I am seeing so many posts about it on my dash that I feel compelled, as a Canadian, to make a summary of how the Canadian system works..
Say you are sick. You don’t know what’s wrong, but you definitely know it’s not a cold or flu. You want to make an appointment with your doctor…
Do you have a doctor?
- Yes: Call and make an appointment. Seeing as the doctor to patient ratio in Canada is about 195:100,000, it could take you about 2 weeks to get in.
- No: Go to the emergency room. Like seven million other Canadians, you are going to have to take a number and wait hours to be registered so that you can wait hours more to be seen by a nurse, so that she can assess you, so that you can wait hours more to see a doctor. If the nurse, a person with less then a quarter of the medical knowledge of a doctor, does not think that you are sick — You can be kicked out of the hospital.
Now say you have made it past the gates of the nurse, and have braved almost 10 hours in the waiting room, finally seeing a doctor.
Did he find something wrong?
- No: Oh well. You waited for nothing. Or did you? According to a recent study by the Globe and Mail, 15% of Canadian patients are misdiagnosed by emergency room doctors. Often, these patients have serious illnesses that are not being tended to. I believe that every Canadian knows at least one person who has suffered because they were misdiagnosed. I, personally, know four people in my family and circle of friends that have been permanently damaged due to being misread by the doctors as having nothing wrong, and ended up paying the consequences big time.
It’s not the doctors’ faults.. They have thousands of patient to deal with every single night, and need to get through each one as fast as possible. Even clinic doctors are in a rush — And often have six or seven clients scheduled for the exact same time so that they can meet their quotas.The healthcare is bound to suffer when doctors and nurses are under pressure.
- Yes:It depends on what’s wrong. But in most cases, you are going to have to be referred to a specialist. And whether that specialist is an ENT, a dermatologist, a psychologist, a sexologist, a neurologist, or a cardiologist, the waits are a minimum of 6 months. Last year, I was referred to a neurologist. I still have not received a call.
Now you’ve been referred to a specialist, and you have finished waiting.
Can the specialist treat it, or must you go for surgery?
- Specialist can treat: Oh dear, you didn’t know? The appointment you got with your specialist was only a consultation. You need to reschedule to get your treatment. See you in another six months.
- Surgery: Surgery is required, eh? Poor bastard. Go and see the nurse on your way out, and give her the slip of paper your specialist has give you so that she can put you on the waiting list for surgery. Unfortunately, while the Canadian population has grown, the healthcare system hasn’t… So the median wait time is about 19 weeks, but depending on the surgery can go up to the five year mark. Sorry. Hope you don’t die before then.
But what if you need help during those 19 weeks? What if you are super sick, and only going to get worse during that 19 weeks?
Well, sorry to say, but Medicare does not cover in-home caretakers — Whose services range anywhere from 20-50 dollars per hour.. That could cost almost 400 dollars for an 8 hour day!
Do you have the money to pay for a caretaker?
- No:Oh well. If you happen to get so bad that you are on the verge of dying, you MAY be able to get in to your surgery a bit faster!
- Yes: Capitalist bastard. Pay more taxes!
And remember, it is this, the Canadian system, that Obama said Obamacare would be modeled off of.