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Argus

Canada's Third World Health Care System

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Why do we put up with this crap? How many years now have we endured a shortage of doctors so that people have to scramble and work through contacts and wait months trying to get a GP? So they have to wait months and months to see a specialist? So they have to wait hours and hours and hours in the ER when they have an emergency situation? Why do we put up with such disorganized, yet expensive health care systems?

In Ottawa, our cheerful (Liberal) mayor spends tens of millions opening foot bridges and bicycle paths and arts courts but we can go hours and hours without a single ambulance or paramedic available because he doesn't think spending money on ambulances and paramedics will get his face in the paper. In Ontario our corrupt premier spent tens of billions rescheduling loans in order to temporarily lower electricity prices in the runup to an election next year - just to make herself look good. Mr. Selfie at the federal level sends billions overseas to try to buy a security council seat, spends billions importing goat herders from the desert who will be on welfare most of their lives, and grandly doubles the number of senior immigrants coming in every year who will need extensive use of a health care system they never contributed a dime to.

Here's what a study comparing our wait times to that of other countries found.

Ability to get a same or next-day appointment when sick: Worst
Ability to get after-hours care (without resorting to visiting an emergency department):  Second-worst
Wait for treatment in the emergency department: Worst
Wait to see a specialist: Worst
Wait for elective surgery: Worst

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/barua-why-are-canadas-health-care-wait-times-the-worst

 

Edited by Argus

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35 minutes ago, Argus said:

Why do we put up with this crap?

Are you implying we need to increase public spending as you reference it a couple of times. While three of the countries in the list they compared have lower total spending per capita, only Australia has lower government spending per capita.

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I would suggest anyone interested follow through on the links and get to the spreadsheet data. Note this study is a survey of people opinions, but it is very detailed. I am using the OECD data for the economic comparison because the study did not include any of that. There were a few interesting points I noticed from the study

1. Dissatisfaction with the Canadian system seems to be worst in the east and gets better as you travel westward (strange, we usually have the opposite).

2. Other countries seem to rely more heavily on other clinical technicians and nurses, where Canadians rely more on their GP.

3. Canadians perceive we have more mental health issues than others, although the service level is fairly flat across all countries.

3. Canadians perceive we are otherwise more healthy than others.

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I think the point is less political pandering dollars.

Remember our health "premium"? How about instead of giving money to lobby groups they use it for the intended (So they said) purpose?

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41 minutes ago, ?Impact said:

Are you implying we need to increase public spending as you reference it a couple of times. While three of the countries in the list they compared have lower total spending per capita, only Australia has lower government spending per capita.

No, I'm suggesting we need to look at what the Europeans do to get so much more bang out of their buck. That means bringing in private money, as they do in Europe. A reorg of how we supply services, and the bureaucracy that looks after it wouldn't hurt either. Why don't we get cheaper drugs the way New Zealand does, for example? 

This is symbolic of the state our health care system has been reduced to. Maybe I find it more frustrating because I'm old enough to remember when we didn't have hours long waits at the ER or months long waits to see a specialist.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/hospital-apologizes-for-telling-er-patient-to-lie-down-on-the-floor

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1 minute ago, Argus said:

No, I'm suggesting we need to look at what the Europeans do to get so much more bang out of their buck.

The study you quoted does not address cost, so how are you drawing that conclusion. When I compared public health care dollars spent, only Australia comes in lower. When I compare total (public and private) health care dollars dollars spent then France and the UK are also lower than us. If you look at the study details for France, you will see that they are extremely dissatisfied with their health care system, and they skip a lot of treatments because of cost.

I believe there is a lot we can do to improve, but I don't like these broad generalizations that only look at one factor and ignore all the others. One significant factor that always seems to be forgotten when looking at the Europeans, is that private health insurance is heavily regulated and is based on you income not your risk factor.

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22 minutes ago, ?Impact said:

The study you quoted does not address cost, so how are you drawing that conclusion.

From previous discussions on this subject. And you basically said the same thing, that they spend about what we do, sometimes less.

22 minutes ago, ?Impact said:

I believe there is a lot we can do to improve, but I don't like these broad generalizations that only look at one factor and ignore all the others. One significant factor that always seems to be forgotten when looking at the Europeans, is that private health insurance is heavily regulated and is based on you income not your risk factor.

