A Little Insight into the “Perfect” Canadian Healthcare System

For our international readers, we encourage all Canadians reading this to share their own experiences using Canadian healthcare.

98 Replies to “A Little Insight into the “Perfect” Canadian Healthcare System”

  1. One of the great things about the Canadian Healthcare system is that the harder I work, the more I get to pay for it. Even better, if I need to access healthcare I get to wait behind someone that hasn’t worked a day in their life and hasn’t paid a dime for healthcare. Heck, I might even be waiting in line behind someone that has dedicated their life to shutting down the Alberta economy, like a blockader or a Liberal voter. It’s the perfect system!!

    1. Even better is waiting behind someone, and his or her entire family, who just arrived in this country illegally and who’s guaranteed to have all their medical and dental needs taken care of free of charge for the next 20 years.

      It makes you proud to be a citizen, doesn’t it?

      1. – And even more betterer stiller is that doctors are being income-taxed at over 50%, and in the places in Canada they really want to be (Toronto and Vancouver) after devoting 11 years of very hard work & study ( – if they can get admitted into Med School in the first place – ), real estate is so expensive that two doctors sharing the bills still can’t afford a place to live. Do we really need explained why we have a nationwide shortage of doctors?

        1. A big reason for a shortage of doctors besides rationing, is that more females are becoming doctors and when they get married and have kids, they cut back their hours and work PT. There, I said it.

    2. You may also be waiting in line behind a dozen terrorists, hell bent on destroying everything you know.
      10% of some GTA suburbs are now terrorists.

  2. Cost of health care in USA = $10,209 per person

    Cost of health care in Canada = $4,826 per person

    https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/cost-of-healthcare-countries-ranked-2019-3 And other sites show similar numbers.

    Canadians can complain about wait times, but to date they have not voted for the higher taxes necessary to pay for better care.

    life expectancy in US is 81.7 years for females, 76.6 years for males
    life expectancy in Canada is 84.7 years for females, 81.2 years for males

    1. You funny guy, Joe.

      You are attempting to equate more taxpayer $$$ to better gov’t services.


      1. Really, DB, how frigging stupid does someone have to be to believe that government is ever the solution. History is overflowing with examples of the exact opposite.

    2. The day better health care comes from the government increasing taxes happens to be the same day cooler summers result from increased taxes.

      We need to get out from under the single payer system to improve service.

    3. JOe..??

      Yea….that’s all fine and dandy.
      I’d gladly pay the US rate were my MORTGAGE INTEREST PAYMENTS TAX deductible.

      Our system is FKD…particularly when the plan is bringing in 1-3 MILLION Islamic LowLifes into this country to do FK al but BREED and destroy our Culture all the while filling up Hospitals and Clinics….and who will pay SFA into a system that I and every other EURO CENTRIC immigrant has paid into for 50 fkn yrs.

      The CARE is Typically Excellent.
      The Wait times are beyond CRIMINAL

      1. As an aside.

        CANADA NEEDS 2 TIER Health Care alright.
        1 system for those of us who have contributed our Entire Lives.
        and another for the Freeloaders…

      2. steakman:
        80% of MY mtg interest IS deductible.
        I run a rooming house and have written off ALL rental i/c for now the 5th yr in a row.
        but thanks to CONservative min of ‘finesse’ the (deservedly) late jim flatulence, I am NOT allowed to incorporate ANY of the rental I/C in any negotiations with banks to my advantage.
        the shytstain harper-the-bully cab minister was ‘protecting the mtg industry’ bla bla bla.
        I think the mr flatulence’s fatal fart attack was karma.

        hope your doing well post bypass.

    4. Seriously, joe, what is your point? …. we already have way higher taxes and health already care takes the lion share of that in any jurisdiction. And yes, Canadian’s did vote for higher taxes which is why we have back to back Liberal governments.

      1. Chris, you want better health care? If you like US style health care be prepared to pay double what you pay now.

        Do people really want to pay for it?

        I had family and friends in the US who could tell you all kinds of horror stories about poor health care in the US. And it was expensive too.

        But the purpose of my post is quite simple; do we want to pay more for health care?

        It’s actually in our control. We could vote in a government that will spend more on public health care, or we could vote in a government that will allow a two tiered system. In either case we will pay more.

        I personally have lived in places where there was; private health care (USA), public health care (Canada), and a type of two tiered health care (Europe). I think two tier could be better, but while in Europe I paid more for it than I would have in Canada.

        I don’t see any replies to my post saying that people are willing to pay more for better care.

        1. I’m sick of the “US style health care” argument nonsense. It is the knee jerk reflex of Canadian leftists. As though there were only two types of healthcare systems on the planet…..Bolshevik Canadian or free market U.S. (which, by the way is another leftist lie). The best systems in the world are public/private hybrids. Your comment that a two tiered system would cost more is nonsense. The one thing that is completely absent in the Canadian system is the need to be efficient with money. It goes to pay a lot of union hacks whose job it is to be as inefficient as possible. There are lots of people willing to pay more for better care which is why almost 70,000 Canadians a year head south for medical care they can’t get here due to rationing.

          1. Yes Joey, and that is what fools like joke fail to recognize , the going south for better care at their own expense

          2. Nailed it Joey…!!
            The layers upon layers of Redundant Civli Service management types sucking the system dry to the tune of 150k+ annually per.
            Problem 1

            And of course, a system completely run by PUBLIC SERVICE Unions.
            They being the Source of all the Socialist EVIL we deal with on a daily basis.
            Problem 2

          3. Easy now. That’s a pant-load of money and good jobs staying in the country. You’ll confuse the fuck out of a leftoid.

        2. Canadians have ceded control of every aspect of their lives to the government. We couldn’t vote for better healthcare even if we wanted.

          The government decides who gets to be a medical professional, what supplies and drugs are used and who gets ahead.

          Has anyone seen Trudeau in an emergency room at 3 AM with his kids?

