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Michael Hardner

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

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

Their choice....still lots more capacity available back home compared to Canada...even for our pets.

Just another sob story with fingers pointing at everything but the real problem.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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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.

How about we just allow people to use their own money for medical procedures in Canada if they choose? Freeing up more tax money for people that can't afford to do so.

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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?

I don't know that it would be cheaper, versus what is billed to the Province for our "free healthcare".........but it would be far quicker.

Its without a doubt cheaper then what Canadians pay in private clinics/hospitals in Canada, and I wish both my wife and I had of known this prior to her having a minor surgery (paid out of pocket) here in BC......

It comes down to cost/benefit/quality of life.......

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I don't know that it would be cheaper, versus what is billed to the Province for our "free healthcare".........but it would be far quicker.

Its without a doubt cheaper then what Canadians pay in private clinics/hospitals in Canada, and I wish both my wife and I had of known this prior to her having a minor surgery (paid out of pocket) here in BC......

It comes down to cost/benefit/quality of life.......

I had an idea related to this... In many cases surgeries in other countries can cost as little as 1/10th what they cost here. A triple bypass for example costs about 200k here but less than 30k in India. So give the patient half of what the government would pay here. They arrange travel, book the procedure (as a JCI accredited facility), pay for it, and then pocket the rest. So the guy who gets his bypass in India gets his surgery done, and winds up with an extra 80k in his pocket that he can invest or spend into the economy... AND the government saves 100k.

This would introduce foreign competition and put downwards pressure on prices here at home, while maintaining our public UHC system.

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I had an idea related to this...

This would introduce foreign competition and put downwards pressure on prices here at home, while maintaining our public UHC system.

Worked out well for Saturn, Pontiac, Mercury, Chrysler...cheap foreign manufacturing hasn't seem to have gotten me a cheaper car.

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I had an idea related to this... In many cases surgeries in other countries can cost as little as 1/10th what they cost here. A triple bypass for example costs about 200k here but less than 30k in India.

Two reasons for the difference that I see:

1) Hospitals pay workers a fraction of what unionized workers get here which find the wages acceptable because people in the wider economy make even less which keeps the cost of living low. Now there is not much that can be done about these labour costs unless you think a 'race to the bottom' is a good thing.

2) No legal liability. It is practically impossible to sue a foreign doctor for malpractice which greatly reduces the cost of malpractice insurance (which is a huge part of the cost of care in the US - less so in Canada but it is still high here). We could reduce costs here by severely limiting legal liability if one thinks that is a good thing.

The bottom line is competition cannot reduce a lot of these baked in costs and, more importantly, MSP cannot pay for foreign doctors without ending up being liable for their mistakes. If people engage in healthcare tourism it has to be outside the system.

Edited by TimG

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...2) No legal liability. It is practically impossible to sue a foreign doctor for malpractice which greatly reduces the cost of malpractice insurance (which is a huge part of the cost of care in the US - less so in Canada but it is still high here). We could reduce costs here by severely limiting legal liability if one thinks that is a good thing.

It is not as huge as some people report it to be, and has been falling for over a decade in the U.S.:

http://truecostofhealthcare.org/malpractice

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It is not as huge as some people report it to be, and has been falling for over a decade in the U.S.:

The opposite opinion here: http://www.nber.org/bah/fall04/w10709.htm

Rapidly rising medical malpractice premiums have become an issue of increasing concern for physicians, policy makers, and the general public. Premiums rose by an average of 15 percent between 2000 and 2002, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while physicians in certain medical specialties and geographic areas experienced far greater increases - for example, premiums for general surgeons in one Florida county rose by 75 percent, to nearly $175,000 per year.

Edited by TimG

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Two reasons for the difference that I see:

1) Hospitals pay workers a fraction of what unionized workers get here which find the wages acceptable because people in the wider economy make even less which keeps the cost of living low. Now there is not much that can be done about these labour costs unless you think a 'race to the bottom' is a good thing.

2) No legal liability. It is practically impossible to sue a foreign doctor for malpractice which greatly reduces the cost of malpractice insurance (which is a huge part of the cost of care in the US - less so in Canada but it is still high here). We could reduce costs here by severely limiting legal liability if one thinks that is a good thing.

The bottom line is competition cannot reduce a lot of these baked in costs and, more importantly, MSP cannot pay for foreign doctors without ending up being liable for their mistakes. If people engage in healthcare tourism it has to be outside the system.

Free traders and globalists already HAVE us in a race to the bottom. Wasnt my idea, but its just how it is.

And as long as we protect part of the economy from competition but not the rest of it, then the latter will have an increasingly hard time being able to afford to purchase domestic services from the former, and thats precisely why healthcare costs are increasing faster than the rate of inflation.

And yes... competition is EXACTLY whats needed, but even more importantly as I stated before is to make it so that separate entities handle certification and contract negotiation. Doctors salaries are by FAR the biggest driver of increasing costs.

MSP cannot pay for foreign doctors without ending up being liable for their mistakes.

