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Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 3:08 AM


I'm just curious how you folks from countries other than the u.s. feel about your health care systems. do you like them? do you think you would like the american system?

Donleigh  (Level: 156.6 - Posts: 5478)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 3:25 AM

You have a system? (kidding)
Universal Health Care - don't get sick or you'll wait an eternity. The only people who get good care are the people who work in the system - we know how it works, what docs are taking new patients (try find a GP!), and how to make the right noise at the right time.
The rich go elsewhere, everybody else waits forever.
Would I change it for private insurance? NO

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 3:29 AM

Donleigh, you say all these bad things about your system yet you wouldn't trade it. Why is that?

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 7:34 AM

I'm asking these questions because I'm so ignorant about different healthcare systems despite being a nurse. A co-worker told me that in Great Britain for example, that there were definite age cut-offs for certain procedures regardless of the persons health. I have no idea if this is true. Anyone?

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 7:46 AM

We are near Canada and routinely have patients coming down here for medical care, even open heart surgery - many of them pay cash. One told me he was told they couldn't do his surgery for six months and by then he would be dead.
On the flip side for the first time ever last year more US doctors left the US to go and practice in Canada than moved down here. Some reasons cited included that they like the 9 to 5 environment and less paperwork hassles. The day I get out of work at 5:00 will probably be the day I retire. Seems to me neither system is ideal.

Oldcougar  (Level: 229.6 - Posts: 1937)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 8:43 AM

One of the main reasons we have such long waiting lists, is an extreme shortage of doctors, especially GP's. This is the result of cutting back on training new ones (some pencil pushers idea of how to save money in the 80's, since rectified) & we don't value our GP's enough. Specialists get the big bucks (wages are controlled by the Doctors medical boards). GP's are so busy, people aren't getting proper care up front, thus ending up sicker or they don't have a GP & are clogging up the ER's with non-emergency treatments or not being properly cared for due to non-continuity, thus ending up sicker & costing more money in the end. Young doctors refuse to work as many hours (who can blame them), also adding to problem. It's only going to get worse, as the boomer doctors retire. They've started to implement nurse practitioners in some places, which is easing the load, but many doctors don't like this idea. Desperately need the Federal government to set some ground rules instead of just throwing money at the problem, which is just sucked up by the different levels of bureaucracy (Federal, Provincial & Medical Boards). Complicated

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3640)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 9:02 AM

I love my health care. I have Group Health, which is an HMO but since we don't have any HMO facilities here, all the doctors here take Group Health. All I pay is a $10.00 copay for office visits. My share of the premium, through my job, is $160 a month or something like that. My husband's insurance is BlueShield and it is free to him through his employer. It picks up any difference the Group Health doesn't pay, which means I never have copays, even the $10.00. That is also the case for dental and optical. We are not rich, btw.

I have a sister who lives in Canada although she is obviously from the U.S. She is disabled and runs into the same thing you are mentioning, Randy.

Donleigh  (Level: 156.6 - Posts: 5478)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 10:55 AM

Sandy, I wouldn't change the system because of the security for the less fortunate. Look at Rocco - quack for a doctor, unable to get appropriate meds because of the cost, and getting more despondent as time passes.
This may not be a perfect system, but for people who can't afford insurance, being able to get a second opinion, or surgery, or the right drugs - this is the best way to go about it.

Bbear  (Level: 168.0 - Posts: 2291)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 12:46 PM

US has the best health care system in the world if you can afford to pay for it. We have Blue Cross; the vast majority of it is paid for by Jim's employer, so we pay about 150 a month for four people. 25 dollar doctor visit co-pays, no gatekeeper, cheap meds.

If you are poor here you can get Medicaid, which is good general healthcare.

If you are in the poor working class you are just screwed.

Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 3:09 PM

1. I recognize several of the posters as McCain supporters. He proposes to impose taxes on the value of employer-sponsored healthcare. Yet, the old fool keeps making untrue attacks on Obama's tax policies, claiming that all he will do is raise taxes.

2. Medicaid is better than no coverage, but that's it. The coverage is lousy. It won't pay for many types of preventative treatment, but will spend thousands when a condition that could have been prevented develops, assuming you can find a doctor willing to be reimbursed at the Medicaid rate.

3. From what I have read, the French may have the best healthcare system, although for the super rich, the U.S. is probably the place to be.