          Hospice care? Hardly. That’s what euthanasia is for – to free up those beds for someone else to wait in.

          1. “Hospice care? Hardly. That’s what euthanasia is for – to free up those beds for someone else to wait in.”

            – Fact.

            Ontario is pumping MAID (“Medical Assistance In Dying”) to long-term patients for all they’re worth – and while doing their very best to cloak it in all kinds of “Oh, we really CARE about our patients…” bravo sierra, it’s only too obviously a financial program to cut medical costs.

        3. Joke, you provide NO context to you cost post. So maybe you are unawares of hidden costs. Also the USA health care system supports an world leader research system, second only to Israels . When posting other’s numbers, do some reseach first, and provide ALL pertinent information!

          1. NME

            I have no problem with you or anyone else going to the US and paying for better health care. Hope you get better care than some of my friends did.

            Similarly, I have no problem with people paying for health care research. In fact my brothers and I are not rich by any means, but we have given very generously to prostate cancer research.

            Point being better health care will cost more money.

            Canadians have it in their power to vote for two tier health care car but don’t. They can vote for more publicly funded health care but they don’t do that either.

            Some people chose to go to the US for needed work. They vote with their feet and their wallets. Fine with me, but it still costs more.

            And as for showing ALL relevant info? Really?

            The purpose of my post was to have a discussion.

            Am I aware of hidden costs? Absolutely.

            I suspect there is a large amount of waste in the health care systems world wide. In my career I have been fortunate to have received some excellent “lean” production training at my work, at Toyota, and at University of Michigan. I’ve seen it work very effectively.

            What surprised me was it’s implementation in a number of hospitals in the US. I met staff, including doctors and nurses, who told me that the lean techniques helped them reduce wait times, lower costs, treat more people, and what they were most proud of, reduce the number of unfavourable outcomes (deaths, mistakes, etc).

            Unfortunately they said too few hospitals in the US were using the lean waste reduction techniques.

          2. NME

            Here is a link to a presentation on lean health care.
            http://web.mit.edu/hmcmanus/Public/McManusTalkLeanHealthcare0312.pdf It’s 75 slides so will take a minute or so to download.

            A few of many successes:
            • Waiting time for orthopedic surgery reduced from 14 weeks to 31 hours (from first call to surgery) – ThedaCare, WI
            • 48% readmission rate reduction for COPD patients – UPMC St. Margaret Hospital, PA
            • $180M capital spending cost avoidance from lean improvements – Children’s Hospital, WA
            • 72% reduction in lab results turnaround time from 2004-2010 without addition of head count or instrumentation – Alegent Health, NE

    5. The US has a higher incidence of fatal accident and much higher rate of homicide, especially in certain cultural centers. Remove those stats from both countries and the US life expectancy is higher. Sorry I can’t remember the numbers.

    6. Cost of health care in USA = $10,209 per person.
      Cost of health care in Canada = $4,826 per person.
      Ya think that might be one reason we have waiting lists for essential care and they don’t?

      The US has a higher incidence of accident and a much higher incident of homicide. Remove those stats from both countries and the US life expectancy is longer. Sorry I can’t remember the numbers.

      1. Anyone remember Jack Layton going to the USA for healthcare?

        It is only ever, about power over you, and control of you. For them, they line up priority queues to receive domestic treatment faster than you. They have private jets to take them to a Mayo clinic anywhere on the continent as soon as domestic treatment fails.

    7. Our taxes are already punishing. And the carbon tax is just getting warmed up. We need delivery reform.

    8. That .is not what I pay for health care every year, whether I use it or not. Governments take half my money and half of that goes on healthcare. Over 40 years, that’s $1million equivalent. I have not consumed that much.

  3. “Control healthcare and you control the people” ~ Saul Alinsky

    Take away the guns, you secure your control. Food, shelter, are some of the other things that if you control them, you control the people.

    “Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.” ~ James Madison

    Let’s go down the checklist for Canada; control of healthcare? Check. Standing army? Check. Enslaved press? Double secret check. Disarmed populace? In progress.

    How far along the path is the USA?

  4. my GP retired a year ago last august.
    lots of panic amongst the senior citoyens.
    except me.
    ’cause I gots a bona fide student card from the local university and that’s because
    I continue to enrol in courses, either credit status of audit.
    thus, when *I* need a doctor appt I mosey over to ‘student health services* and get one on the spot.
    here’s the REAL kicker; I dont pay tuition ’cause Im t’other side of 60.
    nya nya nya nya !!!!
    plus I dont drink like a fish, engage in ‘risky lifestyle choices’ and, AND with the card in hand I zip thru the gate at the gymnasium and put in as many as 3 workouts a week TO KEEP IN SHAPE. m’kay all youse couch taters? hmmm?
    eat properly,
    eschew questionable behaviour, and
    exercise to keep in shape. THEN you wont need a hospital vist every 3 months.

    so feel free to continue to lambaste academia, for me it’s been like a 2nd home. even gave me my first full time perm job (at a buck 80 a pop) operating those ginormous 10 million dollar mainframe computers.

  5. A professor acquaintance of mine, who waited a long time for knee surgery, told me in all seriousness, that once you get in the hospital the health care is very good.

    Another professor acquaintance, an American citizen who has lived here for decades, told me about a visit to SF, during which visit he called his daughter’s doctor on a Friday to inquire about getting a MRI for his bad back. The MRI was booked for Tuesday … at the doctor’s office which had an MRI.

