The Canadian Health Care System – it works.

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I just read Rick Segals off topic, yet interesting, experience of being in a Canadian Hospital. As Rick is an American (living in/near Toronto) its interesting to see how his experience faired (good apparently.) Hopefully, he recovers quickly. (get well soon!) My mother was recently ill – I can only echo that her experience was the same as Ricks. Prompt diagnosis, and prompt care, but once she was out of any real danger long wait times. After beer and hockey complaining about our health care system is a national past time. Most of the recent ruckus has focused on private vs. public model for healthcare, or a mixed system. A few years ago while I was in London, Gordon Brown the chancellor of the exchequer, who looks to be the UK’s next PM, gave a speech on the subject that resonated with me on the subject. In it he said:

“The free market position, which would lead us to privatised hospitals and some system of vouchers and extra payments for treatments, starts by viewing health care as akin to a commodity to be bought and sold like any other through the price mechanism. But in health care we know that the consumer is not sovereign.”

In that there should always be protections within the system for all users of health care, because the person in need is not in any position to shop around. In the UK this is a particular issue as they do have a mixed public and private system and users can get quicker access to possibly better services – if they pay. At this time its a decision a friend of mine is making as he suffers, with a 12-18 month wait for a hernia operation. Had he private insurance (or £3000 or roughly $7000 Canadian) this would not be an issue for him.Thats not the case in Canada where he may still have to wait but at least he would know that it had nothing to do with his employment contract or personal wealth. Two items which make me looks favorably on the system in Ontario. Occasionally, we all forget just how great the healthcare system is in Canada, while not perfect and rightfully being reviewed constantly for efficiencies and concerns about access – it is certainly one of the best in the world we should sing its praises once in a while. Thanks for the reminder Rick.

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Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at

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