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The Dire State of Canadian Healthcare

The Dire State of Canadian Healthcare

American supporters for universal healthcare often point to Canada’s single-payer model as an example. Here’s why they shouldn’t:

A “bloated bureaucracy” is killing Canada’s healthcare system, writes Susan Brown, CEO for hospitals and communities for Interior Health. Her plea for the Canadian government to redesign the nation’s healthcare system echoes the current troubles the United States is facing under Obama’s devastating healthcare overhaul that has left thousands of Americans unable to afford monthly premiums and has convinced others simply go without this necessary service. 

Brown compares hospital development in Canada from the 1970’s to now, noting that even with hundreds more employees and facilities, patients are receiving ever-worsening care. “The reality is we are facing a healthcare crisis unlike in any other developed country.” She calls the system inefficient, expensive, and unsustainable, blaming such deterioration on “the unbridled growth of health bureaucracies.” 

In terms of developed countries with healthcare, Canada is ranked second-to-last. “Due to government policies, we have a critical doctor shortage and 5 million Canadians don’t have a family physician,” writes Brown. “Despite very long wait lists…there are more than 170 young orthopedic surgeons who are unable to work because of the denial of or space and hospital privileges.” 

Provincial governments spend nearly 40% of their annual budgets on healthcare, yet according to the Canadian Institute of Healthcare Information, most patients wait nearly three weeks longer for priority procedures than what doctors consider to be clinically reasonable. In 2013, the average patient waited more than four months to receive a medically necessary treatment after a referral by his or her general practitioner. 

Excessive wait times aren’t just annoying – they can lead to poorer overall health and even premature death. “Delayed care often transforms an acute and potentially reversible illness or injury into a chronic, irreversible condition that involves permanent disability,” says Dr. Brian Day of the Canadian Medical Association.

 “We must topple the bureaucratic pyramid to have hope of reform,” writes Brown, adding that Canadian bureaucrats are spending more money keeping patients on waiting lists than they would in doing the tests, procedures, and operations these people need. 


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The Opposite of Obamacare: How a free enterprise philosophy would dramatically reduce health care prices – Paperback $13.95

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