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View Full Version : Reality check: Canada's government health care system



Hans
07-06-2009, 08:50 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/06/canadian.health.care.system/index.html

But in talking to doctors, government officials and even average Canadians, they concede their system is far from perfect, but there is one statistic they are quite proud of: All Canadians have health coverage. That's 33 million people, compared with the 47 million uninsured in the U.S.

BFLPE
07-06-2009, 11:15 PM
It's good we're all covered but what do we really have coverage for? I don't have a family Doctor so if I need anything I guess I just go to emerg. I had a physical last year but had to pay for it out of pocket. OHIP supposedly covers one physical per year but since it was for work they wouldn't. So basically the only coverage I have is when something bad happens I can go to the ER. Kinda like the uninsured in the States I think. Except I won't get a huge bill and have to pay a few bucks a month for the rest of my life.

dancingqueen
07-07-2009, 12:01 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/06/canadian.health.care.system/index.html

But in talking to doctors, government officials and even average Canadians, they concede their system is far from perfect, but there is one statistic they are quite proud of: All Canadians have health coverage. That's 33 million people, compared with the 47 million uninsured in the U.S.

my ex boyfriend worked at a hotel chain, his health care was not covered... he spent anywhere from $300-$400 a month on medical supplies that he needed to stay alive.

I was lucky, my PRIVATE employer had benefits for me, so my PRIVATE employer vested more interest in my care than my government does. so no, all Canadians do not have health coverage. To me health coverage should cover your health.... in all aspects.

BFLPE
07-07-2009, 12:24 AM
Our 'free' health care is way more limited than we like to admit.

MaO3
07-07-2009, 08:20 AM
It is limited, your right, however if any Canadian is injured in an accident, has a heart attack, stroke, cancer etc. Medical treatment will be provided. You and your family will not be forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills. You'll not be forced to sell your home because of medical bills.

Are your prescriptions covered? No they aren't, do they cost a lot? Yes they do. I totally agree that its hard for people to pay for hundred's of dollars a month for Life sustaining medication.
But by the same token people need to realize its not a perfect system but it IS better than what 47 million americans have. We can go to our hospital and be treated in an emergency, we can have MRI's and CAT scans and not have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of our pocket.
Our system isn't perfect, but its better then what 47 million americans have.

Anapeg
07-07-2009, 08:46 AM
Just an aside to Mao3's post. Why is it that prescription drugs in Canada are so very much cheaper in Canada than in the U.S.? I have seen a myriad of shows and chronicles covering the discrepancy but not saying definitely why. Apparently Americans on the border come here to purchase pharmaceuticals when it is "out of pocket".
Not looking to start an international debate Slow, so "take a pill" if you can afford it.

Slow
07-07-2009, 09:21 AM
It's good we're all covered but what do we really have coverage for?

And that, as they say, is THAT!! :) :) :)

Slow
07-07-2009, 09:22 AM
"Just the other day we had a story about how the government in Great Britain was going to start paying cancer patients to seek treatment in the private sector. Now we have this story out of Canada where private for-profit (the horror!) clinics are becoming a booming business. While Barack Obama seeks to implement a universal healthcare system like Canada, the Canadians are trying to emulate a system closer to the United States.

This article says, "Facing long waits and substandard care, private clinics are proving that Canadians are willing to pay for treatment." Yep, that's the future of the United States. In fact, under the Canada Health Act, private facilities are not allowed to charge citizens for services that are covered by government insurance. That was until 2005, when a Supreme Court ruling in Quebec ruled that patients facing unreasonable wait times could pay out of pocket for private treatment."

http://boortz.com/nealz_nuze/2009/07/private-healthcare-booming-in.html

Pleiades
07-07-2009, 09:30 AM
Just an aside to Mao3's post. Why is it that prescription drugs in Canada are so very much cheaper in Canada than in the U.S.? I have seen a myriad of shows and chronicles covering the discrepancy but not saying definitely why. Apparently Americans on the border come here to purchase pharmaceuticals when it is "out of pocket".
Not looking to start an international debate Slow, so "take a pill" if you can afford it.

Cheaper drugs in Canada may have to do with something called generic drugs. :omg:

Anapeg
07-07-2009, 09:41 AM
Cheaper drugs in Canada may have to do with something called generic drugs. :omg:

Generic drugs aren't available in the U.S.? I thought that after a given time that generics where allowed.

