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View Diary: Yes, Socialized Canadian Health Care Has Waiting Lists (26 comments)

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  •  Lived in both systems (3+ / 0-)

    My experience with both health care systems (Canada and the US ) has been instructive.

    Almost never a prolonged wait (> week) to see a family doctor, and Urgent Care clinics available same day in both systems.

    I've experienced waits in both systems to see specialists.

    In Canada, prolonged waits for elective surgery and diagnostic imaging for non-life threatening conditions (back pain, knee ligaments). In the US, same day service for an MRI or CT scan, laparoscopic or other day surgery, colonoscopy, scheduled within the week.

    A family member in Canada had cancer, in to see an oncologist the same week as their family doctor suspected something was wrong, MRI PET scan the following week, superb care, great follow up care, total cost for two years of almost daily treatment - in the 100's of dollars for copays.

    In the US, working in that sector, I've seen families with insurance rack up $100,000+ debts and sell their homes for the same level of care because of lifetime limits (pre - Obamacare) and have seen patients make the decision to forego or discontinue care, knowing that treatment had a >60% chance of achieving remission, because of the financial ruin it would cause their families.

    There are very few people in this country who can put aside the kind of money it would take to cover the costs of dealing with a serious illness (maybe the top 5%), which is why I cannot understand why working class people oppose universal health care.

    The Canadian system is far from perfect (several family members who work in the system will attest to that loud and long) but it does provide a basic level of health care to all citizens/residents at a cost substantially less than what it costs the US to provide care to 2/3 of the population.

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