Wordster  (Level: 167.7 - Posts: 938)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 3:36 PM

Even though the British health system (The National Health Service (NHS)) has it's drawbacks I wouldn't change it for the American system where elderly patients travel to Canada to get cheaper meds. There is something wrong with a health system where hard working people have to think twice about going to the doctor or don't go at all because of the cost. Every child can get free medical and dental treatment under the NHS. Dental treatment for Adults is another story. Every adult can get free medical treatment you don't have to worry about where the money is going to come from. Pensioners get free prescriptions. Free access to health care means that the overall health of the nation should be good If you have the money you can take out medical and dental plans and have private treatment here too. Of course we have to pay through our tax for the NHS. The rising cost of medical treatment combined with an aging population means however that the NHS budget is being squeezed more and more. Health Authorities have to decide which treatments/drugs they will supply and waiting lists for "non-essential" treatments e.g. hip replacements are long, but if you pay you can have it next week! By the way get real if you think medicaid is that great.
The NHS comes in for criticism but I think it has been hugely beneficial to this country. That said there are obviously going to have to be changes to the system.

Wordster  (Level: 167.7 - Posts: 938)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 3:48 PM

Yes, I believe there are age cut-offs. The NHS argues that the treatment wouldn't benefit the persons quality of life and it would be more beneficial to spend the money on treating younger people. It's not great. I think pharmaceutical companies need to look at how much they are charging for drugs etc. There is no point providing these treatments if only a relatively few well off people can afford them.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3640)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 4:01 PM

Geesus TSK. Does everything turn into a McCain rant for you? I don't recall my post having anything to do with politics, democrats, or republicans. Extremists suck.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 4:04 PM

Seems to me that wherever you are, under whatever the Health system
there will be complaints - especially in rural areas where there is little
choice of doctors available....
However - in no industrial country except for the US - do people go Bankrupt, or
have to sell their homes to pay Medical fees. And Health coverage being denied
as soon as someone gets a major illness like Cancer. I've heard of people
crossing from Canada to the US to get treatment....also heard of them going
to Mexico, Russia, India....wherever there seems to be a treatment that will
solve their problems. An our government pays most of those costs.

I'm thinking the question should not be what is wrong with the Health care in
YOUR should be - would you want to have the US sytem here????

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 4:30 PM

I have been back in Ontario since March 2008, and was signed up
with a private doctor since May/June....
Also there are many Medical Clinics in the cities, where you don't have to
make an appointment (hooray) there is consistency if you chose to go
only when "your" doctor is on duty. The desk staff and nurses know you.
They also may have many kinds of testing done on-site....not as many as
a regular hospital - but certainly the basic blood/urine tests, and ultrasound.
So unless you have a major or life-threatening problem, there's no need to
go to a hospital and wait endlessly in Canada.
Having moved 3000 miles across the country - having been homeless for
almost three months - and having bronchitis for a month during that time,
I CANNOT complain about the standard of care I recieved anywhere.Total
cost for all of that was $54.00 per month and small cost for medications.

Fudypatootie  (Level: 207.7 - Posts: 1302)
Fri, 29th Aug '08 4:49 PM

One part of the problem of people going bankrupt to pay medical bills has to do not so much with the amount owed, but with the payment schedule demanded by the hospitals. When I had surgery 3 years ago, we were perfectly willing and able to pay the bills out over time, but at $50 or $100 a month. But no, that's not good enough for our hospital. All bills had to be paid off in 6 months time. And each doctor, anesthetist, etc. was billed separately and had to be paid separately.

We took out a loan and paid off the hospital and then took our sweet time paying off the loan.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 30th Aug '08 8:43 AM

Thanks everyone for your responses. I can see a nurse practitioner within a day or two, but if I want to see my GP it's a month or so. I guess if I needed a new hip I could get one right away. I would be willing to pay higher taxes so to include the working poor. It seems like in America some folks think being poor is usually a choice and that those people should just have to live with the consequences. I've never met anyone who works, who wouldn't like to have a better paying job with benefits. Companies are pulling out of health care benefits as fast as they can. Bet we'll have no choice but to have some government system soon. Sounds like in UK and Canada things could be better but at least they have the dignity of knowing their elders aren't losing their homes and going without food to pay for healthcare. Yes it does happen. See it all the time.

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