I'm fine with that. I'm fine with any improvement. I'm NOT fine with not even trying or even talking about it. Why don't we do what New Zealand does in negotiating low prices for high use drugs? Why do we cling to the Cuba model of outlawing private health care? Do we think the Swedes and French are too right wing?

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18 minutes ago, Argus said:

From previous discussions on this subject. And you basically said the same thing, that they spend about what we do, sometimes less.

I actually said we spend less public money than all the countries other than one. Some spend significantly more than us.

In New Zealand and Switzerland a significant number of people avoid going to a doctor due to cost, and in France a significant number of people fail to follow up with tests and treatment due to cost. Canadians are high on skipping filling a prescription due to cost, but then we take more medication than most other countries other than those in Saskatchewan and BC (maybe I should move). Many Canadians skip dental treatment due to cost, and the Americans and the French have an extremely hard time paying their medical bills. The Americans, French, and Swiss are always bogged down in paperwork and in disputes with their insurance companies over paying medical bills.

It is interesting the number of gems in that study that the Ottawa Citizen failed to find.

Edited by ?Impact

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As the report notes, Canada spent the equivalent of 10 per cent of its gross domestic product on health care in 2014 – the most recent year for which figures were available – more than higher-ranked United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway and Australia.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-ranks-third-last-in-study-of-health-care-in-11-rich-countries/article35692286/

 

Also, this is made for an American audience, and you have to increase the size of the charts to see them properly, but it shows Canada's health care spending is only surpassed by the Netherlands, Germany and France as a share of GDP, and only barely in the latter two cases. Our health care spending per capita is only significantly exceeded by Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands (not counting the US).

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/health-costs-how-the-us-compares-with-other-countries

 

Edited by Argus

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7 minutes ago, Argus said:

As the report notes, Canada spent the equivalent of 10 per cent of its gross domestic product on health care in 2014

Yes, that is public & private spending on health care. In that case the Americans are the highest spenders at 60% more than Canadians. If you look at public spending only, then the Germans are the highest at 30% more than Canadians. You can also look at per-capita spending which is what I cited earlier.

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We need more running shoes in the hospital and less dress shoes. And when I was in the business, hospitals buy from one place on paper products and such, and are paying thru the nose if they were to look local for product. I know of one case a small business could sell a product to the local hospital for 25% less, but when he brought it up, the buyer says well we get a 5% discount at the end of the year. I guess the buyer math is not the greatest. But hospitals are getting ripped off.

Edited by PIK

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3 hours ago, ?Impact said:

Yes, that is public & private spending on health care. In that case the Americans are the highest spenders at 60% more than Canadians. If you look at public spending only, then the Germans are the highest at 30% more than Canadians. You can also look at per-capita spending which is what I cited earlier.


So we spend more per capita than Australia, Finland and France but less than Germany or Denmark, more than New Zealand but less than Norway, more than the UK but less than Luxembourg. The point is we're not exactly tail end charlie where we can say our poor health care is the result of not paying enough. That means it's much more likely to be bad organization and regulations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_per_capita

 

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3 hours ago, PIK said:

We need more running shoes in the hospital and less dress shoes. And when I was in the business, hospitals buy from one place on paper products and such, and are paying thru the nose if they were to look local for product. I know of one case a small business could sell a product to the local hospital for 25% less, but when he brought it up, the buyer says well we get a 5% discount at the end of the year. I guess the buyer math is not the greatest. But hospitals are getting ripped off.

And yet the people running them make more than the people running Canada.

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4 minutes ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

It’s not third world standard, of course. Hyperbole there. 

People in agony laying on the floor for hours while staff curse at them sounds kinda third worldy to me.

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3 minutes ago, Argus said:

People in agony laying on the floor for hours while staff curse at them sounds kinda third worldy to me.

Not really. Stat-wise we are not Somalia yet. Google ‘patient lying in agony’ even just in English and you’ll see many non-Canadian stories.

Edited by SpankyMcFarland

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3 minutes ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Not really. Stat-wise we are not Somalia yet. Google ‘patient lying in agony’ even just in English and you’ll see many non-Canadian stories.

The term "yet" is not encouraging.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/man-told-i-have-had-enough-of-you-asking-for-help-during-emergency-room-wait

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Australia and NZ are good countries to compare ourselves with, given their sparse density of population, health issues among indigenous people and a similar cultural history. All international comparisons that get us away from the North American paradigm are healthy. Longer term, our system will have to develop a larger private sector. 

