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Michael Hardner

8 Weeks to see Oncologist, BC Man goes to Korea for Cancer Surgery

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gerd-trubenbach-says-flying-to-korea-for-cancer-surgery-was-his-only-hope-1.3079619

Gerd Trubenbach, 71, believes he would be dead if his Korean wife hadn't taken him to Korea for life-saving surgery, after B.C. doctors discharged him from the Abbotsford Hospital with a huge malignant tumour growing in his neck last August.
Kim says she was furious after her husband was told to wait eight weeks after his cancer diagnosis to see an oncologist.
The BC Cancer Agency says it will investigate any time a patient has concerns about care, but a spokesperson would not discuss Trubenbach's specific claims.

Who is being held to account for decisions like this, when they turn out to be errors, or mismanagement ? Will we even hear about the results of the investigation ? Why are Canadians satisfied with a process of health system monitoring that requires stories in the national press to bring questions to light ?

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Who is being held to account for decisions like this, when they turn out to be errors, or mismanagement ? Will we even hear about the results of the investigation ? Why are Canadians satisfied with a process of health system monitoring that requires stories in the national press to bring questions to light ?

Healthcare is expensive and we can't really afford to give everyone immediate care. So to manage the costs the system uses statistics to ration care. i.e. if 95% of cancer patients can wait 8 weeks with no problems then the 5% who can't are acceptable losses (I made up the numbers - don't know the real ones). This is not unreasonable as long as you are not in the 5% but the alternatives are not any better. i.e. the US solves the rationing problem by letting insurance bureaucrats arbitrarily deny coverage. Is that what we want here?

Perhaps we should be more open about discussing how people have to die to control costs because we simply do not have the resources to provide immediate care to everyone. That is life and it is not going to change.

Edited by TimG

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Perhaps we should be more open about discussing how people have to die to control costs because we simply do not have the resources to provide immediate care to everyone. That is life and it is not going to change.

Do you have any information that people in the Nordic countries have to wait 8 weeks to see an oncologist after a cancer diagnosis? What about Germany? If there aren't long waits there, how can you state that we can't afford the resources to provide immediate treatment?

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If there aren't long waits there, how can you state that we can't afford the resources to provide immediate treatment?

Available resources depend on the level of taxation the population is willing to support. I don't see any evidence that Canadians are willing to tolerate higher taxes on themselves although some support higher taxes on other people.

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.....This is not unreasonable as long as you are not in the 5% but the alternatives are not any better. i.e. the US solves the rationing problem by letting insurance bureaucrats arbitrarily deny coverage. Is that what we want here?

Step #1 is to always point at the U.S. in comparison. The tumours don't care.

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Step #1 is to always point at the U.S. in comparison. The tumours don't care.

Whether you die because you can't see an oncologist for 8 weeks in Canada or because the treatment was denied by an HMO the result is the same. It is question of what poison do you prefer. Americans like their poison, Canadians like theirs. Edited by TimG

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Our Health Care system is in trouble if one feels that free health care is a right. Because of that I believe it is abused by some leaving less to go around for others. Professional athletes have no problems or waiting times for diagnosis, surgery or latest recovery techniques. I have not seen any politicians standing in line in emergency wards. So be it.

I also believe those who are well off might consider going out of country for serious surgeries and organ transplants - give folks like us a break. Some of the best heath care, specialized medicine and recuperative care is available in other countries - for those who can afford it.

Edited by Big Guy

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Our Health Care system is in trouble if one feels that free health care is a right. Because of that I believe it is abused by some leaving less to go around for others. Professional athletes have no problems or waiting times for diagnosis, surgery or latest recovery techniques. I have not seen any politicians standing in line in emergency wards. So be it.

I also believe those who are well off might consider going out of country for serious surgeries and organ transplants - give folks like us a break. Some of the best heath care, specialized medicine and recuperative care is available in other countries - for those who can afford it.

Not only that, but some of the best care is available in other countries for a small fraction of what it costs here.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gerd-trubenbach-says-flying-to-korea-for-cancer-surgery-was-his-only-hope-1.3079619

Who is being held to account for decisions like this, when they turn out to be errors, or mismanagement ? Will we even hear about the results of the investigation ? Why are Canadians satisfied with a process of health system monitoring that requires stories in the national press to bring questions to light ?

The problem is we have this huge structural issue in our system that needs to be addressed. The problem in a nutshell is medical protectionism... The same medical associations that negotiate with provincial governments for doctor pay are also in control of the certification process, and they have a built in incentive to create scarcity of services... thus waiting lists.

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Whether you die because you can't see an oncologist for 8 weeks in Canada or because the treatment was denied by an HMO the result is the same. It is question of what poison do you prefer. Americans like their poison, Canadians like theirs.

Except that the Americans can still get the treatment from multiple providers without having to cross the border. Not the same result.

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Except that the Americans can still get the treatment from multiple providers without having to cross the border. Not the same result.

