Canadians! Please tell us about National Health Care

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bare, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I wasn't sure what forum to put this in, since it sorta borders on General Chat. However, when I thought about it, health care is almost a universal concern for homesteaders.

    I'm guessing that most true homesteaders in the U.S. have no health insurance of any kind.

    Since I live right on the Canadian Border, I interact frequently with Canadians and I have yet to have one tell me that they prefer the U.S. model of health care...if you have money, you might get care, if you are poor, who cares.

    The only folks I hear carping about Canadian health care are U.S. citizens, so mightily afraid of anything that smacks of social medicine.

    So please Canadians, give us the real take on your system.
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    LOL, there's a softball! Hmmm, can we guess what you think about it?
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    bare, it's not a perfect system and it varies from province to province but it's not too bad and I'm not so sure I'd want to give it up, but then I don't know any different. I find the problems I see are more related to living in a rural area than anything else and I'm not so sure you wouldn't find the same thing in remote areas in the US. We do see some delays on elective or non essential surgeries but in my thinking, no life is at stake so that's not a big issue. We see some delays in certain testing proceedures like MRI's but I think that can be associated with and greater shortage of the equipment in Saskatchewan and their people travelling to Alberta for testing. My father has a heart condition and has no problems seeing specialist when he needs to and anyone I know who's received cancer treatment has found it to be very quick. My son had an ugly break in his hand that was poorly treated but I don't fault the system, more the communication between doctors. My biggest complaint with the system involves users, I figure if you have a cold or minor flu, stay at home and look after yourself, too many people consider health care free and their right and they waste a lot of money on silly appointments. I guess if a guy had to pay before treatment, they might not waste so much of a doctor's time.
     
  4. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    I am a Canadian living in the States! While the Canadian system has a few minor problems I would welcome it here any day. We are small business owners here and worry all the time about something big happening to one of us. We could lose everything in a blink of an eye.

    In Canada I was never has a problem being seen by a doctor. My father died two years ago with Cancer. He went to the doctor too late( a family tendancy) but when he did he got the best of care through several hospital visits and complete support with all his needs when they took him home. He was able to have all the care he needed while spending his last days at home. There was no big bill when it was all over just a small charge for each day in the hospital.

    Monthly premiums for a single person in B.C. are $54.00 and for a family of 3 or more only $108.00 per month. Here it is 150.00 per person and then you pay per visit charges and loads of hospital charges as well.

    Jill
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    The United States has socialized medicine for everyone and everything but the patient.

    Our taxes fund the schools, the colleges, the students, the hospitals, the research, the insurance companies, the companies producing the hardware and medicine, but not the patient.

    We seem to have a great love of helping those in business but a hatred of helping our fellow American who can't afford the rising cost of health care.
     
  6. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    I have had several "brushes" with the Cdn health care system, both for myself, my children, and other family members. I have found, as wr says, it's a provincial issue. Every province is different, some are good and some are bad, but overall, it's free (with regard to out of pocket expense) and quality.

    My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer several years ago. She was given the best of care at all times... all her needs were met and covered by the health care system. She even had an "allowance" for home-care --- nurses came in to change her dressings and see to her personal care daily, then weekly as she improved. She was given teh services of a housekeeper once a week to come in and do the heavy cleaning, etc. All covered. When the time finally came, and we knew she was going into hospital to NOT come out again, we were treated with respect and empathy by the staff. My mother was given a private room to die in, with her family around her. The nurses held us and cried with us when she passed. My father's meals, delivered with the other patients as he sat at her bedside, were free.

    My brother was diagnosed at the same time with colo-rectal cancer. He was seen by the best, quickly, and I can guarantee you that had he been living anywhere else, he would ahve been dead by now. The cancer had metasticized to his liver, and it was only because of a determined oncologist and my brother's age (36 at the time) that saved him. No expense was spared, no cost to him or his family, and he is now four years cancer free. As we are all high-risk, each of his siblings, myself included, have had scopes to see if we, too, have developed any cancerous polyps, all for free.

    My elder son was born prematurely, when I had a placental abruption. I hemorraged, and would have died. As it was, I had the best of care, and never paid out a dime. My son is now a healthy 11yo.

    When my younger son was born, he had multiple challenges, and was on life support at first. I couldn't even hold him. While we considered removing the life support, the medical staff in NICU encouraged us to wait, not make too hasty a decision. I like to think that the cost of ongoing speculative care wouldn't have influenced us, but I've not ever been in that position, so I can't say for sure. What I can say is that that was nine years ago... and that same child is out snowboarding today.

