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Health care, and all things in the public good…

I have yet to post anything about the weird health care debate in the States.

But courtesy of and inspired by a wise Canuck blogger at Enormous Thriving Plants, I now must urge you to read the following great post about why we really do need a government and how they can, believe it or not, run a public program well and efficiently.

My health care in my country is just fine, thank-you.

Why does the conventional wisdom rail against all things state-run? It is as dogmatic as religion. Unfounded in fact and rooted in myth and fantasy…

Very entertaining post… thanks.



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  1. trashee says:

    I’m not gonna ost a long comment on the state of our system.. saving that for an entry… however and touch wood – I have very little negative to say about our system.And that is after 3 kids, 3 chidlbirths, a coupla hospitlaisations for myself, etc.
    Stay tuned – I’ll have more to say on this later on…
    Grrr… on a train right now and it is tough to type accurately!

  2. XUP says:

    Yes, I prefer our system to the American system, but that’s kind of like saying I prefer to get shot in the shoulder than get shot in the head. There are lots of other options like not getting shot at all which we really, really, really need to start considering and start pushing our politicians to implement. Our current health care system is costing us a fortune and is not patient-oriented. We may not be dying in the streets, but I know plenty of people who are literally dying from neglect. People whose conditions have been left undetected despite regular visits to a doctor. People who are ill and can’t get medical treatment because of the long wait times for anything that isn’t an emergency. People who can’t even get a family doctor. That’s not health care. What we have in Canada is triage. And as long as we keep being all smug about how much better we have it than the Americans, the worse this system is going to get. Why don’t we go have a look at some of the European models that cost less and provide excellent service to the population? Even the UK system is overhauling itself to become more efficient. Unfortunately, it’s in the best interests of our politiicans to keep convincing us that our health care system is great. We need to stop believing them.

  3. I get asked about health care here a lot by Americans when I’m on my amateur radio. I usually tell them something like this:

    1. I’d rather have something like our system here in Canada than what exists in the USA right now. In Canada, we don’t have people dying in the street because they can’t afford to see a doctor. In Canada you don’t destroy your financial well-being and the inheritance of your decendants for generations because you get a disease. Overall, I think it is in ANY society’s best interest to have a level of basic health care.

    2. However, that being said, in any socialized system, there will be abuses. Canada’s system is rife with abuse from the population… people value something at about the amount they pay for it. Most Canadians don’t realize just how much we actually do, in fact, pay for health care (it’s the largest single expense from provincial budges, by A LOT), so when they show up at the emergency room because they woke up that morning with a pimple (yes, I know someone who has done this), it really hurts everyone. That sort of thing doesn’t happen when the trip to emergency costs $200 out of pocket. In Canada, you can also die while on terribly long waiting lists for life-saving treatments – a fact that causes people who can afford it to go to the US for treatment.

    In my own experience, I have dealt with doctors here, and a doctor in Venezuela (where I had to pay B40000 ($95 CDN) for an appointment). The Venezuelan experience was superior to any medical experience I have had in Canada.

    I think there needs to be a 2-tier system. People who can afford to pay for queue-jumping etc. are going to do so, and I’d rather they pay in Canada than in a foreign country. It would need to be tightly controlled though – regulated in a way that would make it difficult for doctors to force people to the pay system.

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