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WHAT'S THE CANADIAN HEALTH SERVICE REALLY LIKE?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448  
19 Aug 2009 /  #1
I've heard conflicting reprots on how modern and well-organised the Canaidan public heatlh service is and, conversely, how Canadians who can afford it perfer to treat their ailments south of the border. What's the real low-down on this? I ask because our Obama is now pushing for a national health plan amid strong opposition .
cjj - | 281  
20 Aug 2009 /  #2
I used it in Vancouver over 10 years ago - mostly for pregnancy and childbirth. It was ok - felt more "proactive" than here in Poland. Some focussed efforts (at least in BC) to educate for health.

I also remember some lonnnnnng waits in crowded Hospital emergency waiting rooms - but I guess that's univeral.

The maternity hospital was worlds away from the one here in Poland - in terms of equipment and attitude. However, the surgeon who sewed me up ... well, his handiwork wasn't praised by the one who had to slice and dice through it 6 years later.

I've no idea of other provinces. (I do remember if you moved from one province to another there was a lag period before you could use their services. Similarly, as landed immigrants, we had to insure ourselves for ... the first 3 months was it? ..)

My main gripe was that you couldn't pay to have a procedure done privately. I like choice. Sometimes I can't afford it (like everything else in life) but that's a different issue (for me).

I also didn't know anyone who went south ...
scrappleton - | 830  
20 Aug 2009 /  #3
Obama is now pushing for a national health plan amid strong opposition .

He should focus on Chinese medicine.. that way he might remember who we owe $800 billion to.
jbomb12345  
23 Aug 2009 /  #4
canadian health services are pretty solid. waiting times can be bad, but it is all based on a triage type system where the more serious the injury or medical problem the quicker you will be seen, scanned etc. Overall (as in a worldwide perspective) it ranks somewhere in the middle as far as efficiency/reputation/satisfaction goes.
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
27 Aug 2009 /  #5
I have no complaints about the medical services here - but keep in mind i'm healthy. My doctor visits are limited to sports injuries. There are long wait times to see a specialist, but as a user above noted, this may be a universal problem in most western nations. Although in poland i must say, it is easy to see a specialist quickly if you are prepared to pay a little more. Emergency room wait times are also long, mostly because people go there to get treated for minor things like the flu, sore throats etc. Not all people have a family doctor so they turn to emergency rooms for treatment. I have a family physician, so i can usually get an appointment to see him within 24 hours, thus i avoid emergency rooms.

I've heard that some people get around these problems by relocating to another province where wait times are shorter than in my home province (ontario).

how Canadians who can afford it perfer to treat their ailments south of the border. What's the real low-down on this?

Yes, this not uncommon for those who can afford it. I think more average-joe canadians travel to thailand/china/india for serious procedures that are far too expensive in the US.

A plus, our cancer care is pretty good - i recently read that canada has one of the highest successful treatment/survival rates for cancer in the world.

Unfortunately, the system is abused and this makes it increasingly difficult to fund.
morph1 - | 2  
18 Sep 2009 /  #6
Man oh man, Canadian Health Care is a Complete garbage !!!,
Trust me you would not wanna get seriously sick in Alberta !!!!!
Underfunded, louzy !!!, unexperienced and with lack for compassion !!!,
That's how I can describe health care on the west coast , a complete garbage,
I would get a quicker help form an indian medicine man than from a Canadian Doctor...
Tylenol seems to be the medicine for all health problems down here...,
I have been living in Canada for the past 18 years and right now its the worst that I have ever seen....., its been placed at number 18 among the civilized countries.

I am ashamed of health care services/system in ALBERTA !!!
Cheers !

and I am Polish....
JacekN - | 7  
24 Sep 2009 /  #7
I rate this system very poorly. We pay fat tax to support it but get mediocre service.

First of all, good luck getting a family doctor! In some towns, there is a waiting list. You should hope two years is enough. The second thing is that doctors get points for prescribing medications. They can't get cash but they can get points that they can turn into vacation trips. Needless to say, many Canadians take drugs they don't need. I used to take drugs for an ulcer that I never had. The best thing, however, is that you can have an appointment for 10:00AM and see the doctor at 4:00PM. If you leave at 3:45PM, you will be charged for the visit because you didn't show up! :)

Hospitals are not much better. When you go to emergency room, be ready to wait. And I mean, be ready! People have died in our emergency rooms waiting to be seen.

I realize that in other parts of the world it gets much worse but let's never say that Canadian Health Care system works. It doesn't. It costs us a lot of money and the return on investment is really bad.
beckski 12 | 1,617  
24 Sep 2009 /  #8
First of all, good luck getting a family doctor! In some towns, there is a waiting list. You should hope two years is enough.

