According to Gordon Daniel’s letter to the editor, “Socialized Medicine Alwaysw Has Problems,” I should probably be dead by now.
As a Canadian ex-pat who was the product of 31 years of the healthcare system there, this is the first time that I heard that the Canadian system has “failed” and “results in a very low quality of health care.” Is the system there perfect? No, of course not. Is it as dismal as Mr. Daniel leads us to believe? No, of course not. Canada’s system offers great preventative health care since access is readily available, prompting people to visit their doctor on a more regular basis. Waiting lists for certain surgeries and procedures can be longer, yes, but someone is also not going to be allowed to die in the meantime. The seriousness of someone’s medical issues is always taken into consideration.
Do people sometimes come to the U.S. for treatment? Yes, but there are different instances under which people come, and how the U.S.-based treatment is paid for will differ. If the option truly isn’t available in Canada, then the treatment is usually paid for by the Canadian healthcare system. If it is available in Canada but the patient opts to come to the U.S. instead, then the patient will pay for it out of pocket. Since the patient won’t have U.S.-based insurance, the price won’t be cheap. Personally, I don’t recall anyone I know ever coming to the U.S. for treatment whether they can afford to or not, meaning people aren’t coming in droves, as Mr. Daniel indicates.
Canadians may gripe and complain, but most would probably be hard-pressed to give up their health care, and the provincial health boards are always striving to make improvements within the existing system. It may not be perfect, but to say that the system there has failed is highly inaccurate. I have lived to talk about it, as have millions of others.