“I have seen first had many examples of how socialized health care is inadequate. My DH was shocked when he saw how much access to health care professionals our insurance provided that he would never have had under his OHIP system.”
Oh, I love threads like this.
Let me give you some examples:
1) A friend was sailing with us in preparation for a long distance ocean race. We came into the dock, and he experienced chest pains. I proceeded to provide first aid, and withing 10 minutes, paramedics were there treating him. I went with him to the hospital, where he was immediately taken into a room. I found his wife, passed off to her, and left. He stayed in ICU for 3 days. At 2am (within 4 hours of arriving at the hospital, he was in the cath lab). He was discharged about 5 days after he went in. No money out of pocket. Didn’t have to sell their house, or fork out for expensive co-pays. He would tell you his experience and care was wonderful
2) A good friend was experiencing stomach troubles, and had been sent for an ultrasound. Ultrasound detected large masses on her ovaries. Within a week she was seen by a gynecologist oncologist. MRI within 2 days. Within 3 weeks, she had surgery, and is currently feeling better than she ever has. Didn’t even require chemo or radiation. She is followed up on every 6 months for 5 years. Didn’t have to sell her house. No expensive co-pays. She couldn’t be happier with her experience.
3) At the same time as #2, an acquaintance who had a history of throat cancer, went for a routine follow up on a Monday. Tuesday he had a biopsy. Wednesday he had a catscan. Friday he had about a 1/4 of his face removed. Since November, he’s also had reconstructive plastic surgery, and intensive therapy to regain his speech. He didn’t have to sell his house or boat. No expensive co-pays. He is extremly satisfied with the care he’s recieved.
4) My Future Mother-In-Law has been anemic all of her life, but over the last 2 years has experienced significant issues with her hemo levels. At least 4 times, we’ve taken her to the ER. She is ALWAYS seen and assessed quickly. She is ALWAYS put in a private room, and given 1 or 2 units of blood. She has undergone more tests than I can count (there are other health issues as well). She gets regular infusions of iron. She pays none of this out of pocket. WE haven’t had to move her in with us because she had to sell her house, nor have we had to sell our boat to pay for her care. While she is clearly frustrated with the fact she has these health issues, the care she receives is excellent.
I have NEVER had to wait more than 2 days to see my family doctor (and it is never urgent–simply for Rx refills). I have waited a few hours in ERs when I’ve required stiches on a couple of occassions, but that’s cool. I don’t expect them to drop everything to sew me back up. I also have never put off having something looked at by a professional because I couldn’t afford to pay to see a doctor, only to have it turn into something much worse and life threatening (as happened to a US acquaintance of mine, who regrettably passed away at 43 from colon cancer last April).
So while I have no doubt that US care is exceptional for the few who can afford the best, the idea that the care in Canada is any less exceptional (that we have poorer outcomes, exceedingly long wait times, outdated technology, etc) is false.