your health care system

Feb 13th, 2010, 01:42 PM
  #1  
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your health care system

As the USA moves to a different type of health care system, would any Canadina resident care to give some experiences or facts with the type of system you have in your country?
Good points, problems, experiences. thanks
maribethp is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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I live in Ontario so can only speak about health care in this province. Despite the negative reports about long lines in emergency rooms, when my husband had a heart attack at age 44, I took him to our local hospital emerg. He was tested and put on a heart monitor immediately and transferred by ambulance to the nearest cardiac care hospital where an operating room had been prepared for him. Thankfully, the clot busters that he had received worked so that he just required an angiogram which showed that he needed to have stents inserted into three arteries. Two weeks later he walked out of the hospital with no cost to us for anything. Ten years later, he sees his cardiologist annually, but has no further problems.

If a person has a non life-threatening illness or sickness, wait time is required - visits are on a priority basis, even to my family physician, who is part of a health care centre. I recently had a sinus infection and was able to see the nurse practitioner to be diagnosed and get an antibiotic prescription. We have insurance coverage through my husband's employer so that we don't pay for any covered medicines, including his heart meds.

Another example is my sister's first grandson, born premature at 27 weeks weighing just 2 lbs, 11 oz., he is in a NICU in Toronto and is already gaining weight and thriving, at no cost to his young parents, who have enough to worry about than how they are to pay. His care is already totally covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) and his parents don't have to deal with any insurance companies.

We do pay high consumer goods and so-called luxury taxes through the GST and PST (on restaurant meals for example) and liquor and cigarette taxes. We also pay income taxes which has a portion paid to the Ontario health care system.

Is it perfect? No, but no system is going to be perfect for everyone, there are always improvements that can be made. I just know that I never had to worry how to pay to visit the doctor when my three children were younger, we didn' t have a huge medical bill for my husband and I was treated immediately for a pre-cancerous lesion. We are very proud of our health care system and would not want to trade it for any other.
timsmom is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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There was a thread about Canadian health care recently on this forum which you may want to look at. That said, shouldn't this topic be posted on the Lounge since it's not travel related?
ShelliDawn is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 05:25 AM
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ShelliDawn - It is posted on the Lounge Forum.
sandi is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 06:46 AM
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Didn't you post the thread about Truth in Canada's Health Care System Maribeth? Now this thread? Are you movnin to Canada soon or something?
crefloors is online now  
Feb 14th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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Not getting the answers she's looking for
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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"Not getting the answers she's looking for "

So True.
MissInformation is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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I don't know why so many Americans seem to have a fixation on Canada's health care system. There's not a chance of it ever being adopted in the US, so any discussion of its pros and cons is strictly academic.

By the same token, a vast majority of Canadians haven't the slightest interest in adopting the US system and any politician who would propose moving ever so slightly in that direction would soon be out of office.

These are two countries that are so similar in many ways yet with profound cultural differences.
laverendrye is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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"By the same token, a vast majority of Canadians haven't the slightest interest in adopting the US system and any politician who would propose moving ever so slightly in that direction would soon be out of office"

You're so right...our last Premier was voted out for just suggesting a 'two tiered' health care system where people who have money pay for their care thus allowing the rest of us to move up the line. I don't think that's what Tommy Douglas had in mind.

Funny thing is, he was quite popular up until that point as he wiped out our debt and was doing a pretty good job of running the province. The minute he started messing with health care, he was outta there!
loru100 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 08:05 AM
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I posted here at the suggestion of someone in the lounge. Funny, huh? But still I get accused of looking for only the answers I want. Amazing.
maribethp is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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Why amazing? Your last thread had quite a bit of discussion and information and personal experiences regarding both Canadian and the US systems.
crefloors is online now  
Feb 14th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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"...Your last thread had quite a bit of discussion and information and personal experiences regarding both Canadian and the US systems..."

And the OP didn't like the answers provided by the Canadians there either, thus you are accused of "not getting the answers you're looking for". The second post in each thread answered you question directly.

There's not been a single Canadian to "knock" their system. If and when one does, will you then be satisfied and use it as proof that the Canadian health care system is broken and not worthy of consideration for the USA?

MvK
MarkvonKramer is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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baloney
maribethp is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 10:41 AM
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There are no anticipated changes in the health care "system" and the delivery of care but only by requiring everyone to be insured by a for-profit private industry, it is thought that it will improve access to the care.

I'm not sure why the comparison to the Canadian system is even in the mix as we will have little resemblence to their system. For people, care is NOT going to change - other than the premiums will continue to climb here and benefits they offer will be continued to be downsized.

Youo mention "wait times" for non-emergency tx and the same is true for the US - if you can find a physician who even accepts your particular brand and plan of insurance. Right now, the clinic where I work a few hours a week has a wait time of 3 - 4 months for a new patient and when a doc wants a appt in 1 month for medication maintance, they are lucky to get an appointment within 6 weeks. Some specialists are booked for months and other providers are simply not taking any new patients at all. Having some crap insurance that one is required to buy is not going to change that. Many insurers require that you see an "in network" provider and will not pay (or you will pay a higher copay) to see a provider out of their "network." You may have to travel for miles before you find an "in-network" provider who will even accept you as a pt.

does the Canadian system have "managed care" whereby you must see a "primary physician" for a referral prior to even be seen by a "specialist" so that you incur not one by at least two co-pays?

Has anyone in Canada ever filed for bankruptcy because of health care costs? Or sinply avoided seeking tx because they did not have the finances to pay for the deductibles or co-pays and do they have "caps" on how much will be paid for either by diagnosis or for one's lifetime or for a year?
beachplum is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 10:58 AM
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"I don't know why so many Americans seem to have a fixation on Canada's health care system."

Nor me. But maribethp hasn't been very forthcoming about which aspects of Canada's system she's interested in, especially as it seems that the US won't be undertaking any serious reform of its system, never mind adopting Canada's approach.

maribethp, if your interest is academic, I presume you've acquainted yourself with the way Canada's system operates via the many web-based sources available.

It would be useful if you could explain why your interest is confined to Canada. As I pointed out in the other thread, there are many models of universal-access health care systems around the world - all advanced countries except the USA have some variation on the theme.

If you won't share your own thoughts, you do leave yourself open to the suspicion that you're trying to collect damning anecdotes. As Canada's system (and Australia's, the one I know at first hand, and by report Britain's NHS and ... well, everybody's, really) are demonstrably more effective and efficient, and have strong popular support, dodgy anecdotes are about all you'll get - if that.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 11:07 AM
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If we want to talk about wait times, we need go no further than the USA. I tried to get an appointment with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and was told the wait time could be in excess of 6 months. Am I an emergency? I don't know as I'm currently undiagnosed. All I know is that I'm pretty ill and can't get help, right here in the good ole USA. And I have good insurance, although the Mayo Clinic will be "out of network" for me. I'm on a wait list for Minnesota but I was able to get a March 1 appointment with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale Arizona. Why so soon? They no longer accept Medicare thus the wait time is much shorter. So don't tell me about someone who may have to wait for a non-emergency procedure in Canada as some sort of horror. It happens right here where we have to shell out money on top of our premiums.
laurieco is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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<
Has anyone in Canada ever filed for bankruptcy because of health care costs? Or sinply avoided seeking tx because they did not have the finances to pay for the deductibles or co-pays and do they have "caps" on how much will be paid for either by diagnosis or for one's lifetime or for a year?>>

Are these rhetorical questions?

Normally one must be referred to a specialist by a primary physician but co-pays and deductibles are not permitted under the Canada Health Act. Some provinces such as Ontario do charge an annual user fee based on taxable income, ranging from $60 per year for those with $20,000 taxable income to $900 per year for those with $200,000 taxable income. There are no financial caps on treatments such as you have described either.

It's most unlikely that anyone in Canada has ever filed for bankruptcy because of health care costs unless they have chosen to bankrupt themselves by going to the US or elsewhere for treatment.
laverendrye is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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>>>does the Canadian system have "managed care" whereby you must see a "primary physician" for a referral prior to even be seen by a "specialist" so that you incur not one by at least two co-pays? <<<

Sort of - to see most(but not all) specialists you have to be referred by your GP. A couple of exceptions that I know of - an optician (not a Dr.) referred me to an opthamologist a few years ago when she thought something needed an actual Dr. to be properly investigated. Also - if you see a specialist in the Emergency department, you can continue to see them without a referral from your GP - for example I have a cardiologist that I see regularly. I first saw her in Emerg. She keeps my GP appraised of her efforts on my behalf but I make my appointments drectly with her. OF course co-pays don't exist here - so that's not an issue.

>>> Has anyone in Canada ever filed for bankruptcy because of health care costs? Or sinply avoided seeking tx because they did not have the finances to pay for the deductibles or co-pays and do they have "caps" on how much will be paid for either by diagnosis or for one's lifetime or for a year?<<<

Nope - never heard of ANYONE filing for bankruptcy here because of healthcare costs. Or any of the other stuff you mention.
semiramis is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 11:54 AM
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OMG!! I am not collecting anything. Merely chose canada because they are our neighbor and I thought comparison and understanding would be interesting.
maribethp is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Fair enough, maribethp. I got involved because your thread title ("your health care system") didn't specify Canada, so initially I took it as an invitation to any passing foreigner (British, Australian, New Zealand, other) to comment.

But that has some value I think, as despite differences in detail between the systems prevailing in these other English-speaking countries, a lot of commonalities are emerging. That's not too surprising - for instance, the original Australian single-payer system, Medibank, was I think based on an approach then used in one of the Canadian provinces.
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