Question for CANADIANS ONLY: Nat'l Healthcare

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MichiganRico, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. MichiganRico

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    As most of you know, the US House and Senate are working on a healthcare plan to cover all or most Americans. One component of that plan may be a government-sponsored healthcare plan (similar to our MediCare for seniors) which will compete against private insurance companies.

    There has been much discussion regarding a government-sponsored
    plan--many have compared it to Canadian National Health Care. We're being inundated with claims that the Canadian National Health Care program is very poor at delivering essential medical services. Allegedly, there are long waits to see medical specialists and elective surgeries may take months to schedule.

    If willing, would you respond to the following questions? Are you unhappy with your National Health Care program? Are your medical needs being met in a timely fashion? If given the choice, would you prefer to have medical coverage through private providers?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post and responding, if you so choose. I realize this is strictly anecdotal info, but I really want to know what Canadians think about their healthcare system--not what other Americans tell me Canadians believe.
     
  2. sam_solo26

    sam_solo26 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    267
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Far Corner of the Universe
    Excellent post, Rico! I'm curious about this myself
     
  3. rob_just_rob

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6,037
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Nowhere near you
    No, yes, and no.
     
  4. cups

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    295
    Albums:
    7
    Likes Received:
    127
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    Verified:
    Photo
    Excellent question....and there plus's and minus's to each system.
    1) Am I unhappy with our healthcare?; NO, on the whole I am happy with it.

    2) I can only answer for myself and that is my needs are being met 100% and being fulfilled instantly.
    That being said though; I have heard first hand of many fellow Canadians having delays in receiving some procedures. These procedures usually fall into the "elective"
    surgery category. However even for more crucial procedures I'm sure we could not compete with the rapid speed in which the same procedure could be performed in the U.S.

    For the last question it is very tricky to answer. If given the choice between full private coverage or the coverage I have now, I would choose witout a doubt the coverage I have now. There is talk of some small type of additional coverage that could give easier access to some facilities; ie: MRI's, surgeries etc......more quickly.
    NO ONE in Canada has ever gone bankrupt due to medical bills. The added burden of facing financial collapse while suffering through your worst nightmare is something us Canadians' find hard to fathom. We are covered fully for any procedure anywhere in Canada, and for a little extra we are covered while travelling abroad.
    We never have to worry about a bill coming in the mail. We simply pay relatively small dispensing fees for our drugs. Some drugs can be expensive for us but nowhere near what you would pay in the U.S.

    However, the competitive private enterprise nature of the American system (hospitals need to make money) spurs advancement in medical procedures far quicker than any system in the world and we all benefit from those advancements.

    I would conclude by saying the medical technology the U.S. spawns is simply extraordinary! but does that outweigh the fact that a very large number of people in your own country do not receive any medical treatment at all!!?? (usually the poor)
    No way, your system overall is not working at all!
    You have an excellent opportunity to find some middle ground here.

    jus my 2 cents.
     
  5. Ito

    Ito
    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    256
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    233
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria (BC, CA)
    Verified:
    Photo
    I can honestly say that I have had no problems what so ever with our healthcare system. Am I going to say that it is the best one out there? probably not I hear the Uk system works very well but I have no first hand knowledge of that. I at one point had a spiral break in both the tibia and fibula(not to sure how they are spelled) from about 1/4" above my ankle to 1/2" below my knee other than a few months in a cast it didn't cost me a cent :smile:. Sure sometimes you may have a bit of a wait time on a test or two but hockey can be a rough sport so I will take the free care anytime eh :wink:
     
  6. readytocum

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    951
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Montreal
    Verified:
    Photo
    Hi, in Qu├ębec here,
    Our health care programs works, so so, the reason is that population age is growing older, so many at the same time got tu use it, missing doctors and nurses, and since it,s free, many go to the emergency for simple headaches or minor things...waiting at the hospital could go from 8 to 12 hours before getting any treatment.

    Sorry french here, missing words to explain reallity, but at least, being free, everybody could have a chance at it, but the big problems as I said bfore, not enough personnals to take care of us.:mad:
     
  7. DiscoBoy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm quite young so my opinion may not weigh in as much considering I haven't had that much chance to experience our health care program but I do have one specific example.

    I broke an ankle about two years ago and obviously headed to a hospital. My mother drove me and I waited about 1-2 hours in the waiting room, had a couple of x-rays and was issued a tensor band, crutches (which cost me 10$ and were my only expense) and a referral to the bones and fractures clinic for the next day. That next day, the specialist got me to do a CAT scan which I waited about 4 hours for which confirmed that my ankle was in fact broken. I was put into a cast. Every day for the rest of that week I came in routinely to remove the cast and check if the swelling had gone down. I went through 3 [temp] casts that week. By the next week, the doctor told me that I may need surgery on my ankle unless the swelling went down by the end of that week. It didn't, he consulted two other doctors and I was scheduled for ankle surgery for the weekend of the next week. So, surgery in the third week after breaking my ankle and one week after it was decided that it was necessary. Not sure if you'd put that under elective or essential surgery. I mean, it wasn't life threatening.

