Canada’s bad example
July 28, 2009
I am a Canadian nurse who became a U.S. citizen in 1992. I come from a large family and constantly hear their horror stories about the health care system in Ontario.
Cases in point:
My father: five years ago at 82 years of age, slid off the bed at home and fractured his hip, shearing off the head of the femur. Due to backlogs, they weren’t able to repair it until four days later at 8:30 p.m.
My mother: three years ago at the age of 80, went in for her annual mammo. She showed the technician a lump she was worried about because it was above that area that the machine can grab. The technician said she would have to ask her doctor about it. Her 72-year-old doctor said he thought it was nothing. It waited a year, and on a trip home I took her to the doctors and they decided to do a biopsy, which proved cancerous. She has since had a lumpectomy and radiation.
My brother: at age 45, had no family physician for five years because he had retired, and there was not a single doctor in his town taking new patients. So for five years he had to be treated in the ER for any minor ailments.
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My son: fractured his wrist while at tryouts in Langley, B.C., and was taken to the hospital. He was treated eight hours later. This was not on a busy Saturday night but on a Tuesday morning. The ice he had packed his wrist with from the rink had melted, and it took him two hours of asking for more until finally a hospital staff member went across the street to the convenience store.
A friend’s father from Winnipeg was in so much hip pain that he had to use a walker at the age of 61. He was put on a 20-month wait list and got so fed up waiting that he put his name on a list in the U.K. and had hip surgery there six months later and had to pay $20,000 out of his own pocket.
I could go on but my point is the Canadian system is not by any means a model to go by for health care. Nor is it free as most would like to believe. There are so many taxes necessary to cover such health coverage. By the time you add provincial sales taxes with the federal sales taxes, you are looking at a minimum of 15 percent on all goods and services alone. Note that EVERYONE pays these taxes.
The health care bill in Washington needs to be seriously reviewed over time and not shoved down the throats of those trying to educate themselves on what is actually in the bill. Trying to pass this bill before the August break is a serious mistake that all Americans will pay for! There are other options out there that need to be considered to give Americans better health care!