To the Editor: Positives cited about Canadian health care PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Current   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 08:32
My husband and I recently spent some time up in the James Bay Frontier in Ontario. We have spent a few weeks there each summer for decades. We have made many friends there over the years.
We have been able to watch their health care system grow and work. Every so often I hear from someone in Congress that Canadians hate their health care system. This always amazes me as we have never heard any complaints.
One friend had a son with MS. They lived in the bush country, an hour away from the nearest doctor. They would take their son to his specialist several times a year - a drive of about three hours each way. They were supplied with everything needed to care for him and give him the best life possible, including electric wheelchairs (new every few years) and a special van with a lift for the family to use. Free. They felt his care was very good.
It would have been wonderful if the trip to the doctor had been 20 minutes, but I know many people who have gone to Cleveland Clinic to see a specialist, or one of a number of special facilities.
While we were in Ontario this summer, the government was aware that more doctors and medically advanced nurses are needed. They are adding spots in medical schools this fall, plus adding more spots for advanced nurses. The health care system in Ontario is constantly tweaking itself, and making adjustments to improve care.
A few years ago I had a "spell" while shopping in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. My husband took me to the emergency room where, within 20 minutes, I was examined. I was diagnosed with a panic attack and given a strong antacid. I was very worried about what the bill might be because a couple of years prior we had taken our daughter into an area ER when she had croup and the bill was over $1,500. She had had an exam and a breathing treatment, then was sent home. I understand that is fairly cheap for a U.S. ER bill these days. Anyway, when the bill was handed to us, it was $38. I was from another country and still the bill was $38. When I commented on it, they told me that that was the standard billing. It didn't matter if I was a resident or not. That is what can happen to health care costs when the "for profit" aspect is taken out of the equation.
What is being proposed is affordable health care for everyone, with choices that include private insurance.
I read that many medications are made in the U.S. and imported for sale in Canada. Americans pay considerably more for the same medications. Why are our pharmaceutical companies allowed to charge us more for medications than what they charge to other countries?
Sharon Current
Grand Rapids
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 08:34

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