  6. Got to say I’ve been pretty happy with our system, and the services available in Ottawa in general.
    20+ years ago I had a major accident, compound fracture ankle, severely broken wrist (totally bent to one side) and a broken wrist. Immediate treatment at the hospital emergency and straight into surgery, many weeks recovery with multiple follow up surgeries and being taken care of by some of the nicest nurses ever. Got out of the rehab hospital as quickly as possible but that was due to management and not the care staff.
    I’ve had several other reasons to visit the local hospital, and while wait times could improve they were not that bad.
    I’ve attended Emergency and other hospital visits with my elderly relative while going through heart and a cancer scare. Great caring service from all. Again wait times, but not horrible. Follow up for him was very good.
    My brother is schizophrenic, I’ve done multiple emergency room visits with him in the past few years. Well handled and enforced detention done with extreme care and concern. Follow up is good.
    Could it improve? Absolutely. Wait times for diagnostic services are horrible. CT, MRI are many weeks out. Referral to specialists are too long in being completed.
    My biggest complaint with the medical system in Canada is how we have such shortages of doctors and specialists, yet continue to enroll foreigners in our medical schools instead of Canadians. Universities and hospitals are prioritizing profit over service. Not enough spots reserved for Canadian students.

  7. In October I visited Nova Scotia to explore the feasibility of moving to Nova Scotia. I am a resident of Vancouver for some 40+ years but grew up in Atlantic Canada. I learned that in NS you must apply to the government for a family doctor and wait months or over a year to get one. A refusal put you back at the end of the line.

    I had no reason to check into veterinary health care but I understand you can just pick a vet and take Fido there as early as tomorrow.

    This and YouTube snow blizzard videos had me abandon the sentimental idea.

    1. Part of the difference between vet and human health care is that pet owners have the outside option of taking Fido out back and shooting him. For any serious illness, it almost always makes more sense to have the old or sick dog destroyed and get another dog. That way Kate gets the money, not some dingbat too stupid for serious medical studies.

      Unfortunately, the days when death was accepted as an unhappy part of life and burying loved ones and moving on was what grown-ups did are over.

    2. And, just to make your day, if there is a serious enough emergency in Canada, veterinarians can and will be called up as medics. So be very, very nice to your pet’s veterinarian; if this virus gets bad enough, you might be the one being treated.

  8. A “dentist” pulled a tooth, left me without antibiotics for a week, during which time an infection grew in my neck and jaw “frozen”.
    The ER resident told me this is more common than known to public. I went straight to catscan, then to pre-op prep.
    The infection tissue was removed by surgery that evening.
    Two day recovery before solid food.

  9. Health care is a provincial responsibility. Heath care budgets are approaching 50% of the entire budget.

    Government is having to decide if it wants to fund health care or education or fix roads.

    There are no new areas to tax that is why we are now taxing carbon dioxide and the sun will be next.

    It’s fiction to think more taxation will fix Canadian health care. The delivery system is what needs to change.

    Last time I checked Canada’s health care was ranked about 30th in the world. Right up there with the 3rd world.

  10. I was borderline legally blind with catarats and told I to expect a one year wait to get a medical referral then up to three years to receive the surgery if I qualified. I got the surgery done in southern Texas within two weeks. Cost $10000.00 USD. Canada would not reimburse me for any of the cost because they deemed it elective surgery.
    My wife had a shoulder injury, waited two months to get an MRI appointment which was scheduled for 6 months later. Diagnosis badly torn rotator cuff.
    It is common particularly in rural areas to not have access to a health care due to a doctor shortage and long waits in an emergency ward to see a physician. According to a study publish by the Fraser institute in 2017, a family of two adults in Canada was paying $12,283.00 per year for our “free” healthcare. Not good value for what we receive or I should say do not receive.

    1. my healthcare in south texas cost me $144.00 a month, totaling $1,728.00 a year. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago. I am on a 6 month,Lupron (drug) regimen. the twice a year shot is $22,000.00 a pop. I pay $325.00 copay twice a year. so my total cost is $2,428.00 a year. beat that! I can call my doctor on Monday and see him Tuesday or Wednesday at the most.

  11. First, healthcare is a service not a right. All healthcare systems have three broad characteristics, access, excellence and affordability but you cannot have all three. If affordability is your primary concern, you must limit access and/or excellence. One can clearly see that that no matter which of the three characteristics is primary the other two become secondary. In Canada, our system imposed the priority of affordability at the expense of limited excellence and terrible access. That choice was undermined by allowing no alternative delivery system and providing it through an uncompetitive work environment (union domination, unsustainable employee benefits). The result is a delivery system that does not deliver on any of the characteristics. It is unaffordable, lacks excellence and limits access.

    This conundrum is present in every service, (think accounting, plumbing, dental) that means there are tradeoffs. Who is best able to determine which of those tradeoffs is appropriate? I believe it is up to the individual. I do not want a government determining which accountant I should use any more than I want a government to determine which healthcare system or plumber I should use. The one size fits all approach is terrible for everyone.

    1. I believe you are absolutely correct and have hit the nail on the head. So many things have been elevated to the status of a “right” that should in fact be simply a service where we can discuss the best way to deliver it and let the market decide. But if its a “right”, it has to be delivered by the Government, be universal and equal. A service can be varied but not a right. This is what the left has created to support themselves, grow government and destroy capitalism and all political parties have gone along with this.

  12. My son has bad vericose veins. So bad they burst on one leg while seeing the doctor. He was placed for his surgery as a top priority. That was over 2 years ago. Still waiting.

  13. There is no perfect health care system that man can devise.
    Canada’s system is we are told does not depend on someone mortgaging their life to obtain a need. The down side is because everyone is granted the God given right to pursue their own happiness, when they need healthcare, nobody else is in need more than they are. So everyone expects that when they enter a triage they should be given a diagnosis and treated tout suite. The reality is that the Canadian system isn’t even about providing healthcare, what it does do is control the payout for health services. Anyone with sufficient capital can set up a clinic in Canada, anyone. The catch is that the billing for listed procedures must be paid for through the ministry of health, and they impose limits on the providers for how much and how often they can bill for a procedure.
    This severely limits the provider in the delivery as the union’s, professional associations, and business insurance coverage don’t have a habit of letting their members work for free or waive dues until payment arrives.
    Sanity would entail that the province could resolve this by delisting some of the procedures to allow the hospitals to charge a nominal fee for something like a visit to emergency for minor discomfort. But in Canada the media cartel can be counted on to demonize anyone brave enough to even suggest it.
    The other solution is to allow private hospitals to exist, a friend even suggested building them on reserves where it would be considered outside of provincial jurisdiction.

