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Health care in Victoria


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#41 Mike K.

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:13 PM

Our country's socialized health care has its drawbacks, that's for sure.

 

I always get a chuckle out of American's telling me how great our health care is compared to theirs. I tell them to quit watching Michael Moore's nonsense and see for themselves just how pleasant an emergency room visit is or what Canadian's with slightly more complicated medical needs have to endure without an opportunity to switch providers.


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#42 eseedhouse

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:01 PM

I always get a chuckle out of American's telling me how great our health care is compared to theirs. I tell them to quit watching Michael Moore's nonsense and see for themselves just how pleasant an emergency room visit is or what Canadian's with slightly more complicated medical needs have to endure without an opportunity to switch providers.

 

Speaking as someone with both recent and current experience of this I don't think you could be more wrong.  I was treated promply and effectively (and on the first occasion life savingly) by all the staff, who were also courteous and friendly.  I got prompt and effective treatment and paid nothing out of pocket.



#43 arfenarf

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:03 AM

I have never had anything but first-class experiences with the management of urgent (two active kids = many ER visits over the years) or chronic illness here.

 

When I've been in a queue, it's never been life-altering:  crises have always been handled with the attention they deserve.  And as far as I'm concerned, it's far better that I be a little patient while more urgent cases are handled than that only those with money or a generous employer be allowed into the queue in the first place.


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#44 lanforod

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:08 AM

Our system isn't perfect, no system is, but I do think our system does a pretty dang good job considering. Sure there are wait times, and sometimes things slip through the cracks, but these are exceptions, not the norm.

 

Doctor shortages here in BC isn't exactly unique to us. It is estimated there is a shortage of over 4 million doctors worldwide, and much of that is in developed countries as well as developing. Its a problem pretty much everywhere.



#45 Mike K.

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:18 AM

Try telling that to someone who is waiting in the emergency waiting area for nearly eight hours because there is no bed available while the two doctors on staff can't keep up with demand. Or those waiting for "elective" surgeries for years while living with excruciating pain, forcing many to seek care in the US. And specialist visits ...don't even get me started on how nice it is to find out you need to see a specialist but your appointment must be booked four months in advance.

Our system is falling apart in several ways and as the population ages while costs continue to rise serious problems will continue to get worse.

We can be nostalgic about it and everyone's mileage varies but that does not discount the very serious issues so many Canadians face at the hands of their healthcare system.

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#46 jonny

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:34 AM

Just ask the nurse when the slow times of the week are and plan accordingly.  Friday night after work is definitely not the slow period.

 

But the shortage of GP's in B.C. is definitely a big problem and a sign of disastrously poor planning by our government.

 

Unfortunately I can't usually be that flexible, but I have called in before and they say it's not that busy and then I get in there and it's an hour wait. Oh well.



#47 jonny

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:42 AM

Speaking as someone with both recent and current experience of this I don't think you could be more wrong.  I was treated promply and effectively (and on the first occasion life savingly) by all the staff, who were also courteous and friendly.  I got prompt and effective treatment and paid nothing out of pocket.

 

I have to agree.

 

Due to a spate of bad luck and aging, a few family members have been in an out of the hospital in recent months and I must say the care they received in every case was excellent.

 

Five or six months ago, my father in law had a heart attack in the middle of the night. By the time his wife had a chance to call us he was already in the cardiology department having an angioplasty and about an hour after we got to the hospital he was in his clean, incredibly modern recovery room being looked after by several staff.

 

The system has challenges, like any does, but it is certainly not falling apart.



#48 Greg

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:13 AM

Speaking as someone with both recent and current experience of this I don't think you could be more wrong.  I was treated promply and effectively (and on the first occasion life savingly) by all the staff, who were also courteous and friendly.  I got prompt and effective treatment and paid nothing out of pocket.

My two most recent experiences with the system involved <a> having to fly myself to Vancouver for emergency retinal repair because there was no one available in Victoria who could do it over the weekend and the risk of full detachment required immediate action, and <b> waiting months for a colonoscopy and still longer (as in still) for a gastroenterologist visit. The American system is broken in its own ways, to be sure, but there is simply no reasonable comparison between the care someone in the States with decent insurance gets, and the endless delays encountered here. Either way care is rationed in some manner, and the method of rationing will always be imperfect.



#49 Mike K.

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

Part of the problem in the US is not everyone pays into the system and those relatively few who do have to support that system. This in turn means higher premiums.

Meanwhile Canadians actually benefit tremendously from the American system. Best practices, research, drugs and state of the art technology is a product of the privatized health care system so many Canadians scoff at.

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#50 http

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 10:46 AM

Part of the problem in the US is not everyone pays into the system and those relatively few who do have to support that system. This in turn means higher premiums.

Meanwhile Canadians actually benefit tremendously from the American system. Best practices, research, drugs and state of the art technology is a product of the privatized health care system so many Canadians scoff at.

So... the Canadian system produces no best practices, performs no research, develops no drugs or technology?

 

Keep in mind that the USA is almost ten times as populous as Canada, and due to its privatized nature, spends more proportionately on advertising the advances it makes.

