Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Public Healthcare in Canada

Canadians are having to wait in long waiting lines to get surgery for a particluar problem like hip or knee. Rather than cater to patients' needs, the system (doctors, pharmaceutical, hospitals) offers patients drug treatment or therapy to alleviate their pains while they wait in line. The result: patients that are waiting for mere surgery are getting addicted to the drugs they are on that their doctor has prescribed to them. They become a patient that is waiting in a long line for knee surgery and has an addiction to a pharmaceutical drug that they now will need treatment for. Isn't this a breach in the trust between the medical professional and the taxpaying patient? In many cases, Canadians needing medical help are resorting to leaving the country for immediate help and paying double the cost. But are Canadians realizing that on top of their foreign medical costs they are paying much more into the healthcare system and not getting any benefit? Some of these Canadians going oversees have even tried to get some compensation from the government for their travel and medical costs oversees, however, they've been denied any kind of compensation. Furthermore, new companies are now emerging to help Canadian patients purchase a package for oversees treatment which is especially helpful for elderly patients that can easily be scammed. So in turn the Canadian government has fostered a healthcare system that forces people to go oversees for medial help at their own risk and expense and get help from ppl that could be scamming them. If you ask a doctor how he/she feels about the long waiting lines the most likely answer will be that they support the public healthcare system because it offers care to all Canadians, rich and poor and if there were private clinics that offered care to patients waiting in line then many of the doctors in the public system would leave to enter the private system and then there would be a lack of doctors in the public system.

What if Canadians would rather pay more for immediate treatment in the private sector, then the lineups wouldn't be so large and care would be given to everyone in a reasonable amount of time right? But then some may say that the depletion of doctors in the public sector may cause problems for ppl in the lower income brackets that cannot afford private healthcare. However, i think that there would still be enough doctors in the public sector to cater to the needs of patients and those that can afford immediate private sector care have an alternative so they are not trapped!! This way all groups of income earners have some advantage. Isn't this fair?? Couldn't the government open up more seats in medical schools for the purpose of training medical students to enter the public sector? Why isnt' the Canadian government allowing more people the opportunity to become a medical doctor in Canada?

It is much easier to become a medical doctor in the US. Why? There is both a private and public sector for healthcare in the US. Can we not learn from our neighbour? Although doctors in the US are more vulnerable to being sued, isn't this a more free system for the citizens? I think so!

One more point is that people may think that Canadian healthcare is exceptional compared to medical care in other parts of the world. I think not! There are exceptional facilities for medical care and exceptional doctors all over the world including in India and China. There are medical facilities in Indian and CHina that offer stem cell therapy for cancer patients. This is not even offered to patients in Canada unless you have a couple of hundred thousand dollars on top of your tax money.

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