    Anyway, to answer your questions, through my own experience, I was perfectly satisfied with the program. I think my medical needs were met in a timely fashion. I don't feel as if I waited too long, but I suppose it all depends on perspective. I would not prefer private medical providers. I doubt I could ever afford that. My whole ankle ordeal cost me 10$ and I can't even begin to imagine how much it would cost without our National Health Care Program.

    I also had my free yearly eye exam yesterday (one per year for people under the age of 19).
     
  8. vince

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    14,785
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    540
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Asia
    Are you unhappy with your National Health Care program?

    No. I am generally happy. It's not perfect.

    Are your medical needs being met in a timely fashion?

    Yes. I've heard about waiting lists in Canada, but to my knowledge, they are mostly for elective or non-emergency procedures.

    Six years ago I needed emergency surgery to deal with what they thought was a large tumor in my intestinal tract (it turned out to be an abscessed appendix the size of my fist), I went to the emergency room in the afternoon, had the MRI, was admitted in the evening and had the surgery the next morning at 11 o'clock. The bill was- $0, including an MRI for which had to wait 3 hours.

    When my aunt needed hip replacement surgery, she had to wait about a month and the bill was- $0

    When my daughter was born, the bill was- $0

    If given the choice, would you prefer to have medical coverage through private providers?

    NO. Never. That being said, I purchase supplementary coverage to cover my family's dental expenses. I think non-elective dental work should be covered.
     
  9. AG08

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,144
    Likes Received:
    431
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    No, very satisfied.

    Yes. Every time.


    Never. I feel fortunate to have access to universal healthcare.

    You may want to check out the following thread about this topic:

    http://www.lpsg.org/90081-the-truth-about-canadian-healthcare.html
     
    #9 AG08, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  10. bigbull29

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    5,738
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Gender:
    Male
    That was an excellent post. You made some very interesting points. :wink:
     
  11. AG08

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,144
    Likes Received:
    431
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    Here is what I wrote in the thread (that I mentioned above) about my experience with the health care system in Canada:

    We pay a lot of tax, but it is completely worth it when it come to our medicare system. I've never had a problem with it and neither has anyone in my family. I went to see my GP who sent me to a specialist and I had my surgery (non serious) within a few weeks. My father had chest pains, was admitted into the hospital that day and had a triple by-pass the next day. It costs nothing for the doctor visit, the hospital stay and the surgery.

    Any politician in Canada that has suggested tampering with the Canada Health Act is committing political suicide. Canadians won't stand for it. We don't want a system like the U.S. The movie "Sicko" is very accurate. The lies and myths you hear in the U.S. about the Canadian health care system is total fear mongering. Do you really think the establishment down there wants anything to change? There is way too much money at stake.

    Another myth that I've heard is that Canadians go to the U.S. to get medical treatment and that Americans have to pay for it. That is a load of B.S. It is true that Canadians have gone to the U.S. at times for some procedures because of backlogs here, but it is paid for in full by the Canadian government/taxpayers, not Americans. In Canada the ability to get medical treatment does not depend on your income, and Canadians will never have to sell their houses or wipe out their life savings to get medical treatment. I would rather pay higher taxes and know that I have free health care anytime I need it. Even though taxes are higher here we enjoy a lot of social programs.

    A friend of mine in the the U.S. told me that he has to pay over $20,000.00/year for private health insurance for his family of four, and then he has to pay his taxes on top of that. I don't pay anywhere near $20,000.00/year in tax, so I think we get a pretty good deal for our tax dollars.

    I feel bad for you guys down there. My wife and I watched the movie "Sicko" and we were aboslutely stunned at what is going on in the medical system in the U.S. God have mercy on the politician that dares tamper with what we have here in Canada because Canadians sure won't! They would be voted out of power so quickly their heads would spin and they know it.
     
  12. bigbull29

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    5,738
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Gender:
    Male
    You believe everything in "Sicko"? I sure don't. It exaggerates the efficiency of other nations' healthcare systems. I lived in other countries with universal healthcare and thought it was ok for minor medical problems. But anything major? No way. Time is of the essence when getting treatment for serious illnessses. So, I'd rather get a bill for 200,000 dollars in the mail than be put on a waiting list and end up dying.

    Some of of Americans healthcare crisis comes from being fat and living unhealthy lifestyles.
     