  14. I can usually make a same-day or next-day appt with my GP … small town. In 2015-2016, my wife had to wait close to one year for a new hip as she maneuvered between specialists and then got in line. The op we well. Then, on March 4 2017, she shattered her femur in a bad accident. Obviously, she got immediate attention in emerg and underwent a 7-hour operation (it was a mess). The care was top notch. She is now 75 years and walks great!

    But waiting for MRIs and CT scans is annoying. Just nonsense. WTF, if I might be really ill, I should not be waiting weeks for an MRI.

    joe said, “life expectancy in Canada is 84.7 years for females, 81.2 years for males”
    Now imagine if it was 81.2 years for females and 84.7 years for males! OMG!

    1. Your wife only waited a year?? Mine’s on a 3-year wait list.

      “Obviously” where you live is not normal. Tell us where, and we’ll move there.

  15. I’m very conflicted over this issue. My son had a serious heart operation at age 4 months. The quality of care was first rate and there was no waiting (operation was scheduled at 4 months to strike the balance between risk of death due to the heart issue and death due to the operation stress on a newborn). He had weekly doctor’s visits, a 3 doctor operation team with 4 nurses, 16 separate echo cardiograms and a FULL RECOVERY. On the other hand, my father died at age 78 due to cancer and the wait times he had to endure were CRIMINAL. I am convinced that he would have had surgery and a full recovery with prompt surgery. Other than the cancer my father was in excellent shape, and my family frankly expected him to be with us for another 10 years. So the system saved my son and killed my father. The irony is that my father would have given his life for his grandson but nobody expected the system to TAKE it instead.

  16. If the Fed’s manage this virus like they have managed our economy. We’re screwed…

  17. I think our system could improve drastically if we had some accountability built into it. Everyone in healthcare still gets their paycheque regardless of whether you wait , or receive good care. They have no reason to want better care for you, except for those who truly have a heart to serve. They are the ones who deserve credit for keeping our system working as good as it is. Unfortunately, our government has very little heart for doing what needs to be done to protect the patient as their voice is so little compared to the unions and other groups that seek to serve themselves

  18. Several years ago my wife had severe back issues. So an MRI was scheduled. The estimated wait time for this was 1 year. So we travelled to Edmonton and paid $600.00 for an MRI at a private clinic. Access time was 3 days. (For reference I just spent $1100.00 for new tires on my car). Now that she had the results from her MRI she could be referred to a neurosurgeon. The booked appointment was scheduled in 13 months. Meanwhile she couldn’t take the pain anymore so she flew to the Mayo clinic in Phoenix and had the surgery in 2 days. It was also treated as day surgery as she was on the operating table at noon and was released into my care at 7:00 PM. We had a hotel right next to the Mayo Clinic and in the next 24 hours had 4 follow up phone calls from the hospital and surgeon. After 48 hours she was given the clearance to fly back to Saskatoon. Cost of the surgery was $15,000.00. On an interesting note Hospitals in the US will negotiate if you don’t have USA insurance because we were Canadians. The original quote was $22,000.00 and we bartered down to $15,000.

    About 14 months later My wife received a phone call from someone she didn’t know, and after inquiring who was calling the person on the line said she was booking an appointment in the next couple of months with a Neurosurgeon in Saskatoon. My wife said, “Oh Deary I took care of that problem 14 months ago in Phoenix”. The important note here is that this call was to set up the wait time for a consult, Once in to see the neurosurgeon he would then want an MRI which would be another delay and Booking actual surgery after that would be at least another year.

    She hasn’t had a problem with her back since then and that’s 14 years ago. Without the pain she is still very active at age 74. Daily use of a treadmill and gym work are not a problem for her. If she would have stayed in the Canadian system she could possibly be in a wheelchair now. Our GP said that permanent nerve damage is a real possibility if the pressure is not taken off the nerves in a timely manner. When this happens surgery will not always fix the problem.

    I have a friend in Japan. And he tells me that in Japan when you need medical help you go to the government system. He gave me an example of a knee problem he had. Once his doctor diagnosed ( and there is a very short time limit on this) there is a prescribed time in which surgery should take place, In his example he said a month. If the public system is jammed up after a month the patient then has the right to go to the Private system and have the operation. Done immediately.
    This being said the private system is paid by the government.

    A single payer private and public system seems to work well there. Most European systems are similar Public and Private.

      1. Two-tier is “union vs. non-union”. That is why it is presented as evil. The union does not want to give up its monopoly. The UNIFOR news media obediently follows its master.

  19. Objectively, if sufficient facts are known, the system is suboptimal at best. Stories vary greatly. I’ve had great service and shitty service. I expect stupid wait times at the ER (and that’s at least partly b/c there are a lot of stupid people there for various reasons). The service you get for pregnancy and birth is what people expect for medical/surgical issues, but the differences involved tend to be ignored. The current system needs changing, but it tends to be considered a sacred cow, and the unions are insanely reactionary about it.

    My current story (Calgary): on a particular medical/health issue that isn’t immediately life-threatening, I had to wait over a year for my specialist referral to occur. After that happened, it became “twelve to eighteen months” for the surgical procedure (I’m currently within about month seven). Main reason? He’s the only doctor in Canada doing this procedure, but at least we’re in the same city. On a different bit of recent trauma to my eye, I was lucky enough to get examined at an urgent care centre with little waiting (surprisingly, I was in and out in about 45 minutes). I was quickly referred for the next day to see an eye specialist, some kind of local genius (I guess). I went to my appointment to find he runs his practice like a bad airline. His treatment was excellent, he was responsive to me, and he did see me on a weekend as well for a follow-up at Rockyview, but for him, double-booking is for pikers: he books 5-10 people at the same time, and you’ll wait an hour after your appointment time, easily. I believe he’s trying his best, but specialists of any type are rare, so he can’t do much within such a system.