Sure they could. The government subsidizes the purchase of thousands of products and services without assuming liability for the products and services themselves. Youre just inventing stuff.

If people engage in healthcare tourism it has to be outside the system.

No it really doesnt. Theres absolutely no reason that the government could not implement the idea outlined, and in fact MSP already DOES cover some foreign procedures.

Edited by dre

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And as long as we protect part of the economy from competition but not the rest of it, then the latter will have an increasingly hard time being able to afford to purchase domestic services from the former, and thats precisely why healthcare costs are increasing faster than the rate of inflation.

I don't argue with the premise. I just wanted to make sure you understood the implications and it appears you do.

Sure they could. The government subsidizes the purchase of thousands of products and services without assuming liability for the products and services themselves. Youre just inventing stuff.

MSP says "go here to get treatment" and things go badly then MSP will be on the hook if the lawyers can't go after the doctor. Lawsuits always seek out the party with money even if they have a completely tangential connection to the wrong. For this reason, MSP will not be recommending health care tourism anytime soon. Edited by TimG

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In our part of the Southern Ontario, in our rural setting, we have a world wide known specialist in his field. If you are referred to him then you have to book between the start of Jan and end of May. During that period he maxes out his availability of OHIP. From the start of June to the end of October he runs a clinic outside of Canada. He holidays during November and December.

I have been told (second hand info) that the better off patients can be scheduled for their surgeries outside the country from June to October and pay the appropriate fees - or they can wait and be fitted in (with the rest of us poor folks) during the time he works in Ontario, Canada.

I have no problems with what he is doing. He has spent many, many years in learning and perfecting his skills and deserves all he can earn from them.

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I had an idea related to this... In many cases surgeries in other countries can cost as little as 1/10th what they cost here. A triple bypass for example costs about 200k here but less than 30k in India. So give the patient half of what the government would pay here. They arrange travel, book the procedure (as a JCI accredited facility), pay for it, and then pocket the rest. So the guy who gets his bypass in India gets his surgery done, and winds up with an extra 80k in his pocket that he can invest or spend into the economy... AND the government saves 100k.

I don't know that it would be that much cheaper in India though........we have a family friend that last Spring had rotator cuff surgery in India, and with the surgery itself, airfare and accommodations etc, he saved roughly 2/3rds the quoted cost for the same surgery in Arizona.........but was able to get the surgery two years sooner than waiting in Canada.....

This would introduce foreign competition and put downwards pressure on prices here at home, while maintaining our public UHC system.

I'm not so far motivated by pricing, but more so wait times for "elective" or non-emergency surgeries........which is a farce in a great many cases.

If we wanted to reduce costs at home, we'd speed-up the foreign credential assessment process to both address staff shortages and inflated wages in healthcare.....that is after all where most of the healthcare dollars are spent.

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....I'm not so far motivated by pricing, but more so wait times for "elective" or non-emergency surgeries........which is a farce in a great many cases.

Agreed...the waiting game in many instances has far more impact than the cost. Many months or years to wait for the most routine procedures, leaving Canadians with disability, lost economic productivity, prolonged pain/suffering, etc.

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Agreed...the waiting game in many instances has far more impact than the cost. Many months or years to wait for the most routine procedures, leaving Canadians with disability, lost economic productivity, prolonged pain/suffering, etc.

We've got it partially right......those injured at work go to the front of the line via Workers Compensation, other than that, the motto of the Canadian Healthcare system is hurry up and wait.

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That said, in my own experience acute emergency care seems pretty good. It saved my life and just the other night a friend of mine was taken by helicopter to the city for emergency treatment. So it's not all bad.

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That said, in my own experience acute emergency care seems pretty good. It saved my life and just the other night a friend of mine was taken by helicopter to the city for emergency treatment. So it's not all bad.

Far from it. But for it to be "good" people have to believe it's good, which probably means it has to BE good.

People are pretty bad at knowing these things, in general. If they're bad for a long time they don't notice when they're good and vice-versa. The TTC in Toronto is getting better but people aren't noticing.

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That said, in my own experience acute emergency care seems pretty good. It saved my life and just the other night a friend of mine was taken by helicopter to the city for emergency treatment. So it's not all bad.

I largely agree, but so too is the American medical system........

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Far from it. But for it to be "good" people have to believe it's good, which probably means it has to BE good.

People are pretty bad at knowing these things, in general. If they're bad for a long time they don't notice when they're good and vice-versa. The TTC in Toronto is getting better but people aren't noticing.

Make hospital food better, that's something that would really make me sit up and notice if I had to go to the hospital again.

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Sure, I'm well aware of funding issues..

That's why I'm against wasting money on things like fancy fighter jets and dropping bombs on people half way around the world.

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I just have to wait nearly a year to be seen by a neurologist for post-concussion syndrome & brain-damage.

My grandfather had to wait a year for a knee operation and was left basically immobile for a year.

Heck, I was at a hair dresser today and some stranger was going on about how their father would be dead to pancreatic cancer due to wait times if they didn't get treatment in the United States.

Our health care system is a complete joke.

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