Anapeg
07-07-2009, 09:43 AM
Cheaper drugs in Canada may have to do with something called generic drugs. :omg:

By the way, it's not 9:00 AM yet so you don't need to be "snotty" yet.

Slow
07-07-2009, 09:43 AM
They are allowed.

Anapeg
07-07-2009, 09:44 AM
They are allowed.

I thought so but some know so much more than myself.

Slow
07-07-2009, 09:46 AM
I thought so but some know so much more than myself.

Hmmm, wouldn't know what that feels like.

Anapeg
07-07-2009, 09:51 AM
Hmmm, wouldn't know what that feels like.

I'm walkin' your dog. I'm readin' your mail.

BFLPE
07-07-2009, 10:40 AM
It is limited, your right, however if any Canadian is injured in an accident, has a heart attack, stroke, cancer etc. Medical treatment will be provided. You and your family will not be forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills. You'll not be forced to sell your home because of medical bills.

Are your prescriptions covered? No they aren't, do they cost a lot? Yes they do. I totally agree that its hard for people to pay for hundred's of dollars a month for Life sustaining medication.
But by the same token people need to realize its not a perfect system but it IS better than what 47 million americans have.

47 million is far from accurate. Neither system is perfect, that's for sure. The problem with our system is we have no choice at all. I'm all for universal basic health care for every Canadian but would like the option to purchase better coverage. I also wonder why prescription drugs that are required to live aren't included. Doesn't get much more basic than that.

We don't have people getting huge bills they can never pay just because they had a health emergency. We do have many people who are living on a prayer because they can't afford their prescription drugs on a consistent basis.

The US system is far from perfect also. I wonder how many people stick with jobs they don't like because they don't want to lose their health coverage. Oh wait, that happens here too. People can't afford to lose their drug benefits from work and even if they move to another company with a good plan they will usually have to wait a number of months until they qualify.

There's major flaws with both systems but given the choice, I would choose the one where I have more choices.

Scoff
07-07-2009, 01:38 PM
Cheaper drugs in Canada may have to do with something called generic drugs. :omg:

It's the US eye-gouging approach to big business for "pain killers" ... "Pfizer", "Johnson & Johnson" etc don't give a crap about your health ... they just want money.

Why do you think Marijuana & hash (low risk drugs) are rediculously illegal there and carry the same punishment durations as some murder crimes etc?

When in Vancouver you can walk down the streets smoking a fat blunt in front of Police officers (just don't get caught growing it - strange, but it's how it works there) ...

It's all about money in the US ... you know how many people would stop buying Aspirin, Tylenol, Codeine, Acetiminaphene etc if MJ was legal? (cooking, smoking however you want to prepare it). If I'm nauseated or an upset stomach ... no, no Gravol, smoke a joint and the nausea is gone. Hungover? Headache? Another "jay" does the trick. Burdened by cancer? Don't DARE let any doctor tell you there's nothing for chemo side effects ... demand medicinal marijuana! I was torn apart by seing my mother go through chemo and how ill she was the majority of the time ... I ahd enough, I ended up getting her to try some baking that had marijuana in it and she PRAISED the effects it had on her.

Why is it not a standard?! Why make Cancer patients suffer needlessly!?!?

I'll stick to that thanks ... at least I know what's in the plant I'm smoking as I grew it myself.

Oh noes!! Another reason they don't legalize it ... people could grow their own pain-killers! How can the "gub-ment" cash in on that?

They can't ... so you can't.

If I can stay away from any pills I do so ... it's the last thing I want to ingest into my system. Especially being subjected to American ads for drugs and the side-effects list is 3 times the length of the list of the ailments it helps. Pathetic.

Wow, sorry rant ... prescription drugs/companies just get me on a tear.

SSMP
07-07-2009, 02:24 PM
I had a physical last year but had to pay for it out of pocket.
And you should have to pay for it. It was a condition of your employment not a physical need.

Slow
07-07-2009, 02:59 PM
And you should have to pay for it. It was a condition of your employment not a physical need.

But physicals are good, no matter why you have one.

They can allow for the early detection and treatment of problematic issues in the future; issues which could be very expensive later.

Blunt
07-07-2009, 03:45 PM
But physicals are good, no matter why you have one.