 

I posit that Americans benefit also from the Canadian system, and disparity results largely from the size difference.


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#51 Jill

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 10:54 AM

Lots of great medical research and advancements come out of the British National Health Service!



#52 Mike K.

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 11:09 AM

My Canadian health care-related education was comprised 70% of US materials, 20% of UK materials and 10% Canadian. The Canadian material was mostly related to the ethics of Canadian health care decisions and the costs to society of maintaining our system.

The best hospitals in the world are in the US as are the major research agencies that are largely responsible for what the rest of the world considers alopathy. We so often pick on the US but in actuality our socialized system owes a great deal to the tax payers and premium payers of the United States.

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#53 eseedhouse

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 11:31 AM

This is really not the thread to discuss the healthcare system.

 

But I will add this.  Anecdotes, good or bad, are not evidence, including the one I posted.  Picking and choosing the parts of the system to focus on based on our personal viewpoints are not evidence either.

 

The facts are that comparative studies by objective observers show that the system we have in Canada costs much less and provides far better over all outcomes than the one they have in the U.S.A. 



#54 Mike K.

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:31 PM

Do you have a link to that (those) studies?

 

Health care statistics can be tricky. What's a better hospital, the one that sees hundreds of deaths due to trauma every year or one that sees very few trauma related deaths? On the surface one hospital appears better than the other, right?

 

There is no way the Canadian health care system is better than the American health care system unless we lump in private and county hospitals for any statistic we arrive at. And if that's what we're doing then the comparison between the US and Canada cannot be made if we expect a meaningful result. Yes, more is spent on American health care per-capita, but some of that has to do with better and more costlier care being provided.

 

The CEO of Toronto's University Health Network, Robert Bell, said it best when he wrote to the Wall Street Journal several years ago in response to Michael Moore's movie Sicko.

 

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the President and CEO of University Health Network, Toronto, said that Michael Moore's film Sicko "exaggerated the performance of the Canadian health system — there is no doubt that too many patients still stay in our emergency departments waiting for admission to scarce hospital beds."

However, "Canadians spend about 55% of what Americans spend on health care and have longer life expectancy, and lower infant mortality rates. Many Americans have access to quality health care. All Canadians have access to similar care at a considerably lower cost." There is "no question" that the lower cost has come at the cost of "restriction of supply with sub-optimal access to services," said Bell.

 

 

Of course what Bell fails to mention is that life expectancy in the US and Canada are slightly different because of different lifestyles and other factors, but life expectancy is not necessarily the result of better or poorer care. And neither is infant mortality.


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#55 dasmo

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:40 PM

A local company flourishes because of the US medical system.  Insurance establishes a going rate for a treatment. Come up with a product that cuts the treatment time in half, easy money. This simple formula drives a lot of innovation in the medical industry. As someone else mentioned the market is also 10 times as big so that's a key factor in this formula. I don't think their system is perfect nor ours. I know that If you are insured and or well off their system can benefit you because you have more options. Our system is low cost in general but it is not free though. Get cancer and you will find that out.... 



#56 jonny

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:06 PM

There have been studies and rankings done on the subject of which country has the best health care system. I think you could easily regard both the Canadian and American systems as good.

 

http://www.businessi...rld-2012-6?op=1

 

http://www.bloomberg...-care-countries

 

http://www.commonwea...-Countries.aspx

 

Why do we care about comparing to the US anyway? By all accounts we should be copying whatever France is doing.



#57 Mike K.

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:11 PM

I suppose because we can hop across the border and access their services if we want to pay for them. Lots of people have given up hope for receiving timely elective surgeries and are foregoing Canadian health care.

 

Our system is low cost in general but it is not free though. Get cancer and you will find that out.... 

 

This.


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#58 jonny

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:24 PM

Get cancer and you will find that out.... 

 

Of course the system is not free. Prescription drugs can be very costly. Requiring a physio or massage gets expensive fast.

 

What are the costs of cancer you are referring to exactly?



#59 Nparker

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:36 PM

 

Our system is low cost in general but it is not free though. Get cancer and you will find that out.... 

A friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer last fall and in less than 2 weeks had an entire course of treatments mapped out for her. Thankfully she is doing well today in no small part to the quick and effective treatment she received right here in Victoria. It cost her nothing out of pocket.


Edited by Nparker, 29 April 2014 - 01:37 PM.


#60 Mike K.

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:44 PM

So many patients face major financial hurdles in Canada when it comes to drugs required alongside their treatments. In BC health insurance does not cover drugs administered out of the hospital, save for cancer, and this leaves patients not only on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars for drugs abut also the inability to work and other financial repercussions of being ill for an extended period of time.

 

In BC we're relatively lucky in that cancer drugs are largely covered (if not entirely?). In other provinces Canadians are not so lucky and can face bills into the many tens of thousands of dollars throughout the course of their treatment.

 

And ditto for rehab. If you find yourself requiring rehabilitation and you were uninsured (say you injured yourself in a fall and all you have is MSP) you're looking at rehabilitation costs paid out of pocket that can easily climb to $1,000 per month.


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