Do you mean like it is in the US for a person with insurance, or no insurance? The entire debate will obviously hinge around that.
I'm very glad our system is not like the U.S'. I'm happy with our system. Sure there are hang ups and glitches, but there will be in any country. Especially a country where it's population is so wide spread geographically.
I have everything I need. A good family doctor, walk in clinics, ER access, specialist access, paramedics, on call nurses, labs, sexual health clinics etc. I know it's not as accessible for every Canadian, especially those in more Northern or remote areas, but personally, I have no complaints.
We pay out of our taxes for our health care. However some things do require insurance coverage such as a drug plan. Otherwise that's out of pocket.
Ah, I see this is a spin off.
I think the real debate is why anyone would live in BC! Just kidding of course. I do agree we need more choice as far as GP's go. But where I am, just a half hour east of Toronto, there are plenty of new family doctors taking in patients. And I can think of 3 walk in clinics within a 10 minute drive of me. And I have never had to wait longer than a half hour.
Yes, for ER stays sometimes the wait is longer. My husband is a paramedic and even when you call 911 that doesn't guarantee you an easier time in the ER. (ETA: He works in the busiest base in Canada, statistically.) That is one area that needs much more help. As far as specialists, I've needed quite a few in the last few years and have always been able to get in quickly and with excellent doctors.
I think the peace of mind knowing there is access makes it worth it to me. If we lived in the states in our current situation, we'd be sorely in debt due to medical expenses. My husband wouldn't make near as much money at what he does and I'm not sure what kind of insurance we would be able to afford. I'd need to work. Not sure we'd even have kids at this point.
Last edited by JorgieGirl; 10-28-2011 at 01:58 PM.
Overall, I prefer "small govt" practices, but health care is one area where I'm a socialist apparently
I believe there is room for improvement within our system and I also think we are actively working to improve those areas (increase numbers of med students, decrease surgical wait times, etc). However, I know there is A LOT we are doing right. There is a lot of waste within the American system (seeing multiple specialists, unnecessary tests/ultrasounds) that do come with a cost to all of those paying insurance.
You hear about really long wait lists and stuff, but when you need it, you absolutely get the treatment you need.
Yes to what everyone else has said so far
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
I've lived in both the US and Canada and in my life before kids I was a health care actuary (still am I guess, just not working now)
Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses. Overall I think Canadians are better off. There is so much administrative waste in the US, Canada does not have as high admin fees because everything is centralized. Healthcare is available to all in Canada, regardless of income. Yes, not everything is covered, but the most important things are. Prescriptions drugs are not covered, but many people have plans through work that cover these types of things. Prescription drugs are much much cheaper in Canada then the US even if you pay out of pocket.
In the US, the costs for care are astronomical. I remember I had a high deductible plan that was heavily subsidized by my company and I still paid like $100/pay and I only received care after spending $1500 out of pocket. I had a coworker of mine spend a week in a US hospital and his bill was 50K (he paid 4K) Who can afford that? Only the very rich, and that isn't fair IMO. Health care should be determined by health need, not ability to pay.
The thing in Canada that is a negative, is there are waiting lists, but as far as I can tell, urgent matters are dealt with quickly. There are plenty of doctors where I live.
Kristin - Mom to 3 little boys and one baby girl
Can you give the run down of the tax burden specifically for medical care? Do they have it broken up when you pay your taxes what %age goes to it? Does it vary by income bracket? What would the cost be if you earned 50K? 100K 1Mill? Is there a way to buy additional care/pay for proceedures out of pocket or are the proceedures not as available regardless of if you could pay or not?
DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03
I moved to the US a month before I had DD2. We were very uncertain how the whole healthcasre system worked and what we would actually pay. I have to say that being on hospital bedrest for a week in a private room and having the baby in the NICU for 23 days (total bill $240 000) my out of pocket was $1000. I thought that was pretty good for just joining a medical plan (through my husband's work). When I had DD1 in Canada, my cost for 2 days in a semi private room was $200.
I had a physical for DD1 right before we left but I had to have another one here for preschool purposes and found them to be very different. The one here was much more complete. My pregnancy check ups were also much longer. In Canada, they lasted about 5 minutes. Here, it was an OB/MW combo practice and not counting the introductory appointment, they averaged about 30 minutes
My experience here has been great but I don't know what it is like for someone without insurance or how different plans work.
The Canadian system has treated my family well in emergencies. In other cases not so much. My Dad took a year to get an MRI to diagnose his MS. My MIL waited 6 months between a diagnosis of cervical cancer and the surgery to remove it.
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)