They can allow for the early detection and treatment of problematic issues in the future; issues which could be very expensive later.

Agreed. :thumbs_up:

Slow
07-07-2009, 03:56 PM
Really???

Let me re-state that...

But physicals are bad, no matter why you have one.

They only allow for the late detection and treatment of problematic issues long past; issues which could have been very cheap to treat.

Hans
07-07-2009, 08:38 PM
47 million is far from accurate. Neither system is perfect, that's for sure. The problem with our system is we have no choice at all. I'm all for universal basic health care for every Canadian but would like the option to purchase better coverage. I also wonder why prescription drugs that are required to live aren't included. Doesn't get much more basic than that.

We don't have people getting huge bills they can never pay just because they had a health emergency. We do have many people who are living on a prayer because they can't afford their prescription drugs on a consistent basis.

The US system is far from perfect also. I wonder how many people stick with jobs they don't like because they don't want to lose their health coverage. Oh wait, that happens here too. People can't afford to lose their drug benefits from work and even if they move to another company with a good plan they will usually have to wait a number of months until they qualify.

There's major flaws with both systems but given the choice, I would choose the one where I have more choices.

Everyone says we have no choice and we have no option to purchase better coverage.
Truth is you can purchase additional coverage using private insurance companies, enabling coverage for whatever coverage plan you enrolled in.

And if you think there is no two tier system in Canada think again. There is a 2 tier system, with doctors having private practices that only accept new patients "from time to time". (It's based on how much you are willing to pay on top of what's covered).

SSMP
07-08-2009, 04:35 PM
But physicals are good, no matter why you have one.

They can allow for the early detection and treatment of problematic issues in the future; issues which could be very expensive later.

This is true, but you shouldn't need one more than once a year.
If your employeer requires one then either you or they should pay for it.

BFLPE
07-08-2009, 05:31 PM
Why should I or my employer pay for it when I am allowed one anyway? I'm not asking for an additional physical, just the one that's covered. If they're going to cover one anyway why can't it be used for a work requirement?

Hans
07-08-2009, 08:15 PM
I never paid for mine.

BFLPE
07-08-2009, 10:47 PM
What did you 'never' pay for Hans? Was it a physical exam that was required for your job? If so did you employer pay or did OHIP cover it?

I know, lots of questions. I'm assuming it was a physical that was required for your job and that OHIP indeed covered it, otherwise it wouldn't be relevant.

Hans
07-09-2009, 07:17 AM
It was for a job requirement, and it is relevant. What matters is that you don't pay. It does not matter if your employer paid for it or not.

BFLPE
07-09-2009, 10:28 PM
So OHIP covered it then. Why would they cover it for you and not for me?

Hans
07-09-2009, 10:57 PM
Because they had to supply me with a private healthcare plan, and the third party insurance company required a physical for that.

BFLPE
07-09-2009, 11:00 PM
So how's the weather in the Soo right now?

Hans
07-09-2009, 11:27 PM
it's mild.

BFLPE
07-09-2009, 11:34 PM
Thank you sir.

dancingqueen
07-10-2009, 01:30 AM
I think we are falling from the intent of this post... Canada claims to provide health care to it's citizens. I do not have health care, what we have is pre-paid doctor visits, and not even to every kind of doctor.
we can go to a hospital and be told what is wrong with us and not have to pay out of pocket. Sure, that is wonderful. but our Health CARE is not covered. "Care" extends to taking "care" of said ailment. That is not covered. So, Canadians saying we have free health care, or health care coverage drive me nuts because we don't. My government does next to nothing to cover me. or my health needs. Would one not expect that to be part of health "care"?

Konig-OV
07-10-2009, 10:24 AM
There are pro's and con's to universal healthcare. 3am one morning, my bed jumped up and bit my leg, where I required stitches. I went to the hospital, they stitched me up, and I didn't receive a bill. I understand other sectors such as prescriptions, but there is insurance you can get to help you out with that. The plans maybe $15-50 a month, but I think that is a lot better than paying $500-$2000 a month.

Huggy85
07-10-2009, 02:44 PM
3am one morning, my bed jumped up and bit my leg

Should cage that thing at night

dancingqueen
07-11-2009, 02:06 AM
There are pro's and con's to universal healthcare.

we don't really have universal health care....

