Andrew at Bound By Gravity relates a story of a friend who injured herself but will have to wait 12-18 months to get her free health care in Canada:
So how long is my friend expected to live with the chronic pain of an ACL injury, the inconvenience of a brace, and no chance of playing the sport she loves dearly?
The Government of Canada will force her to wait between twelve and eighteen months to receive the treatment she needs in order to resume the life that she wants to live. The only saving grace for my friend is that her injury was so severe that it did not require an MRI to diagnose. (Had that been the case she would have been forced to suffer through an additional 6 months of pain).
Health care in Canada is free.Though in order to keep costs down the government limits the procedures that are covered and limits the number of medical school admissions and foreign-trained doctors, as noted in today’s National Post:
Rather than being seen as income- generators, as they are in U.S. hospitals and clinics — the more patients doctors can attract, the more money they bring in — Canada’s health bureaucrats began treating doctors as cost centres. Fewer doctors meant fewer tests would be ordered, fewer beds in hospitals filled, fewer surgeries performed and fewer billings to medicare. Control the number of physicians and governments believed they could control their health expenditures.
There was even a conscious decision made in the early 1990s by federal and provincial health ministers to cap enrolments in medical schools in an effort to reduce the amounts their governments were spending on health. Between 1991 and 2000, the number of medical-school admissions was reduced by nearly 14% and foreign-trained doctors found it increasingly difficult to earn Canadian licences.
So Canadians really pay for their health care through punishing taxes, long waits, and pain – really not all that different from much-loathed HMOs. In fact it is probably more correct to say that in Canada, the health care that the government allows you to have is free.
Of course if you wanted to pay for your own health care that would make you a criminal.
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