February 11, 2008

Canadian Healthcare Myths

Being that my area of interest lies within healthcare and medicine I am going to start a regular piece detailing not only the problems with our current healthcare system, but also different models around the world and how they are fairing.

Today the focus will be in Canada and how convenient, as Sara Robinson has written a great article covering ten myths on Canadian healthcare.

I really hope you check out the article as Sarah lived in the Northwest of the US for a while before moving into Canada. She has a good handled on the differences between the two systems and reports from personal experience as well as public polls and opinion. I think its a pretty fair piece and seems to reflect a good amount of the public sentiment in Canada.

Here are my big highlights from the Canadian system which I'd love to see be put in place by the US.
1. Single payer insurance. I was against this model for some time, but the government has shown little want to regulate and demand patient's rights which is crucial if you're going to let private firms play the profits game.
2. Cheap prescriptions. One batch of heart medication is produced in the factory and shipped to Seattle, half of the batch is trucked to Vancouver, making another 200 mile trip and still costs 50% less than the half left in Seattle. Explain that to me?
3. Elimination of the fear of getting help. Numerous studies show that the earlier you catch something the easier, cheaper, and most successful treatment is. Today most people in the US won't head to the doctor unless they have to miss work that day. A constant rumbling in the stomach, the slight twinge in your back, the constant headaches aren't reasons Americans head to the doctor, but they should be as they can be signs of something very preventable down the road. Its sad that many people are scared to walk into the doctors office to begin with because they don't know how much its going to cost. In Canada, even if the treatment isn't covered and is expensive the fear of making the initial doctor visit isn't there because it is guaranteed to be free.

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Shivas said...

My cousin sent out a mass email (including me) that had a link for this video of a guy who couldnt get proper medical attention in Canada so he paid for it in the U.S. (they also used this single case to make huge gereralizations about candian healthcare)

So in return I sent her this article...