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.