  13. D_Sherman Shtoinkle

    D_Sherman Shtoinkle New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes I'm Canadian and love our health care and it's even better in Ontario
     
  14. canuck_pa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    124
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver Canada
    Our medical services plan is great in that it only costs me $ 54 a month for complete coverage. The are only a few extra charges such as for a semi or private room if I am hosplitalized. A non-private room holds 4 people, semi-private is two. The system is administered by each provincial government but must meet the federal standards. At one time the federal government paid for half of the cost of the system. It no longer does. As a result in some provinces there can be longer than acceptable waits for some necessary procedures. For example knee and hip replacements here in British Columbia can take over a year. We can also wait long periods for some specialized tests. On the positive side I can go to any GP I want to. If I need a specialist I have to see my GP for a referral. There can be a very long wait to see a specialist but that's because we need more GPs and specialists.

    If I had a choice between government supported medical insurance and private I would choose government unless private provided complete coverage with no deductable, faster service, couldn't deny any services and cost the same.

    Basically the only problem with government medical service is the government and all the inefficiencies that creates.

    Our medical service could be better but at least I know I won't have to declare bankruptcy if I get sick.
     
  15. vince

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    14,785
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    540
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Asia
    Maybe you didn't read my previous post. I had a serious illness that was treated in less than 24 hours.

    Some people do have to wait, the system is not perfect. But waiting is better than no treatment at all.
     
  16. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    25
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Warwick, NY, USA
    While I'm not Canadian, my step-brother and step-sister are so I thought I'd chime in a little.

    This is a publication from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. It is the 2009 Consumer Health Index for Canada. It's not flattering to Canada in most respects but do keep in mind this organization is based in Alberta and Manitoba, two provinces which are heavily conservative in politics. I'd like to know if it jives with what most people think. I've routinely heard that Alberta has the worst public health system in Canada. I don't know about Manitoba's.
     
  17. bigbull29

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    5,738
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Gender:
    Male
    We all speak from our personal experiences.

    The NHS in Britain killed my brother-in-law's father and treated my sister horribly while she was pregnant with my niece.

    Do you folks from other countries know about the "medical card" given to folks without healthcare insurance in the US? Welfare folk in my state can go to the doctor's all they want and never pay a cent (I have relatives on it). They get immediate treatment, but not usually the best in certain areas (cancer, rare illnesses, etc). The rich always get the best treatment, though, no matter where you in the world, and they usually come to the USA for it.

    The problem in the US lies primarily with the middle class, with and without health insurance, who get slammed with exorbitant medical bills. It's just insane and so unfair! Although their wages can never be deducted for unpaid medical bills, property can be taken. I don't know of anyone personally who was or is that in that predicament, but it happens.
     
  18. vince

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Messages:
    14,785
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    540
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Asia
    You are right speaking from personal experience Bull. Many people talk out their asses about lots of subjects without having been there, seen that, done that. Especially when it comes to systems and goings on in other countries.

    I've heard good and bad about NHS in Britain. Sorry for your families troubles.

    I didn't know about the "medical card" given to poor people in the US. Never heard of it. But it brings up a question from another thread in which Starinvestor was saying that universal health care in the USA would flood the system with poor folks that have no insurance now. He said the system doesn't have the capacity to handle all the "mothers with 24 kids" going to the doctor every time one of them got a runny nose. Or words to that affect. If they already have access to health care then how could they overwhelm the system?

    Was he talking out his ass? (again)

    I guess the thing is, just because a system is socialized (there's that scary word again), doesn't mean it works or is better than another system. A shit system can follow any model. Hell, if the US could get the insurance companies, accountants, lawyers and other paper-pushers out of the picture, a purely pay as you go, capitalist system might work fine. But I believe the middlemen and their lackies in the congress will never let go of the healthcare tit. Too much money at stake.
     
    #18 vince, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  19. AG08

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,144
    Likes Received:
    431
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    I believe everything in Sicko about the Canadian health care system because I have lived it. I can't vouch for what he says about universal health care in Europe because I don't live there. I'm not arrogant enough to pretend that I know everything about every universal health care system in the world. :rolleyes:

    I hope you have $20,000 you don't need. I don't know many middle class Canadians that have 20 Gs lying around, so I'll take universal health care. How many Canadians do you know of who died on a waiting list? I don't know of any, and I've lived here my entire life. Maybe you should start thinking critically about the BS that you are fed about universal health care. Again, do you think that the powers that be want anything to change in the U.S.? There are billions of dollars at stake in the health insurance industry. If you think they are looking out for your best interest, I have swamp land you might be intersted in. I'll sell it to you for that $20,000 that you seem to have lying around in disposable income. I know how upset I get when I have more money than I know what to do with. :rolleyes:
     
  20. AG08

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,144
    Likes Received:
    431
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    Exactly! I will never understand people who defend a system that could ultimately bankrupt them when they need it the most.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted