“Unfortunately, intelligent debate about what should be done has basically ground to a halt by incendiary claims that any attempt to update the system amounts to treason—a repudiation of sacred Canadian values.” (…)
Canadian wait times—“widely regarded as the Achilles heel of the system”—are just one of many concerns raised in recent OECD studies. Making patients wait is really a means of rationing health care—a blunt, ineffective way of dealing with a looming health-driven fiscal crisis faced by Canada and other countries, say OECD economists. (…)
Nor is health care as “free” as some Canadians think. When public spending is combined with the 30 per cent spent privately on health (for such things as drugs, vision care, dental, long-term and home care), Canadians personally, and as taxpayers, face the fifth highest per-capita costs among the 32.
For all that, Canada has fewer doctors, fewer hospital beds and fewer high-tech diagnostics (CT scanners and MRI units) than the OECD average. Canadian life expectancy, at 80.7 years, is more than a year higher than the OECD average, but the Japanese, Swiss, Italians and Australians outlive us. Our infant mortality rate, while better than the U.S., is slightly worse than the OECD average.
All told, as a foundation for Canadian values, it needs work.
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To recap: there was no cash in (the large downtown Toronto) hospital kitty for my colonoscopy (which had been booked a year in advance).
However, if someone from Kuwait wants to come here for cancer care pronto, he/she can jump to the head of the line.