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On 11/28/2017 at 10:55 AM, Argus said:

Why do we put up with this crap? How many years now have we endured a shortage of doctors so that people have to scramble and work through contacts and wait months trying to get a GP? So they have to wait months and months to see a specialist? So they have to wait hours and hours and hours in the ER when they have an emergency situation? Why do we put up with such disorganized, yet expensive health care systems?

In Ottawa, our cheerful (Liberal) mayor spends tens of millions opening foot bridges and bicycle paths and arts courts but we can go hours and hours without a single ambulance or paramedic available because he doesn't think spending money on ambulances and paramedics will get his face in the paper. In Ontario our corrupt premier spent tens of billions rescheduling loans in order to temporarily lower electricity prices in the runup to an election next year - just to make herself look good. Mr. Selfie at the federal level sends billions overseas to try to buy a security council seat, spends billions importing goat herders from the desert who will be on welfare most of their lives, and grandly doubles the number of senior immigrants coming in every year who will need extensive use of a health care system they never contributed a dime to.

Here's what a study comparing our wait times to that of other countries found.

Ability to get a same or next-day appointment when sick: Worst
Ability to get after-hours care (without resorting to visiting an emergency department):  Second-worst
Wait for treatment in the emergency department: Worst
Wait to see a specialist: Worst
Wait for elective surgery: Worst

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/barua-why-are-canadas-health-care-wait-times-the-worst

Fair enough. I think as Canadians we grow up thinking we have such a better system for the US that it becomes unpatriotic to question anything about it. 
But yes, our health care system has been lagging behind and there are a few reasons for it. 

1) Paul Martin dumped a lot of health care responsibility from the Federal government to the provinces, while bragging about running surplus budgets. Then we eliminated all of those surpluses by cutting taxes. 

2) The various doctors organizations control the number of doctors admitted to medical school each year, even though there are many more qualified students who could easily become doctors. While they claim it's about quality, we all know it's about keeping doctor's wages at a premium. 

3) There's a desperate need to keep everything under the public sphere, when many parts of it could be handled by the private sector. This means that we get to pay generous union government wages, benefits and pensions to even the most mundane jobs that only barely intersect the health care industry.

 4) Big pharma gets the government to pay for very expensive drugs, even though there are cheaper alternatives. Phizer is currently running a campaign to tell Canadians to force the government to pay for more expensive name brand drugs, instead of the generic ones, which are basically the exact same drug. 

 

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We need to have a  PRIVATE health care system as well as existing public health care which is so sick. That way high incomers will PAY for the care they receive (or a portion of it) and our public health care will be freed up for the needy and lower incomers.  Socialism has failed. Stop thinking that way, Our sick health care system is a proof of that failure. When these damn politicians start listening to the logic and find the balls to do what is right rather than what politically appears correct?.

Edited by CITIZEN_2015

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8 minutes ago, CITIZEN_2015 said:

We need to have a  PRIVATE health care system as well as existing public health care which is so sick. That way high incomers will PAY for the care they receive (or a portion of it) and our public health care will be freed up for the needy and lower incomers.  Socialism has failed. Stop thinking that way, Our sick health care system is a proof of that failure. When these damn politicians start listening to the logic and find the balls to do what is right rather than what politically appears correct?.

Wanna see a sick healthcare system, go to the US.

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1 hour ago, CITIZEN_2015 said:

We need to have a  PRIVATE health care system as well as existing public health care which is so sick. That way high incomers will PAY for the care they receive

...and starve the public system. Only the rich deserve good health, it is not a human right it is a wealth entitlement.

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8 minutes ago, ?Impact said:

...and starve the public system. Only the rich deserve good health, it is not a human right it is a wealth entitlement.

All other developed nations have a private option as well as a public option. Canada is stubbornly going to bankrupt itself by making it illegal for people to pay for healthcare if they can. They just go to America for care anyway, how does that benefit us? 

Like with Public/Private School, it's not like you pay less tax if you don't put your kids in public school. 

Edited by Boges

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6 minutes ago, ?Impact said:

...and starve the public system. Only the rich deserve good health, it is not a human right it is a wealth entitlement.

 

True....health care is not a right...not even in Canada.

 

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21 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

True....health care is not a right...not even in Canada.

 

And in the US it's a luxury.

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