The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 92
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2006
    Location
    on and off the bit
    Posts
    3,906

    Default Canadian Heath Care (Updated)

    A couple of years ago, in the Thanksgiving Day Off Topic forum, one of the very first threads was started by a US resident asking Canadians to please tell the rest of us the facts about the Canadian health care system (and also asking about the health care systems of other countries that actually do have health care systems).

    The responses, as I recall, were overwhelmingly positive opinions.

    Could we please have an updated thread this year? I keep hearing other people here in the US criticizing the health care systems of other countries, but they have no experience of those systems. Since I don't either, I would really love to know what you Canadian COTHers (and UK COTHers, and Irish COTHers, et al.), think of your countries' health care systems compared with the situation in the US.
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2005
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    What would you like to know, exactly? What types of situations?

    Forgive me if I mention things that are similar to the way things work in the US. I'm just going to give you a blanket idea of my personal situation.

    I am currently under my SOs health plan, which is applicable for prescriptions, dental, eye care, and things like chiropractor and massage. Your coverage will vary depending on the company you work for and the company they use for medical coverage. With my SO, and also with both of my parents when I was under their plans, their medical plan covered most-to-all of the expenses. For example, under my current plan, I pay $2 for any prescription; I used to pay zero dollars under my father's plan.

    If you are self-employed, unemployed, or employed without benefits and not covered under someone else's plan (husband, wife, etc), I understand that purchasing medical plans can be fairly costly. Someone else may be able to elaborate on that.

    My family doctor is free. Referrals to specialist are free. Appointments with specialists are free, to an extent (some non-crucial doctors may need to go through your medical plan). Walk-ins are free.

    I understand that your wait time at Emergency is often very short; it is often not the case here. However, when I walk in with a broken leg, I get treated and walk out without a bill.

    So yes, I am very happy with my health care here in Canada. In fact, I work at a liquor store and often get disgruntled comments about the price of alcohol from visiting Americans... I usually smile and say something about free health care.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Posts
    3,940

    Default

    I'm not Canadian, but in typing medical records for a set of hospitals not far south of the border, I run into folks weekly crossing over from Canada to get care here, choosing not to use their health care there and to pay over here instead. Any comments I have typed about that are all along the lines of wait times and hassles for approvals.

    I also had a long conversation a few years ago with a Canadian. She directly blamed national health care for the death of a relative. He had a known severe problem with potentially fatal complications - large vascular aneurysm. This was acknowledged by the initial doctor to be a "ticking time bomb." It was large enough that in nearly 20 years as a transcriptionist, I have never typed anybody in an ER or an office visit discovered to have that size who wasn't referred for immediate (as in head you to the hospital now, surgery is consulting today) repair, unless it was their choice to walk out. But her relative was put in "line." He was progressing his required, many, many-week course through scheduling and getting to a surgeon. His time ran out, it ruptured, and he died. Look up comparative surgery wait times or MRI/diagnostic procedure times in the US vs Canada; she had an article she sent me. I didn't keep it, but it wasn't even close. Her personal experience, not just with her relative, was not positive - long waits, lots of hassle.

    Again, straight from a Canadian resident.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,107

    Default

    I know some that lived there for some years and their stories were not very good, especially the grumblings of the doctors working under that system.

    Maybe all that is just talk, but I somehow doubt that health care system is just peachy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,830

    Default

    Bluey, if you heard my family's sad tale of poor health care in the good ole USA and tried to extrapolate it to cover the entire US, you would be sadly mistaken. A handful of horror stories does not a pattern make.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Bluey, if you heard my family's sad tale of poor health care in the good ole USA and tried to extrapolate it to cover the entire US, you would be sadly mistaken. A handful of horror stories does not a pattern make.
    Yes, that is why the last sentence.

    I still don't think they have a perfect system.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    Our system is not perfect, and you may have to wait for non-emergency surgery, but you can go to the ER, your family doctor, or a walk-in clinic, and not have to worry about paying a bill for it.

    My family has recently had problems with the bad attitudes of a few nurses and doctors in our local hospital, but I don't think anyone would trade it for the US system.

    Last year, a friend was diagnosed w/ breast cancer, was in surgery the next day, and then went through chemo... doing well now. No bill to pay.

    I think it's horrible that anyone would go bankrupt or lose their home because their medical bills were too much. I have also heard stories of people refusing cancer treatment (in the US) because they don't want to leave their family to pay the bill, and dying because of it.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    4,719

    Default

    I am 30, single, work in a small business (lawyer in a 4-lawyer firm with 8 other employees, some of whom are part-time). The firm does not offer benefits.

    I have had lower-back problems on-and-off for 10 years. The doctors never diagnosed anything (I was allowed one x-ray but they didn't want to expose my ovaries to more radiation).

    I pay for massage/chiro/special shoes/back rest/whatever I want for my back out of pocket.

    I have had prescription meds 3 or 4 times in the past 10 years (twice for my back, once for a muscle spasm in my arm, once for a sinus infection). They were usually around $50 and I paid for them out of pocket.

    I have not had an eye exam or dentist visit for about 3 years - I would need to pay for those myself (and I am lazy). I think a regular cleaning/dentist check up is under $150.