    A few years ago, I started suffering some odd symptoms. My family doctor suggested my seeing a specialist. Several specialists, actually. The thinking was that I may have MS... after lots of testing (that I would never have been able to afford had I had to pay for it myself), MRI's and visits to at least six different specialists... it has been found to NOT be MS, but a rather rare form of arthritis. I'm taking medications now to slow it's progress... which I wouldn't have known to do had I not gone through the testing. Which was free, and which I certainly would not have been able to afford to pay for.

    Medications are not free. We pay for them through the nose if we aren't lucky enough to have a prescription plan through work... luckily my DH has a job where 100% coverage for prescriptions is offered. But we choose where to buy them -- we don't have to buy them through a specific company or drugstore.

    Yes, there are sometimes waits for non-lifethreatening treatment. When we lived in Saskatchewan, getting an MRI was a terrible wait, because there was only one MRI machine IN THE ENTIRE PROVINCE... but the province only has a population of 1M, too. I couldn't even get on the list for a mammogram because, despite the fact that two aunts, my mother and maternal grandmother had ALL had breast cancer, I was considered "too young" -- I was 33. I moved to Alberta and no problem -- I was in in a week. Now that we live in Alberta, near Calgary, most things are booked within a month, easily -- generally within days.

    The Canadian health care system has it's problems... mainly being too expensive because it's very top-heavy with administration... and we need doctors and nurses desperately.... but the fact is, for what we pay for it OUT OF POCKET, it's an amazing system. And anyone can see a doctor, any time, regardless of income level. As was said in a previous post, though, this encourages people to simply go to the doctor for EVERYTHING... and that I don't agree with. There are times it's just common sense to stay home and take care of yourself.

    Tracy
     
  7. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    From what I know of the U.S. health care system (definately no expert), it would appear that the U.S. system caters to the wealthy. Our Canadian system is definately not perfect... we have shortages of doctors in many rural locations, some wait times for certain services, etc... but overall, the quality of the care is excellent and it is affordable for everyone.

    I've read, even here on these message boards about the result of huge medical bills resulting from emergencies, high costs of prescription medication, high costs of routine health care (dentist, optometrist, etc)... and it makes me wonder how the lower-mid income earners in the U.S. even manage.

    cheers,
     
  8. Gerry Mazerolle

    Gerry Mazerolle Member

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    hello bare,

    I live in New Brunswick and think the world of our health care system here in Canada. I have a daughter who got cancer at the age of 12 and now 20 years later she is very healthy. It took a lot of health care resources and all of it free and professionally delivered.

    A few years later my wife was involved in a head on collision sustaining very serious life threatening injuries and was hospitalized for weeks and received the best of treatment. She is also well today, so I am quite satisfied, and proud as well, that we can offer free health care to our citizen. Our Medicare system is one of Canada's proudest achievements. It was not always like this. When I was growing up we were poor homesteaders like most of the rest and had no free health care then. The doctors had to be paid usually with firewood, jam, jellies, fish, etc because we had no money. It would take a lot of preserves today in order to pay for a quadruple bypass.

    Gerry
     
  9. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Well if I or my family had to pay for the timeswe were needing medical treatment in our lifetime, so far, well, we would certainly be way in debt, or dead. I have a neice who was diagnosed with Cancer at age 7, a brother who almost lost his leg in a forklift accident and a sister who is in and out of hospital with depression. Now on thursday my bro in law is getting his neck fused, which certainly would cost thousands in the US. He's on sick leave from work for this condition and no way could afford to pay for it.None of us could get the treatment we needed if we had to pay for it, just way out of reach. I can't imagine what you Americans have to go through when you or your loved ones are sick. One shouldn't have to worry about money at a time like that!
    It's free in Ontario if you are below a ceratin income level, then there is a percent of your income if over that level, which still is very affordable. I do agree that the system has its bugs, but nothing in this world is perfect and I wouldn't give it up for anything.
     
  10. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    When I've discussed the issue of financing health care with doctors, they often point to the fact that some huge proportion (don't recall the number) of health care dollars is spent on "end of life" care. Another large cost segment relates to expensive cutting-edge technologies.

    Going on that premise, it would seem that whatever the form of system, tough choices wouldl have to be made in terms of what we're going to pay for. Just wondering whether Canada has dealt with this problem in an up-front way.
     
  11. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't feel that an excess amount of money is spent on end of life care at all. It's not uncommon to see people go home with the aid of a couple palliative care nurses and we rely on palliative care facilities which focus more on quality of death than anything else. I would think that in the US, somebody is paying for end of life care as well so in my mind, it's all part of general health care, regardless of what system is used but I don't think we put any more into terminally ill patients than any other country, nor do we offer them less care or less dignity. The cutting edge technologies save a lot of lives and money. I find both of these things to be vital to any system of health care and I disagree with that being the major costs. I still stand behind my original statement that the greatest waste of money falls squarely on the shoulders of those that feel health care is free. Those would be the ones that bring their flu and cold bugs to an office to share with others, instead of treating it at home and those that just hop into the emergency cause they don't have a family doctor or didn't take the time off work to take the kid to the doctor during office hours. Another great drain to our system is seldom spoken aloud, we have a huge surplus of health care cards and it is believed that they have been sold to Americans and non qualifying family members of immigrants.
     