If they have the coverage/money........Americans and Canadians can (and do) receive superior treatment in India, for Americans it is vastly cheaper, and Canadians vastly quicker..........The medical tourism industry in India is by far one of, if not the best place to receive high-acuity medical treatment in the World.

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If they have the coverage/money........Americans and Canadians can (and do) receive superior treatment in India, for Americans it is vastly cheaper, and Canadians vastly quicker..........The medical tourism industry in India is by far one of, if not the best place to receive high-acuity medical treatment in the World.

Coverage or money is secondary if the domestic medical infrastructure lacks basic capacity. You can't buy that which doesn't exist.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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Coverage or money is secondary if the domestic medical infrastructure lacks basic capacity. You can't buy that which doesn't exist.

It does not exist because it is prohibited by law. It is a ridiculous situation that only exists because the US is next door and allows Canadians to pay for services they need. If it was not for the US, Canada would have to develop the private medical infrastructure like Australia.

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It does not exist because it is prohibited by law. It is a ridiculous situation that only exists because the US is next door and allows Canadians to pay for services they need. If it was not for the US, Canada would have to develop the private medical infrastructure like Australia.

Either that or just tackle the systemic issues in the single payer system, which works fairly well in about 50 different countries.

The problem with our medical system is not about PUBLIC VS PRIVATE. Its the fact that the costs of services are increasing much faster than the rate of inflation. That is going to create access problems no matter who the payer is, or whether the system is public or private.

And the Australian system is not even in the top 30 world wide.

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If they have the coverage/money........Americans and Canadians can (and do) receive superior treatment in India, for Americans it is vastly cheaper, and Canadians vastly quicker..........The medical tourism industry in India is by far one of, if not the best place to receive high-acuity medical treatment in the World.

I fail to see why Canadians shouldn't be able to go overseas for treatment and bill their provincial MSP. I mean if it's cheaper and quicker who nose really gets skinned by doing so?

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Not only that, but some of the best care is available in other countries for a small fraction of what it costs here.

The problem is we have this huge structural issue in our system that needs to be addressed. The problem in a nutshell is medical protectionism...

The same medical associations that negotiate with provincial governments for doctor pay are also in control of the certification process, and they

have a built in incentive to create scarcity of services... thus waiting lists.

The real problem is doctors and nurses get paid way too much here due to our proximity and language similarity with the Americans, where this overpayment started. European doctors and nurses are well-compensated, but not to the same extent. And we've allowed that high compensation level for doctors and nurses to spread into all aspects of the health care system, from the cafeteria workers and cleaning staff to the technicians and administrators.

There isn't a shortage of doctors because the doctors want it that way, but because the provincial governments don't want more doctors to pay.

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It does not exist because it is prohibited by law. It is a ridiculous situation that only exists because the US is next door and allows Canadians to pay for services they need. If it was not for the US, Canada would have to develop the private medical infrastructure like Australia.

No, it doesn't exist because of philosophical opposition by liberals to the profit motive in medicine. Despite the proximity of the US we'd have such services here if they weren't prohibited.

Edited by Argus

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Except that the Americans can still get the treatment from multiple providers without having to cross the border. Not the same result.

Some Americans. Others are left desperately holding bake sales to try and pay for cancer treatment.

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The real problem is doctors and nurses get paid way too much here due to our proximity and language similarity with the Americans, where this overpayment started.

It's not a problem at all for a nation that claims to have liberty, employment mobility, and economic freedom.

Wanna be like Cuba ? Good luck with that.....

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Some Americans. Others are left desperately holding bake sales to try and pay for cancer treatment.

Many Americans....far more than in Canada. The excess capacity exists....and Canadians know this.

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The real problem is doctors and nurses get paid way too much here due to our proximity and language similarity with the Americans, where this overpayment started. European doctors and nurses are well-compensated, but not to the same extent. And we've allowed that high compensation level for doctors and nurses to spread into all aspects of the health care system, from the cafeteria workers and cleaning staff to the technicians and administrators.

There isn't a shortage of doctors because the doctors want it that way, but because the provincial governments don't want more doctors to pay.

Its not the proximity of Americans that causes the problem. There are thousands of good doctors around the world that would love to come and practice here for 100k or even less. We just wont let them, and even many of the ones that come here and ace our medical exams never get to practice because they cant get residency slots.

Its scarcity that drives up the prices, and that scarcity is created intentionally by medical associations for the purpose of driving up wages.

We need to force our doctors to compete in a global market place just like we do with our computer programmers, manufacturing workers, etc. And it wouldnt be that tough to do, but before it can happen we need to get rid of the blatant conflict of interest that has one group negotiating for wages AND controlling the certification process. Those should be completely separate entities.

Imagine if a local construction company was in control of how many building permits were issued in your city each year? How many permits would he issue? Just enough for the houses he needs to build, and you would have a housing shortage and prices would explode.

This is just basic supply side economics... Providers of a service should not have regulatory control over how abundant that service is in the market.

Edited by dre

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Except that the Americans can still get the treatment from multiple providers without having to cross the border. Not the same result.

You might want to remind the 1200000 that fled the US medical system to get care in foreign countries.

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