    I am trying to get some partial coverage supplemental insurance for unexpected things (like if I got in a car accident or fell off my horse - I would not be getting a paycheck, and medications, extended hospital stay, crutches, orthotics, massage, etc. etc. are not covered). It is costly - I will probably not get dental and just pay for anything I need out of pocket.

    I also pay $64/month to BC Medical Services Plan. [edited] It appears if you don't pay, your account goes to a collection agency.

    Someone I know in BC tore a ligament in her knee (not sure how - it wasn't painful at first, just some filling of the joint). She paid to see a specialist and get an MRI (appointment within 10 days) - $800. She was told to rest, but make another appointment if it got worse. It did, so she scheduled surgery (appointment within a month) - cost is approx. $5,500. She has to see her regular doctor to get a referral for the surgery (no cost).

    That is the sort of thing I worry about. If I tore my knee, I couldn't afford the speedy surgery - so I could wait 6-12+ (?) months for an MRI, then however long to have surgery scheduled. I'm sure during that time, it would get worse unless I completely changed my lifestyle.
    Last edited by Blugal; Jul. 2, 2012 at 06:39 PM. Reason: What happens if you don't pay MSP
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
    Posts
    343

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Yes, that is why the last sentence.

    I still don't think they have a perfect system.
    Nope, nothing is perfect. However, I wouldn't want to walk in your shoes and in your health care system,

    One of the many reasons I'm glad I'm Canadian. We try to take care of our people.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    Our system is not perfect, and you may have to wait for non-emergency surgery, but you can go to the ER, your family doctor, or a walk-in clinic, and not have to worry about paying a bill for it.

    My family has recently had problems with the bad attitudes of a few nurses and doctors in our local hospital, but I don't think anyone would trade it for the US system.

    Last year, a friend was diagnosed w/ breast cancer, was in surgery the next day, and then went through chemo... doing well now. No bill to pay.

    I think it's horrible that anyone would go bankrupt or lose their home because their medical bills were too much. I have also heard stories of people refusing cancer treatment (in the US) because they don't want to leave their family to pay the bill, and dying because of it.
    Being a good doctor means being an independent thinker.
    That doesn't go so well with being a glorified government office worker, that is what I was told many doctors in nationalized health care systems are feeling.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2000
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    10,417

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Bluey, if you heard my family's sad tale of poor health care in the good ole USA and tried to extrapolate it to cover the entire US, you would be sadly mistaken. A handful of horror stories does not a pattern make.

    "A handful of horror stories does not a pattern make'.

    Exactly this. Someone said you cannot please all of the people all of the time.
    And while our system is not "perfect" (no one said it was/is) - I thank God and Tommy Douglas (not necessarily in that order) for our health care system.

    Both of my husband's parents are elderly and have had many health care issues, many trips to ER, many operations and procedures.
    Without going into details all I can say is how very grateful I am, and how glad I am to live here.
    Some people have complaints,but MOST Canadians feel the way I do.
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
    CSHA Brickenden Stallion Award Winner - for Performance offspring.
    Please visit A Fine Romance on FB!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    4,719

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Being a good doctor means being an independent thinker.
    That doesn't go so well with being a glorified government office worker, that is what I was told many doctors in nationalized health care systems are feeling.
    From the other thread, it appears that what is rewarded in the American system is good business sense. The doctors know what they are getting paid per visit/code/insurance plan, and so they are acting more like profit-driven contractors - it sounds like they strategize to maximize this amount.

    I don't think our system is perfect, either. But I would take it 100% of the time over the American system.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    "A handful of horror stories does not a pattern make'.

    Exactly this. Someone said you cannot please all of the people all of the time.
    And while our system is not "perfect" (no one said it was/is) - I thank God and Tommy Douglas (not necessarily in that order) for our health care system.

    Both of my husband's parents are elderly and have had many health care issues, many trips to ER, many operations and procedures.
    Without going into details all I can say is how very grateful I am, and how glad I am to live here.
    Some people have complaints,but MOST Canadians feel the way I do.
    For your information, the USA has Medicare ...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    From the other thread, it appears that what is rewarded in the American system is good business sense. The doctors know what they are getting paid per visit/code/insurance plan, and so they are acting more like profit-driven contractors - it sounds like they strategize to maximize this amount.

    I don't think our system is perfect, either. But I would take it 100% of the time over the American system.
    Then explain all those canadians that come here for medical services?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2005
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    I also pay $64/month to BC Medical Services Plan. [edited] It appears if you don't pay, your account goes to a collection agency.
    Is this something you opted into, or is it a requirement for British Columbia residents? Either way, I would like to note that this is not true for all of Canada; I live on the east coast and I've never heard of such a thing. I certainly don't pay any money, monthly or yearly, to a provincial medical services plan.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
    Location
    All 'round Canadia
    Posts
    4,565

    Default

    Basically in Canada doctor's visits and everything in-hospital (procedures, drugs, physio, etc) is "free" (meaning it's paid for by taxes, but not by some personal or employer-provided health plan that you can buy yourself).