  12. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What is the difference between Socialized Health care and Medical Savings Accounts with a catastrophic rider for major items.

    IF both work to cover the normal health care issues, then the difference is that with the Socialized medicine the GOVERNMENT controls the funding - with a medical savings accont YOU control the funds, and if I remember right after so many years YOU can draw out the funds for use elsewhere. With the GOVERNMENT controlling the funds guess what - another Social Security debacle. And guess what - just like social security the funds disappear when you die.

    As for me - give ME control of the funds.
     
  13. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

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    I am interested in the "monthly premium" and general taxes in Canada. I think the people in the US wanting socialized medicine are selling it as free. What I have gathered from this discusion is that Canadian health care is a government health insurance plan with no/low deductables.
     
  14. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Written by Canadians:

    http://www.canada.com/national/nati...as/fraserreportonhealthcare/howgood-xsumm.pdf

    Written by British:

    http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/Canada.pdf

     
  15. vahillbilly

    vahillbilly New Member

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    As an emergency room nurse I can tell you for a fact that our system does NOT cater to the rich, if anything it is the oppisite. If you are on medicaid (govt health care for the poor) you don't pay a dime for a single test, procedure etc. The reason health care is so out of control in this country is because so many people like to call 1-800-555-U sue. I know we run thousands of dollars worth of tests on a health 29 year old who complains of chest pain because the doctors are so afraid they will miss something and get sued. Also last week we had a young female( healthy, able to work but does not) come in five different times to get a pregnancy test done. She was on medicaid so there were no questions asked. THose five visits cost the tax payers of this country over three thousand dollars. There is a store right here in town that sells pregnancy tests for $1, yep I said one dollar...
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    How long does an American without insurance have to wait for MRIs? Forever?? Is a system that wastes thousands of dollars good? Yes Canada has had some waiting time problems if all you look at is statistics (designed to get more health care dollars and generally 90% BS) Ask anyone who has had surgury in the last 5 years and you don't hear many complaints. Now that the waiting time "issue" is resolved with new funding, wouldn't you know it...... a new "serious problem" has come to light, Doctors saleries! Its a game plain and simple, yell fire if you want water. Private health care is great if you can afford it, perhaps a two teir system would work best for teh USA surely dragging health care out of the welfare system only makes sense! The "premiums" here are a joke, I don't think twice about taking my kids to the Dr. if they need it I don't mind my taxes letting someone else take theirs. You may as well privatize fire and police services and put tolls on ever road. Socialization is Ok here and there but bad in health care?? I've heard the, I don't trust Govt. but that implied faith in Corporate American, for profit, insurance companies is truely amazing! I trust my insurance company to do its absolute minimum obligation, if I fight for it, and thats all. I understand we pay more taxes than Americans but don't buy that either, my property taxes in the nations capitol are a tenth what I've read people posting here now and then. You don't keep all those aircraft carriers and tanks running on cheap taxes. I've said it before, your military would be scarey at half its size, you don't need a hundreth of the nukes you maintain, and your govt. needs to let Japan and other allies pull thier weight and insist those that aren't (like my country) DO!
     
  17. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    From two previous posts about the same question,

    First,
    Second,
    Go for the Canadian if you can.

    Alex
     
  18. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this statement, but am very interested in seeing if Bush/Cheney take action to fix it. I heard it talked about a lot during the campaign, but haven't heard anything since. I know what you mean about Medicaid being abused. A friend has a group home for girls and they constantly go to the doctor over the stupidest reasons. I eat right/exercise/ and play it smart and havent been to a hospital in atleast 5 years. I have good insurance.

    The Canadians have a good system. What I wonder about is the cost spent/vs the income brought in to pay for it? I know Canada has a large land area/small population so that helps. Your also blessed with oil/nat gas/hydro and Diamonds! Not to mention the best fishing i've ever done (Ontario)...
     
  19. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Well Frank the "income" is taxes and our "liberal" govt. is running its 5th straight bugetary surplus while paying off the National debt. I vote conservative but admit PM Martin has a decent track record, even if his predicesor aught to be on trial for grand theft!
     
  20. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    wrong word! "income" ...meant taxes!...

    Whats a surplus? we don't have those here!

    add something...
    I ask this because this summer I came across an article in "Economist" magazine about European health care system. I'm not sure of how it compares, but they were saying that its in trouble due to the large portion of the population being so old and the low birth rate, along with other problems. I would really have to read up on this better and I'll shut up now.