    A previous story (Saskatoon): About 25 years ago, I was in a two-vehicle collision, in which I was a driver. Lap belt on, with no shoulder belt (detachable, 1972 Chrysler). My head bounced off the steering wheel and into the windshield. I was transported by ambulance to the hospital strapped to a backboard in a c-collar. After being triaged in ER and getting some stitches in my face, I spent over four hours lying on the gurney, still strapped in and unable to move, waiting for the X-ray tech on call to arrive, it being a Saturday morning. I was put alone into a back area of the ER part of St Paul’s while waiting and largely ignored. Saskatoon ain’t that big, but it took four HOURS for the tech to get there, spin up the machine, and take my film. The care I got from the first responders was great, but the hospital team–after the initial period–left me feeling like they didn’t just drop the ball, they kicked it over the fence.

    Your mileage may vary based on your experiences, but trying to upscale Canadian problems to handle American ones is a silly, silly idea.

    1. In a related comparison, my daughter was seen at a Chinese children’s hospital a bit ago with what turned out to be bronchitis. After the preliminary exam and diagnosis, the blood test was performed on site in a dedicated testing area. The results were spit out from a nearby kiosk within 30 minutes, which we took back to the physician. Diagnosis was confirmed, prescriptions were issued. The drugs were dispensed from a kiosk a few metres from the testing area. A total of about two hours from arriving on site to being able to start treatment, and my daughter was recovered fully in about three days.

      I’m not advocating Chinese-style healthcare, but stealing good ideas isn’t a bad idea.

      As another wait-time referent, my wife and I spent ten hours in ER at Foothills when a post-op issue came up after my daughter was born by emergency c-section. TEN. The people there are pretty good, but a system that allows that is broken at a fundamental level.

  20. Blackface wantonly destroying Alberta’s main source of Heath-care revenue hasn’t helped western Canadians a bit.

  21. My horror story: Arrive at hospital for a double bypass (on a Friday the 13th – was never superstitious until now…). They hand me the pre-op file for a different patient. Surgery delayed for 8 hours. Have the surgery and am taken to ICU where no one is over 25 years old (it’s the weekend). They make some mistakes (packing tape on what turned out to be a dislodged epidural which no one noticed until there was a mass of fluid the size of a tennis ball in my back). The hospital is filthy, they did not clean the bathroom between patients (and this was a private room). Released by a doctor even though they could not find the femoral pulse. Home for recovery only to notice that my problems are not solved. Turns out the surgeon missed something (getting different reasons) and now I have to go and do it all over again in a few weeks. So now the system gets to pay for this twice and being self employed, I have to put my clients through this again, not to mention my family. Yes USA, be careful what you wish for.

  22. I’d love to share my experience, if I had any, I do not have a family doctor-can’t get one and have no access to healthcare in NS unless it’s the ER. My brother is dying at 56 because he also didn’t have a family doctor and the ER docs kept telling him he had the flue-nope stage four terminal cancer. I have hundreds of similar stories to share with the socialist lovers. Oh my husband is a veteran of the Balkans, he’s disabled and he has no family doctor and gets absolutely no healthcare from the VA who don’t provide care or doctors. On the upside the VA and their healthcare card will provide free viagra and other useless drugs but no drugs applicable to his loss of leg use is included in the coverage. My dog gets top notch care at the vet, how I wish humans were included in their training at least I could pay for healthcare out of my own pocket. We currently pay four hundred a month for private blue cross dental and prescription coverage-how I wish I were a fake refugee.

  23. No politician in Canada, with the possible exception of Max Bernier (now involuntarily retired), will ever raise the issue of fundamental reform to Canada’s health care system. The reason? They would be mercilessly denounced by the mainstream media, led by the CBC and the Toronto Star, and loudly supported by the health care unions. The cry would be: “he (she) wants to bring American-style health care to Canada”. Of course, the politician would try to respond by saying: “no, I want to improve Canada’s health care system by making it more like Sweden’s (or pick from any of the multiple countries with better health care systems) which allows private competition to public health care”. But that politician would not get a chance to respond because he/she would already have been driven into early retirement by the shrieking hounds of the media establishment.

  24. I listened to an expert on health care explain that NO country could afford to give unfettered, timely heath care. He said that in the US it is controlled by cost and in Canada by wait times.

  25. I’ve had experience in both countries, having lived in both and choosing to abandon the wait for treatment while living in Canada and paying for prompt (microdiskectomy) surgery in the US. Care is generally at a higher standard and certainly more customer friendly in the US. Single payer, heavily unionized systems are virtually impossible to reform. It has been well documented (Fraser Institute) that significant increases in provincial budgets has not translated into shorter wait times.

    The Canadian system costs as much per capita as the US single payers combined (Medicaid, Medicare, and VA). That is because the quasi-market-based (heavily mandated) portion covering half the population (not covered by the above) has, at great cost, ensured levels of care that the single payers are expected to also deliver. Thus, Bernie’s dream of Medicare for all would be initially very expensive and then would eventually morph into something resembling the VA for everyone (rationing, wait times and sloth).

  26. The Fraser Institute, formerly demonized by the mainstream media and now completely ignored by them, may be the only Canadian organization that provides hard, factual information on health care in countries other than Canada and the U.S. This is a link to their most recent international comparison of health care systems. Teaser: Canada fares poorly, but the mainstream media will never report the findings. Canadians are not allowed to know because they might question the orthodoxy that Canada’s health care system is the best in the world, except that it always needs ever more money from taxpayers (but with no questions asked or results guaranteed).


    This is a link to their ongoing research program on health care systems:


  27. I try and avoid interaction with the healthcare system, but a couple of years ago I decided I should go to the doctor for a check up because it had been years since I had been and I had a few issues I would like to talk about. The “doctor” – who is a Philipina import, who everyone on the “rate my doctor” website agrees is useless and hates white people, had a helper weigh me, measure my height and take my blood pressure. She then sent to to get a blood test at the lab. That was it. I never did hear back what the results of the blood tests were. I assume, they would have told me if anything interesting showed up, but maybe not. For these 5 minutes of work the doctor likely billed OHIP for several hundred dollars. If there were any other doctors available, I would get one, but she’s it. If anyone in my family has the need of medical services we use the local walk in clinic, which isn’t too bad, but obviously not as good as having a competent family doctor would be.

    1. a competent family doctor

      Try finding one in Edmonton who’s willing to take new clientele. At my age, I’m reluctant to do business with someone fresh out of university. I want someone with some experience and who’s older because they’re likely to appreciate and understand my concerns.

      As for your physician, I had some dealings with one from either China or Taiwan at a walk-in clinic in Edmonton. Her first words to me was “You’re not one of my patients!” (Sorry, madame, but your front desk staff assigned you to me. That’s a risk you take when you work in one of those establishments.) She did the minimum possible and made it clear she wanted to get rid of me as quick as she could.

      She, quite frankly, was the lousiest physician I had the misfortune to deal with. So much for the Hippocratic Oath.

  28. My Dr. ordered an ultrasound for me on Dec. 5. I’m finally getting it tomorrow, 3.4 months later. Glad it’s not something urgent.

    Years ago a guy I knew was diagnosed with lung cancer. Dr. said there was a 4 month wait to see a chest specialist. He said you can’t afford to wait, here’s a clinic in the US, if you can afford it. Fortunately his kids were doing very well financially so they took him there. He got in to see the Dr. right away, saw the chest specialist immediately, then straight to lab tests and into the attached hospital. 9 days later he was discharged, surgery successfully completed. He lived another 25 years until he died of old age.

    If he relied on Canuck health care he would have died in agony 25 years earlier.

  29. Doc here. Yes I make money. But let’s remember, it took me 13 years after high school to get into my chair. I didn’t waste any time with side degrees – I had a pure pure path from kindergarten to my specialty. I don’t get a pension. Whilst my friends were partying away in their 20s I was working like a dog. I’m now making money – but that SOB PM and every other level of government wants to tax me into oblivion. 12 years of school plus 13 years – early 30s before you start making coin. Without a family that supports you there’s no way to break into the system, even if you are a super genius (which I’m not).

    1. Doc, I don’t think most people begrudge you you’re money. I certainly don’t.

      1. I have a different twist on this.

        I have dental work done at the university clinic. One year, my student at the time told me that when she goes into private practice, she will have to charge more than most. The reason? She has student debts.

        Uh, no, it doesn’t work that way. Evidently, the dentistry faculty doesn’t teach its students any business courses, let alone how to run one’s own practice.

        1. No they don’t. My brother-in-law the Dentist earned a couple of MBA degrees by simply pointing out that Dentists have been known to spend their time answering the phone instead of drilling out cavities.

    2. Your story is the modern (Canadian Lieberal/CBC) version of the grasshopper and the ant.
      We are also experiencing the modern version of the Little Red Hen. Despite that no one helped her, she would be soundly condemned by a CBC reporter for not sharing the finished product free/gratis with the lay-abouts.

    3. Doc, bless you, no one here cares if you pull in the long green. We want you to do well and keep practicing well into your 70s as a lot of doctors and dentists seem to do. You’re needed. Our neighbors in Iowa are both doctors. She stopped practicing as a pediatrician, or as anything, three years ago due to high insurance premiums. We were appalled. He’s some sort of joint surgeon so they’re doing fine, but the tort system in the U.S. is madness.

  30. When posting on U.S. sites or when asked by Americans I bring up the Veterans Administration scandal (yes, it was under Obutthead’s watch). In the United States, waiting 60 days for treatment is a scandal. In Canada getting treatment in 60 days is jumping the queue.

    I also point out, just like in that video, that by the time you get a diagnosis you’re only treatment option is usually palliative comfort care.

    Yes, both my parents received absolutely great and outstanding palliative comfort care for their cancer. If my mother had been able to get a proper diagnosis sooner, she may still be alive today. She had been suffering shoulder pain and throat discomfort for about a year. Unfortunately, she was stage IV by the time it was diagnosed as cancer.

    Healthcare in Canada is strictly to benefit the Union and no one else.

  31. Meh.
    If it is run by a bureaucracy,care will never be part of the equation.
    The per capita numbers are pure BS, when you divide actually working Canadians by the cost it is closer to 15 000 $c per year.
    And we can throw every penny we will ever earn at it and NOTHING will improve.
    The “Healthcare System” is not interested in the patients or even the medical staff.
    We have so many regulators and protectors that the medical option is almost irrelevant.
    Healthcare Card Please.
    “Papers Please” but only for taxpayers,apparently.
    Government loves Public Healthcare,it is a license to steal and you can kill any who question your corruption.
    A kleptocracy will always have “Free Healthcare”,just as it will boast about “Good Government” while providing no such thing.

    Having been lucky and healthy,my interactions with the system have been erratic.
    Under Workers Comp the service was swift and functional.
    As for my family doctor,all I ever see is loccums,with 6-8 weeks waiting,usually I have forgotten what the appointment is for .
    Weirdly they never seem to read my file,until I am sitting there, thus asking some truly idiotic questions.
    No continuity at all.
    Yet my Family Doctor is still officially just that,even tho I have not seen her in 5 or 6 years.

    We have quite the system here,it enriches the Bureaus ,ignores the patients and drives out the dedicated medical staff.
    Costing us over half our government expenditures it is referred to as FREE.
    Makes you wonder what expensive is?

    Dr’s predicted this result in Tommy Douglas’s day, but “It’s free”.

    1. Douglas’ selling point for doctors was: no more accounts receivable to deal with. See, you get paid for treating everyone, no more charity cases due to the patient being poor.