Slow
07-11-2009, 10:21 AM
"Surgery Postponed Indefinitely for 1,000 Kelowna Patients" (Globe and Mail, April 8, 2008), "Majority of Quebec Dentists Quit Health-Care System" (CTV, March 27, 2008), "Why Ontario Keeps Sending Patients South," (Globe and Mail, Feb. 22, 2008) and "Will Socialized Medicine in the U.S. Kill Canadians?" (Acton Institute, March 3, 2008).

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/story/2014670.html

Hans
07-11-2009, 05:30 PM
Can't pay your doctor? Charge it!
As more cash-strapped Americans resort to paying medical bills on credit cards, experts say it's a risky trend for consumers but a huge untapped market for lenders.

As medical bills pile up, more Americans are paying their doctors with plastic.

Consumer advocates warn that this is a dangerous trend, but industry watchers see a multi-billion dollar opportunity for lenders to offer specialized "medical" credit cards.

"Out-of-pocket health care spending was already increasing in good times," said Bruce Carlson, publisher with health care market research firm Kalorama Information. "Now with high unemployment, consumers have to reach into their pockets even more to fund their health care."

Americans spend an estimated $294 billion on annual out-of-pocket medical costs annually, to cover everything from doctor's office co-payments to surgeries and prescription medications.

About 25% of that -- around $74 billion -- is already being charged to regular standard credit cards, according to Kalorama. McKinsey Consulting expects that $150 billion worth of health care expenses will go on credit cards by 2015.

Meanwhile, more than 79 million Americans are already struggling to pay off their medical expenses, according to the non-profit Commonwealth Fund.

Regardless, Kalorama's Carlson says that health care related credit is an obvious target market for financial services providers. With retail shopping drying up, lenders need new ways to boost consumer credit card balances.

"Medical expenses are costs that consumers can't avoid unlike other discretionary purchases that they're cutting back on. So why not get into financing it?" he said.

At the same time, doctors and hospitals are having a harder time than ever collecting what they are owed by patients, making fast and easy credit card payments an appealing option.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/09/news/economy/healthcare_medical_creditcards/index.htm?postversion=2009071114

I am sure AIG is already all over this.

Slow
07-12-2009, 10:33 AM
Number one city for knee and hip replacements for Canadians?

Cleveland ;)

We win.

Hans
07-12-2009, 03:24 PM
We can afford whatever we like. You on the other hand...

dancingqueen
07-12-2009, 06:34 PM
I understand other sectors such as prescriptions, but there is insurance you can get to help you out with that. The plans maybe $15-50 a month, but I think that is a lot better than paying $500-$2000 a month.

try getting prescription plans for type 1 diabetes and asthma ;) the insurance companies intend on making money off of me. If they would even take me, I would be looking at about $300 plus a month. I have looked into this. and the trillium foundation does nothing to help unless you are on medication that is at least 20 years old.
Besides, private insurance is one thing. I am talking about Ontario's alleged Health "Care" Ontario gov't cannot claim Health "Care" if you are paying a private insurer. It stops being Gov't care and starts being you taking care of yourself, or your employer taking care of you.
This is why it drives me nuts. We take care of our health, or our employers do. Ontario's coverage is but a drop in the pail.

lk_wicked
07-12-2009, 07:03 PM
for those of you who do not have health coverage, FYI
the TRILLIUM HEALTH PLAN will give you medical coverage, based on your family's income. So for people who work part-time or do not have coverage from their employment, or for people on assistance, who are afraid to work and come off assistance, because of the fear of medical and drug coverage, The Trillium Foundation or whatever its called, will cover you, based on your family's yearly income.

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/forms/form_menus/odb_fm.html

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/drugs/trillium.html

dancingqueen
07-12-2009, 07:12 PM
for those of you who do not have health coverage, FYI
the TRILLIUM HEALTH PLAN will give you medical coverage, based on your family's income. So for people who work part-time or do not have coverage from their employment, or for people on assistance, who are afraid to work and come off assistance, because of the fear of medical and drug coverage, The Trillium Foundation or whatever its called, will cover you, based on your family's yearly income.

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/forms/form_menus/odb_fm.html

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/drugs/trillium.html

The Trillium foundation is a joke...
looks good on paper, in practice actually covers next to nothing for anyone who would actually need it.