    Outpatient meds (prescriptions) and allied health care like physio, chiro etc generally are not. Alberta had x amounts of free physio visits per year when I lived there, but I think they cut that out of their provincial benefits.

    We have less specialists, less imaging and less OR time per capita that the US, so wait times can be long depending on where you are. Hell, my friend's baby had to see a specialist and she lives in our capital, which also has a medical school in it, and there is still only one of those type of specialists in the whole city. So if you're out in the boonies, yeah, you might be waiting quite a while.

    Canada's physicians are also more conservative with ordering tests and imaging than docs in the US. The disparity is probably part educational differences in the medical systems here and in the US, part Canadian doc's understanding of our system's limited resources vs the US doc's tendency to practice defensive medicine because of the lawsuit-happiness of the US. Under-imaging is an issue that can definitely negatively impact health, but so is over-imaging if you read some studies in medical journals.

    Due to OR time limits our waits for "elective" procedures like joint replacements were getting far too long, and due to a lawsuit started in Quebec the government has allowed some private clinics into the system. Not sure if all provinces have them; BC and Ontario do for sure. They're allowed to provide just the procedures that have long waiting lists, so it's not a total free for all.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
    Location
    All 'round Canadia
    Posts
    4,565

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Then explain all those canadians that come here for medical services?
    Easy - jumping the queue, since you can't do that in Canada even if you have money to wave around. Well, you couldn't, our system is allowing some private clinics now for certain operations.

    That, or subcontracted by the Canadian system - Ontario used to subcontract most of its bariatric surgeries to the US, but it was still covered for the patient by our government.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2005
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    Bluey, perhaps you should allow the Canadians living with the health care system to comment on its effectiveness and let everyone know our satisfaction levels?

    Any outside can harp on something as they observe it, but if you do not have any direct experience your words are little more than hearsay. Anyone can Google "Issues with Canadian Health Care" AND "Issues with American Health Care" and I will guarantee you that you will get hundreds or thousands of hits on each. I wouldn't personally want to be subjected to American health care, but I'm also not going to go around saying how terrible it is because I've never really lived with it.

    I also think that you will find that most/all Canadians going into the US for treatment have the luxury of bank accounts to comfortably handle it. Great for those who can afford it, but not an option for many. That, to me, is one of the greatest things about our system: rich or poor, you will get treatment, and you will not have to risk going into bankruptcy to pay for it.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2000
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    10,417

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Then explain all those canadians that come here for medical services?
    Simple. Human nature. If you have an emergency or life threatening illness there is no wait time here.
    If you have elective or non-essential surgery, you may have to wait a bit.
    Some people don't want to wait.

    On the other hand, perhaps YOU could explain why so many Americans sneak into Canada for health care???

    Bottom line: for some unknown, bewildering reason there are some of you Americans who just don't believe us when we say we have an excellent health care system, that we are glad to have what we have.
    Are you so very afraid that other people/other countries might actually have something *better* than you do?
    Read My Lips. This has NOTHING to do with *politics* here. Universal health care is an essential service, and a universal right - just as it is in most other civilized countries.

    You don't believe me/us?
    No skin off my nose. and if there was? I could just walk into my doctor's office or the hospital - and it would be looked after....

    I'm stunned by the stupidity, and frankly don't care anymore what you all do.
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
    CSHA Brickenden Stallion Award Winner - for Performance offspring.
    Please visit A Fine Romance on FB!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Simple. Human nature. If you have an emergency or life threatening illness there is no wait time here.
    If you have elective or non-essential surgery, you may have to wait a bit.
    Some people don't want to wait.

    On the other hand, perhaps YOU could explain why so many Americans sneak into Canada for health care???

    Bottom line: for some unknown, bewildering reason there are some of you Americans who just don't believe us when we say we have an excellent health care system, that we are glad to have what we have.
    Are you so very afraid that other people/other countries might actually have something *better* than you do?
    Read My Lips. This has NOTHING to do with *politics* here. Universal health care is an essential service, and a universal right - just as it is in most other civilized countries.

    You don't believe me/us?
    No skin off my nose. and if there was? I could just walk into my doctor's office or the hospital - and it would be looked after....

    I'm stunned by the stupidity, and frankly don't care anymore what you all do.
    You may not believe me, but in the USA, you also can walk into first care clinics or the ER and will be treated right away, depending on how seriously compromised you are, immediately, with all you may need, if you have insurance or not.

    Ok, seems that is just a feel good thread for the wonders of canadian health care and, as asked, I will bow out.
    The title didn't seem to indicated participating was restricted, but thanks for the head's up.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: Mar. 18, 2012, 06:11 PM
  2. Heath Ryan Clinic 1/28/10 in MD
    By vcarson in forum Events
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jan. 19, 2010, 01:04 PM
  3. FOR OUR CANADIAN FRIENDS - HEALTH CARE?
    By Mamare in forum Off Course
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: Aug. 8, 2009, 09:09 PM
  4. Canadian riders, why won't you support Canadian breeders?
    By Forte in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 76
    Last Post: Jul. 9, 2009, 06:48 PM
  5. heath curry
    By andylover in forum Dressage
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: Dec. 21, 2008, 02:23 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •