18 August 2009

Canadian healthcare

A Majority of Two has a long post in response to some rightwinger's taunt ""When was the last time a new lifesaving treatment was developed in Canada……?" The post lists a panopoly of key medical procedures discovered in Canada. The final paragraphs:

Canadians live longer, they receive better health care than most Americans, there is no such thing here as a “pre-existing condition” which prevents them from getting medical care. And, Americans would be surprised to learn just how much of their medications and medical procedures are discovered in places like Germany, France (yes) even Great Britain.

I could go on, but I’m getting tired. Canada is not a medical backwater, and Americans need to come here and see the truth for themselves. All the horror stories about Canadians going to other countries for medical care is false. I work in the medical system, and I know. It is false. It’s fear mongering. In fact, it’s embarrassing it’s so untrue.

We are not saying our system is perfect. Far from it, but it's better than many others. However, we would really appreciate it if Americans would stop telling lies about our system in order to further their arguments in their debate about their own health care system. We really don't care what system you choose, but please -- stop trashing ours.

Since we're on the topic, here are some interesting stats to consider (not from A Majority of Two):

In the World Health Organization's ratings of health care system performance among 191 member nations published in 2000, Canada ranked 30th and the U.S. 37th, while the overall health of Canadians was ranked 35th and Americans 72nd.

In terms of population health, life expectancy in 2006 was about two and a half years longer in Canada, with Canadians living to an average of 79.9 years and Americans 77.5 years. Infant and child mortality rates are also higher in the U.S.

The incidence of cancer and incident of cancer mortality rates of the two countries are basically identical with slight variations (some favoring one system, some the other) depending on the type of cancer.

YET Canada spends roughly half of what the U.S. spends on healthcare (in 2006, per-capita spending for health care in the U.S. was US$6,714; in Canada, US$3,678.)


Anonymous said...

Hi Carlo, am assuming that you are Canadian, with that said, thank you for your post, it speaks loudly to me. And any one with common sense would understand it's been a big scare tatic, to bash the Canadian, systems as well as others around the world. Personally think that here in Americia, it would mean the end of Insurance companys' lobbyist, phar. companys extrem profits. And I will apoligize for the nonsense, wish I knew how to make all of this stop. Also please excuse my spelling.
Pat from NY.

Karlo said...

I'm hoping to be accepted as a Canadian on the grounds of being a heathcare refugee.