    2. Everyone blames the bureaucracy and maybe they deserve some critcism. But the only people who have the power to change the system are the politicians. And they dont want to. If they made it easy for people to get things and do things they wouldnt be able to offer favours. I have been a civil servant for 38 years. They only thing a politician of any poparty has ever asked me to do is bend the rules so he/she could offer a constituent a favour.

  32. A few months ago I got a physical.
    It was a Monday morning.
    I got a needle in my right arm and a needle in my left.
    And a finger up my ass.
    Probably a typical Friday night for UnMe.

  33. On several occasions over the past six or seven years I have ended up in “Emergency”…usually because of misadventure with motorcycles, skidders, and chainsaws. I have zero complaints about the care I received from the paramedics, surgeons, nurses, and diagnostic staff; they were wonderful. However, there are lots of indicators that the system is in crumble mode.

    Wen I was at the Ottawa Civic last summer the hallways were absolutely jammed with patients, equipment, and staff. I wish I had had a go-pro camera on my forehead to record the ducking, dodging, and weaving that went on as my stretcher was being wheeled through the hallways. One of the nurses told me that the hospital was at 118 percent capacity, and that this was par for the course. Everybody – politicians and public – has known for half a century when Old Baby Boomer Day would officially arrive, but NOTHING has been done in response….or at least nothing that remotely approaches adequacy. This is negligence of the highest order, and the responsibility for the state of affairs rests squarely on the slouching shoulders of the very group that is being victimized. During their forty-odd years of voting (as with our public debt) they gave no indication that the deterioration of health care services was a concern and repeatedly accepted the regurgitated assurances of professional sociopaths on their campaign trails.

    And I’m not done yet. It was also quite evident that the nursing staff (and probably the doctors too) are required to spend an incredible amont of time on KYA paperwork – to the detriment of both patients and taxpayers. I am quite certain that a good chunk of this documenting process that takes place on the public dime exists to satisfy insurance companies, lawyers, and desk-bound bureaucrats and has nothing o do with patient welfare.

    Last but not least, I’ll sign off by saying this: I am quite happy and relieved that during my stays in several hospitals I remained – except for surgeries – conscious and aware of what was going on around me. Because of this, on more than one occasion I was able to stop being re-medicated with meds I had already been given or to stop medicine B being administered because medicine A had either not been given, or had been. There appears to be endemic miscommunication problems even within a hospital wing…and those problems increase alarmingly between departments, and non-communication seems to be the default position once the messaging moves up the ladder to the inter-agency stage.

    1. Actually, something has been done to prepare for the Boomer invasion: the legalization and promotion of euthanasia. I do not anticipate being able to live to a ripe old age as my mother and aunt did; the first sign of a problem and I’ll be offed. It’s much more cost-effective. Too bad for the grandbrats, who will be deprived of the experience of walking with me through my final years; it’s all about money.

      Ask our children, who did walk with both Granny and great-aunt through their final years: they will say they have good memories and value the time they spent with their elders. I believe it has made them better adults.

      1. “Actually, something has been done to prepare for the Boomer invasion: the legalization and promotion of euthanasia.”

        As I delight in pointong out to Liberals and other idiots whenever they complain about the crumbling health system they helped create. Sheep that they are, they will learn to, ahem, live with it and accept it as progress through all its predictable stages: optional, discretion of the state, and mandatory.

  34. Government Healthcare;
    Go to emergency room, wait 8 hours, leave. The people running the emergency room still get paid.

    Private Healthcare:
    Go to emergency room, wait 8 hou…..NO YOU WON’T, they will look after you ASAP, because if you leave without treatment, they don’t get paid.

    Which one works better for the injured person? Not even mentioning the consequences to either for mistakes.

    1. One of my friends in the US went to emergency complaining he wasn’t feeling well. Also had shortness of breath. Waited 8 hours for treatment and died. Heart Attack.

  35. 1 – that business insider “cost of healthcare” number is a lie reached by using an OECD style cost estimate. In reality the US number includes almost everything health care related, the Canadian number omits about 40% of our costs (.e.g drugs, physio, WCB, and most capital costs). A better comparison is between a pre-obamacare Kaiser gold plan in California and the cost of any provincial plan calculated as (total costs/pop, where total includes capital costs and special plans (wcb, rcmp, natives, MPs, etc)). On that basis our costs are about 50% more than theirs.
    2 – to understand what went wrong in Canada understand that the patient is not part of the bargaining between the customer (government) and the provider. see my website (winface.com/amt )for more info.

  36. The reason Americans spend less on healthcare than Canadians is simple, most of us have no access to doctors and pay at least 52 percent income tax federally and provincially. Nice try liberals, but when you have no access to a doctor for twenty years you cost the state nothing, however those fake migrants get full blue cross coverage while Canadians have worse healthcare access than Cuba and we can’t go to the vet.

  37. I’m French Canadian too

    I have many skin moles, some need to be checked for skin cancer, some need to be removed for other reasons.

    I called 5 dermatologists in and around Montreal city,

    some told me they cannot take new patients, that they have more than they can handle already.

    some told me the waiting list is about 2 years, that I better try to find another dermatologist.

    my case is not an exception, I know a lot of people who had to wait 6 months to 18 months to get surgery or to get other important treatments.

    That is not all, you should see the waiting lines at what they call CLSC, its where we go to get blood tests for free here in the province of Quebec.

    the lines are so long that people are standing outside in the rain, wind, cold and snow.

    I don t go there anymore.

    I pay a nurse to take blood samples

    our health care system is ” free” but its not worth much

    1. In Alberta one can see a General Practitioner Doctor at their office or clinic to remove moles. A dermatologist is not necessary unless this (painless) method is not effective. My Doctor used a cold liquid nitrogen spray. Within a few days the moles fell off in the shower.
      I was relieved — one less worry, you might say.

      So perhaps this might work for you.

