Is Health Care Better In Canada?

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Is Health Care Better In Canada?

Post  Deep Throat Daisy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:02 pm

Pretty interesting find over at FactCheck.org:

Q: Is health care better in Canada than in the U.S., or is it true when they say universal coverage leads to long waits and a lower quality of care?

A: It is true that wait times for physician appointments and non-emergency surgery tend to be longer in Canada, which has a government-funded, universal health care system, than in the United States. A study by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan research foundation that promotes improved health care access and quality, showed that 57 percent of adults in Canada who needed a specialist said they waited more than four weeks for an appointment, versus only 23 percent who said so in the U.S. For emergency physician visits, 23 percent of Canadians and 30 percent of Americans said they could get in to see the doctor the same day, but 23 percent of Americans and 36 percent of Canadians waited more than six days. Wait times for elective and non-emergency surgery were even more disparate: Thirty-three percent of Canadians reported a wait time of more than four months, but only 8 percent of Americans had to wait that long. In another study, 27 percent of Canadians said that waiting times were their biggest complaint about their health system, versus only 3 percent of Americans. In October 2007, the Fraser Institute, a Canada-based libertarian think tank, reported that Canadians waited an average of 18.3 weeks between seeing a general practitioner and getting surgery or treatment.

However, on most measures of patient-reported physician quality, Canada comes out slightly ahead of the U.S. The Commonwealth Fund report shows somewhat fewer reported physician errors, lab errors, medication errors and duplicate tests north of the border, and Canadians report more satisfaction with their doctors. General health is also better up north, according to the World Health Organization: Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy are both higher in Canada; infant mortality is lower, and maternal mortality is significantly lower. There are fewer deaths from non-communicable diseases, cardiovascular diseases and injuries in Canada, though marginally more deaths from cancer. It's not clear how much of the divergence is attributable to medical care, rather than other standard-of-living differences between the two countries. (For instance, according to the United Nations' Human Development Index, Canada has a much higher school enrollment rate than the U.S., though it also has a lower GDP per capita.) But these statistics simply don't support the notion that universal, single-payer health care is crippling the health of Canadian citizens compared with that of U.S. citizens.

Both countries, however, score low on health measures compared with other industrialized nations. In the Commonwealth Fundís overall ranking of health system performance, Canada came in fifth and the U.S. came in sixth, out of six countries. On the other hand, the WHO's 2000 World Health Report gave Canada a slightly better review, ranking it 30th for overall health system performance Ė above three of the other countries from the Commonwealth study (Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.) but below the other two (the U.K. and Germany). All of these countries, except the U.S., have publicly funded health care, as does every major country in the WHO's top ten.

Here is the link:
Is Health Care Better In Canada?

Factcheck.org is an unbiased website based on finding the facts in what politicians do and say. Much like Snopes, except all politics. A great site for everything politics-related.
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Re: Is Health Care Better In Canada?

Post  Sugarcane on Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:24 am

The only fact they don't give you here is medical bill debt. Oh thats because Canadians don't pay for health care so they don't have to spend decades to pay off a minor surgery because they didn't have health insurance. I'm all for universal health care but I'm not so sure it will work good in this country yet. Insurance companies are big here and the on set of a universal health care system would ruin them and their shareholders.
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Re: Is Health Care Better In Canada?

Post  Deep Throat Daisy on Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:58 pm

Sugarcane wrote:The only fact they don't give you here is medical bill debt. Oh thats because Canadians don't pay for health care so they don't have to spend decades to pay off a minor surgery because they didn't have health insurance. I'm all for universal health care but I'm not so sure it will work good in this country yet. Insurance companies are big here and the on set of a universal health care system would ruin them and their shareholders.

I agree completely. Universal Healthcare would be great for our country, but our country wouldn't make it great.

Let's go to France.
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