that there are only 241 neurosurgeons in the country. 

Premiers Predict Health Care collapse

2/25/04 Without stable funding from the federal government, Canada's health care system as it exists today is doomed to collapse, the country's premiers said Tuesday.

Canada's once proud health care system in crisis

9/14/04 Canada often boasts its universal health care program shows it is more caring than the United States, but the system is creaking alarmingly, with long wait lists for treatment, and shortages of cash and doctors.

Access Denied: Canada's Healthcare System Turns Patients Into Victims

12/03 Frontiers of Freedom Institute 

About 10,000 doctors left Canada during the 1990s. 

Results based on 2001-2002 information are: total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner (GP) and treatment was 16.5 weeks;

Saskatchewan had the longest wait at 32.6 weeks; and wait to see a radiation oncologist was 8.5 weeks (an eternity for those with a brain tumor or Hodgkin’s Disease.)12 Diagnostic waits were:

5.2 weeks for a CT Scan

12.4 weeks for an MRI

3.2 weeks for an ultrasound.13

    Canadians are also subjected to “mandated switching” which means that although one drug in a pharmaceutical family works best for your unique

physiology, you are stuck with the version the government “carries.” In 1999, 27% of British Columbia doctors reported having to admit patients to

the emergency room or hospital solely as a result of government mandated switching.17

    In contrasting the Canadian and U.S. healthcare systems, a critical distinction must be made: the difference between health care and health insurance. The challenges in our country are with our financing methods, but we have the best health care in the world. In Canada, the opposite is true – abundant health insurance, but a profound lack of health care.

More good information on drugs (corroborating a previous post that Canadians sometimes travel to the US to buy more expensive or unavailable drugs) and how emergency rooms get crowded in Canada (for a variety of reasons). 


Will Canada's socialized medicine kill a hero? (6/17/05)

6/9/05 Jewish World Review Hey! What do you know? I'm not the only one who is appalled that Canada is harming it's own citizens. Baruch Tegegne, the man credited with rescuing hundreds if not thousands of his fellow Ethiopian Jews from famine and death, is now in a fight for his own life. (btw, this is an incredible story. I've read about this in 'A case for Israel' and 'Every Spy a Prince') But his fight is against more than advanced kidney disease. It is against the state-controlled Canadian health system. <.> They found one, Shree Dhar, through a website that connects live persons willing to donate an organ - without compensation - to strangers. <.> But Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital refuses to do the transplant for what it claims are "ethical" reasons. Calls to American transplant centers confirmed that altruistic donations of this type are regularly accepted throughout the United States. (And why should you stop such a thing anyway? The primary rule of economics is that a voluntary transaction will not take place unless both sides benefit.) "They're treating live donors as guilty until proven innocent and thousands of Canadians are left to die as a result." Each year, 200 Canadians die waiting for transplants. <.> Few Americans realize the corrosive effect the Canadian system has on the quality of healthcare provided - or not - to Canada's citizens. Inordinately long wait-times and rationing of services are the norm. Canadians wait months for coronary bypass surgery. Some die waiting. A needed MRI can require a six-month wait. And many cutting-edge procedures, drugs and treatments are simply not prescribed because they are not included in the basket of benefits Canadian's receive. The story goes on to describe that a Toronto hospital has done similar transactions in the past, but won't treat Montreal citizens: Except for emergency, non-elective care, Toronto will not pay for a Montreal citizen's healthcare. Even though Tegegne needs the transplant to save his life, the transplant is not considered emergency care. The story ends with this conclusion: So Jacobovici and friends have begun raising $200,000 to pay for a transplant outside of Canada. <.> The Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel - the poorest of Israel's poor - raised $20,000 from its own members. So, Baruch Tegegne, who has had his taxes forcibly confiscated all his life for this 'enlightened' universal health care system, is condemned to death by his own government. 



Posted 6/23/05)

    Some more interesting facts on Canadian Health care found in this paper by the National Center for Policy Analysis. As you may recall from previous posts, the military, police, prisoners, and those with workmen's compensation are all bumped to the top of the Canadian waitlists, while their fellow citizens languish and, in some cases, perish on the waitlist. This paper shows there are a few other groups that are bumped to the front of the line.

    In retrospect,  I really can't believe I didn't bother to investigate this before because the largest group is actually quite predictable. This group is... (drum roll) politicians. But they don't have their own category, which might outrage the citizenry, you see, they snuck themselves in under the military. These liberal politicians create a national health care plan that destroy the healthcare of their fellow Canadian citizens and then opt themselves out of it. And, not just them, their constituents, their families, their friends, their contributors, whoever the heck they want:

    A recent analysis of surgical waiting lists in British Columbia concluded that "nearly 80 percent of queue jumping is not on the basis of emergency but on the basis of physician/surgeon preferences, requests from senior Ministry of Health officials and sometimes from members of the legislature."29 Members of the federal Parliament and 4,364 high-ranking federal bureaucrats can avoid waiting lists because they have access to the National Defense Medical Center. In 1990, the Canadian Auditor General reported that 61 percent of the center’s in-patient days were for nonmilitary patients.30

   This is corruption and criminality of the highest order. Do you see how Janice Rogers Brown was right to say: 
    Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible. 

    Reminds me a bit of our Congress here in the United States; similar to how they set up their own retirement and medical benefits outside of Social Security and other entitlement programs the rest of the population gets thrown in jail if they don't pay taxes for. I'd like to see how these liberal politicians would react if their wives, sons, daughters, were told to wait months for some lifesaving surgery or treatment. But, of course, this won't ever happen. After all, they, the intellectual politicians, are desperately needed to perform all the important functions of government, such as, amongst other vital duties, creating pathetic health care systems. They must not be distracted by personal tragedies (family member on a waitlist) during these trying times...More condescension to the citizenry. 

    Here's another group that also get to jump the cues:

    Among the patients who jump the queue are Americans who pay out-of-pocket for care. U.S. patients add to hospital revenues, so hospital administrators value them. Since Canadians cannot legally pay for care at a national health insurance hospital, the typical Canadian patient must wait in line.20 In this sense, Americans have a greater right to health care in Canada than do Canadians. (Notice that here in the USA, Canadians have equal rights to Americans. Market systems (which ours isn't, so excuse the term) never (well, rarely) discriminate).

    The last group that can (sometimes) jump the cues is most surprising:

    In addition to Americans, animals also have been able to jump the queue in some provinces. Ordinary people, other than those designated as emergencies, cannot get a CAT scan quickly at any price because they are not allowed to pay for it. However, in an 18-month period, York Central Hospital in a Toronto suburb did more than 70 CAT scans on animals suspected of having such problems as tumors. The tests were done at night and the charge was $300 each.21 The practice was stopped only in response to adverse publicity.

    I encourage you to read through this article for other information on how Canadians come to the US for treatment (Enough Canadians come to the United States for heart surgery that a California heart surgery center has advertised its services in a Vancouver newspaper.23), facts about poor treatments, inequalities (gasp!), excessive waitlists, bloated costs, limited resources for new research and innovations, and other general failures. However, I'll end with a few personal stories and statistics regarding the harm of the Canadian system:

    The Canadian press has produced scores of similar stories. The following are some additional examples:

            See article for sources.


See also, British Health Care.



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