      From the link below:

      “Your doctor will swab or spray a small amount of super-cold liquid nitrogen on the mole or skin tag. You might have a small blister where the mole or skin tag was, but it will heal on its own.”


  38. The fact is that we have a Soviet-style health care system in Canada and Canadians are like Boris Yeltsin before he visited that grocery store in Clear Lake, Texas–he simply had no clue what he was missing.
    We would be far better off with no ‘system’ at all, like we have for other life necessities like food and shelter. Health care is different you say? Then why do Canadians get such good dental care and veterinary care?

  39. I know ten or twenty years ago I read an article indicating the city of Omaha, Nebraska had more MRI machines than the entire country of Canada. Outrageous doesn’t begin to describe that situation.
    The last five years at work a “flu” bug got a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Really dramatic coughing and sneezing. I went to five different doctors six times over the course of a year and a half not counting my primary. The second to last ENT found no easy conclusions except something was off with my sinuses. Turns out they are seriously deformed, who knew?, so he sent me over for a CT scan a few days later. Ultimately, he couldn’t find anything except a slight infection. I have pretty serious acid reflux so he doubled those meds to twice a day in case the acid was causing the issue. He then decided I probably had pulmonary issues. I knew he was wrong, but just in case found a combo allergist pulmonologist who put me through every test known to man. When he found out we had more cats than I’ll mention here, he freaked and began lecturing me about the ills of cats and their presence was a foregone conclusion as to my condition. He tested me twice for cat allergies because, as I told him, I’m not allergic to cats. Ultimately, believe the second to last ENT had it right. It was the acid reflux. The symptoms disappeared never to return.
    The moral of that story is that I was using my husband’s union insurance which was MUCH better than my management coverage. Now we’re both on medicare (aid?) and pay nine times more than we did when we were working.

  40. Two accounts of two ladies in my family. Dear Wife was found to have advanced lymphoma. She received fantastic treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and following chemo and radiation she was declared cancer non-recurrent. About 6 years later I heard that my cousin in law had been suffering from lymphoma for over a year. It seems she just couldn’t get treatment even though she was brought to the hospital several times via ambulance. Sadly the lymphoma killed her in large part because of lack of treatment availability. A different cousin in law also had cancer. He was put at the bottom of the list. However he also had the opportunity to go to the Mayo Clinic in the US and receive treatment there. He died many years later after falling out of a tree. He was 83 at the time of his passing. No one knows why he was up the tree.

  41. Actually, Douglas was wrong; doctors still do have A/R to deal with. A doctor who deals with an “emergency” at the local hospital will probably not be paid by the provincial health system if the patient has no insurance (either provincial or – for out-of-country patients – private insurance. Additionally, Quebec is extremely miserly when it comes to paying for its residents’ out-of-province care, so the treating physician is SOL.

  42. “Healthcare in Canada is strictly to benefit the Union and no one else.” That is a mouthful,,, The Union problem is “scheduled overtime” the only way Management gets promoted is to be liked by the Union Workers….Health care workers work the system 24/7

    Firing all Management who routinely “Schedule Overtime” would result in more Nurses & health care Providers… Yes the Union would be unhappy, but they would have to UP their commitment, or be gone

    The USA & Canadian Doctors all follow the same treatment protocol.. The only difference is HOW you pay for that Treatment…. The Canadian system is inefficient in that most of the Money is spent on Administration of rationed health care…. JMHO

    I have had good experiences in both the USA & Canadian Heath Care systems, because I am Pro Active….


  43. The commentator in the video is from Quebec and that province has a notoriously bad health care system.

    In Ontario we have a great system, if you can get into it. The wait times are long but once you get “hooked in” the service is wonderful.

    On MRI’s, I needed to get one several years back. The wait time for me was 2 weeks. Two days into my wait I got a call from the hospital saying they had a cancellation and would I like to come in? The appointment was for 11:30 in the evening. So in Ontario at least the MRI machines are used outside of “Bankers Hours.”

  44. I am a radiologist in Seattle and I own a private imaging clinic. A Canadian woman called. She had had a stroke and a carotid u/s was ordered, but the wait time was 3 months. She asked, “Can I do an U/S for her?” Yes. “How much will it cost?” $150. “When can I get it done?” We can do it today or when ever you drive down.” She started crying, but she did not come to my center. She probably got it done in Bellingham for the same cost and time frame because it is 90 miles closer to her.

  45. I’ve just read through all the above comments, and have to agree with Phil Shaw.
    I’m an American who’s been living in the Toronto area for a decade, and while in the States I experienced various coverage through my career: union health benefits (gold), as well as being self-employed for years (high-deductible private policy), and a group plan through an employer for which I paid 30% of the premium (US$18 per paycheck). Up here, pay nothing directly of course.
    Wife and I get regular physicals from a GP, we each see a couple specialists, and have had occasional ER visits.
    Compared to US, no difference in “care”. HUGE difference in how it’s paid for.
    The main problem with this discussion is “health care” and “health insurance” are different concepts. Waiting lists aside, I haven’t found the “care” in Canada any worse.
    American insurance has not been free-market since Ted Kennedy began meddling with it. Tommy Douglas’ version is not sustainable forever. Both systems suffer the slow decline in talented doctors, maybe Canada is not as slow.

    Biggest problems in my opinion, since you axed:
    Letting unions hold us hostage by controlling every support worker is destroying it faster (my local hospital had to close its lobby’s Tim Hortons franchise because paying its unionized staff made it operate at a deficit.)
    Letting Justin’s “Syrian” “refugees” and countless others syphon the system without any contribution, while simultaneously chasing away Trans Mountain and Teck and Warren Buffet’s investments is serious political failure. We used to ask rhetorically, “If Obama purposefully wanted to destroy America’s economy, what would he do differently?” I see Justin’s mismanagement as nothing short of treason.
    Charging exorbitant fees to park at a hospital is an unfortunate result of the ever-shrinking budget.