What do you do if you become gravely ill, during the two-year waiting period?
Tymoteusz 2 | 353  
24 Sep 2009 /  #9
I worked with an encoder tech from Toronto saturday. His 37 year old sister died from breast cancer. She got aroma therapy. F*cking aroma therapy.
Juche 9 | 292  
24 Sep 2009 /  #10
I have some family in Canada, they don't rave about it but then again they don't complain...they are probably aware that they could have it worse by living south of the border. You hear of people travelling to the US for special procedures once in a while, and Lech Walesa flew all the way to the US to have some operation a while back, but not everyone is in the admirable financial position that he happens to be in. The whole system with private insurance and HMOs sounds great if you are steadily employed but if you happen to be a part time or contract worker and you get sick, well then might as well start digging your grave. Ditto if your insurance company thinks that your illness is too long term and too expensive, they drop people from their lists of insured often. Or so they say.
JacekN - | 7  
26 Sep 2009 /  #11
Like I said, Zimbabwe can only dream of having our system. But still... let's not call it a good system. After all, we pay a pretty penny for it. To properly compare Canadian health care system to another, we need to compare the tax money that goes into it. I complain, because I pay for service I'm not getting.

To the poster above: having a family doctor won't help you when you're gravely ill. You must have hope that the line for what you need is not too long and they can operate in time. For sudden cases, you don't go to the family doctor, anyway - you go straight to the emergency room.

We have several hospitals that media often rave about. One is a leader in cancer treatment, another in something else. How nice does it look when you read about it... One such hospital is Hospital for Sick Children that deals with all kinds of hopeless cases. From time to time, they'll ship a kiddo here from the third world with a huge tumor, they'll remove it and then pose for photographs. Miracle! Parents happy, Canadian public happily donates their money on top of tax they pay... Then, one day you need to take your child to this hospital and you come back to the real world. Ask anyone who has taken their child to that hospital if they will ever donate their money to that institution.

Don't believe in this health care system. Nowhere in the world are there so many people obese and so many people with cancer. And remember that while our politicians praise our health care system and oppose creating a private sector, they are often caught getting private services, themselves.

BTW: the guy who created Canadian Medicare was apparently investigated for being a Soviet collaborator. :)
jbomb12345  
4 Oct 2009 /  #12
JacekM I challenge you to find to find a more effiecient health care system based on GDP/GNP vs capita which is similar to our country population and size wise. Your opinion seems heavily biased on a personal opinion. For this personal opinion I am sorry, but you cannot post such outrageous left field remarks about the Canadian health care system. The tax dollars we pay are fairly representative of the service we recieve. Sure some priveleged european countries are doing slighty better, but if you consider the short canadian history and vast countryside, canadian health care ranks among the top twenty. Of course this high regard is my personal opinion and I can only guide everyone else to google world best health care systems to see canada ranked around 30 by the world health organization. As far as non biased opinions this should be as good as it gets.
morph1 - | 2  
6 Oct 2009 /  #13
lol

I phoned my doc today to find out what happened to my requested appointment for an allergy test lol, she said they just got the fax in with ready requesition for wednesday october the 7th lol , I requested this test early in March !!!!

What a cool system ehh - f@cking embarassing...
Imagine the wait time for a ct or mri scan :)........
and finding a family doctor in Alberta is like heading far west and searching for a gold bar,
my girlfriend and my kid still don't have a family doctor and must endure the crappy service at Medicentres and of course the 3 hour wait times that are usual ... and pretty much standard...
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
6 Oct 2009 /  #14
What do you do if you become gravely ill, during the two-year waiting period?

You go to a walk in clinic or the emergency room at the hosptial. You'll get treated, but you have to wait longer than you would if you had a family doctor. Obviously if you're in a serious condition (bleeding heavily after being shot for instance) you will be treated immediately.

I rate this system very poorly. We pay fat tax to support it but get mediocre service.

Jacenty, I believe the system is good - better than most countries on this planet. However, our system is heavily abused by people who don't live here. For example, some people con the government into giving their elderly parents (who live in india, lebanon etc) into getting canadian citizenship. They only come to canada for expensive medical treatments. THese are people who DO NOT pay taxes, do not contribute to the wealth of this country yet drain the land of its resources! I bet if you prevent this **** from happening the lineups will shorten. That and go after the doctors union to train more docs!

Nowhere in the world are there so many people obese and so many people with cancer.

So the health care system is to blame for having chocolate/pop vending machines and serving deep fried pizza in high schools????
marysia 1 | 6  
28 Oct 2009 /  #15
I lived in Canada for several years and then moved to US and can't really settle here because of the health care system. I consider it the worst in the world, becaue there is none unless you have money to pay for it or you work for employer that covers it. Even then it never covers 100%, so if you get really sick and use up your lifetime limits you can loose you house and all the money you worked for all your life. It is very nerve wrecking. you can get sick just from woring about getting sick here. I hate it. Of course the senators have the universal health care where they pay like $40/month with no lifetime limits etc.....I know I will move back to Canada . I have never seen anyone in Canada being denyied health care or made wait for tests, surgery etc.......I lived in Montreal and Toronto and have many friends there that already had health situations that here in US they would be paying thousands of dollars for even having health insurance.

In all civilized countries health care is not for profit, nobody benefits from someones illness. US is the only country I know where illness is a business and there are big corporations making billions on people getting sick.......how civilized is that??????????

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