Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One American's Experience With Canada's Healthcare

While I think France or Australia would be a better model for healthcare reform than Canada, I get pretty sick of hearing all the bashing on Canada's system, when it many ways it beats the pants off ours. This American, who spent a lot of time in Canada, agrees:

The scare ads and op-ed pieces featuring Canadians telling us American how terrible their government health-care systems have arrived - predictably.

There's another, factual view - by those of us Americans who've lived in Canada and used their system.

My wife and I did for years, and we've been incensed by the lies we've heard back here in the U.S. about Canada's supposedly broken system.

It's not broken - and what's more, Canadians like and fiercely defend it.

Example: Our son was born at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. My wife got excellent care. The total bill for three days in a semi-private room? $21.

I've had a few experiences myself with healthcare in foreign countries, and I've generally found it to be excellent. I remember being in Singapore, and I went to an airport clinic. They gave me a full check-up, two prescriptions, and everything with near-zero wait-time and it cost us like twenty bucks.

While you hear a lot of scare-tactic stories about healthcare everywhere else in the world here in the US, the truth of the matter is that healthcare everywhere else in the industrialized world makes our non-system look pathetic.

Note that I'm not knocking the quality. I think we have very good quality healthcare (as do most rich countries). I just think the difference between us and everyone else is that our insurance cartel makes it so darn expensive, whereas other people don't have to deal with that. No where else is the first thing you have to do when you're sick and going to the hospital is fill out an insurance form.