Quote from beej32
Are there long lines, poor care and people dying because they were unable to see a doctor? Are you going bancrupt due to taxes because of your healthcare?
1. No! The health care is not poor! If people are urgent or emergent, they do get seen very quickly. Maybe not as quickly as they'd like, but they do get priority. The general surgeons in my area have specific time blocked off every week for women with breast cancer diagnoses. A woman will be seen within a week or so with this diagnosis and a mastectomy/lumpectomy or whatever schuduled within 2 weeks or so (or sooner if it's a later stage cancer).
I developed complications with my 2nd pregnancy and the day of my ultrasound my doctor recieved the results she called me from her home and had me see the top OB/gyn in the city THE VERY NEXT DAY. This doctor normally has a wait list months long for more 'elective' things.
I used to work for a plastic surgeon and if we received an urgent/emergent referral, that person would be seen immediately/within a day or two.
There are definate flaws in the system though, no doubt about it. Anything considered "elective" can have a VERY LONG wait to be seen in consultation and then surgery. The OR's at my hospital run at full capasity during regular OR time and often into the night to catch up on surgeries. My daughter jammed her two front teeth into the coffe table and had to be put under to have them extracted (she was 2). We were told to bring her to the hospital at 8am, npo, for surgery at 12 noon. We were bumped all afternoon for more urgent surgeries and she didn't have hers until 7:30 that evening. That really sucked bad since she was only 2 and was soooooooooo thirsty and hungy. But, she is fine and if I was in a horrible car crash and need emerg surgery, I should think I'd be put ahead of tooth extractions.
2. We do pay a lot of income tax to pay for our healthcare system, but once you are so used to it, it just becomes normal, KWIM? The taxes are deducted from your cheque and you never see it, so you dont' ever count on that part of your pay. I'm in BC and we do pay healthcare premiums, $108 per month for a family of 3 or more, $76 for a family of 2 and $54 for a single person. Although, if a family's income falls below $28,000 per year, this premium is reduced or eliminated all together for lower incomes. This premium covers all doctor visits, diagnostic tests, hospital visits, stays, surgeries, childbirth etc. You don't pay anything out of pocket for a hospital stay unless you want a TV, phone or private room.
You can purchase "extended benefits" from a private company, or many workplaces offer it as a benefit. This would include Rx coverage, vision, dental, physio, chiro, massage etc. If I were to purchase this privately for me, my DH, and two children, it would cost us about $130 per month, but this is tax deductible.
Many people can get by just fine on the provincial health, which I listed above.
Please let me know if you have any other questions about Canadian healthcare. I have worked in the public/private healthcare system for 12 years now (not as a nurse, but as a medical secretary)