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Old 04-23-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
GJA
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Just a question for the Canadian members. Do you feel you have good health care?
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:00 PM   #2
charlene
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having spent several months entrenched in the Canadian Health care system (with my daughter) in the Toronto area I must say I am more than plesed with it. All of the doctors/specialists/office staff etc. have been wonderful, appts. are held on time, extra steps taken to accomodate our travel requirements and time have been met as well. I have felt that all professionals are truly concerned and have all acted in compassionate and thoughtful ways with us. It is time consuming and has taken awhile but that is to be expected with a large population requiring meical care. It is true that more money is needed to put more nurses in hospitals so wait times for diagnostic tests and surgeries can be performed in a more timely fashion. This is also true of medical technicians and wait times for tests. Through many visits with specialists and many tests run at different clinics and at different hospitals I have not rec'd any bills. Health care is not free here as many believe. We are taxed very highly and from those tax dollars our health care industry is funded. Some things are not fully covered and insurance through employers helps cover most of what isn't with tax money.
Hopefully in May we will find answers to our questions and get on a path to therapies and pain management for my daughter. So far I have no complaints....and that goes for the visits to local clinics, yearly visits with our GP and the odd emerg.visit at the hospital.
While not perfect, for us the health care we have received for our limited requirements has been satisfactory.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the answer. I know that you are highly taxed, but in the US insurance can be out of bounds for some. I have good insurance through my work, but my husband is self employed and we pay a large amount to insure him and our son...and it's not that great insurance. My biggest concern over here is that if I were to lose my job, I would be uninsured and because of a heart condition, I probably wouldn't be able to buy insurance at any price. I would not mind paying higher taxes to insure that I would be insured!! If you are poor enough, you can get medicade. But for us "middle class" types, it can be tough.

I hope you find answers for your daughter. She will be in my prayers.
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:43 AM   #4
DJ in MJ
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This expat Canadiac always had good service from the health care system too.
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:59 AM   #5
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my sister lives in florida with her husband and son and they know all about how expensive good health care is...she is now employed with a company with an excellent plan. my bro-in-law is self-employed and has a good plan as well.

thanks for the prayers.....
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:47 PM   #6
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I hear medical wait times in Canada are atrocious. Are all of your doctors government employees? Socialism doesn't work in the long run. Creates dependency and slothfulness. Europe is dying and Canada's health ain't much better.
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Old 04-26-2006, 06:57 AM   #7
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Restless - do you live in Canada?
Some wait times can be longer than they should be but it's better than not getting any medical help because of your financial situation - or getting sub-par care ...
Two tiered health care (private vs.public) creates "have and have-nots" and that's worse. As in any industry there are horror stories and then there are the opposite. In all instances in my family and any friends who have been in the health care system over the years I have never heard of any horror stories. I can visit my doctor that I've had for 22 years, not receive a bill and be referred by her to the best doctors at some of the best hospitals in the world. I can go to the hospital emerg.dept. and be checked for a possible fracture...be x-rayed, seen by an ortho-specialist, casted and sent home in anywhere from 90 minutes to 3-4 hours. If surgery is required for a broken bone it is usually within 24-36 hours to let the swelling go down. We have several air ambulance helicopters in the Toronto area and further north are planes. The docs/nurses etc. may be in short supply but they have never been less than 100% in my experience. Between the gov. healthcare plan and insurance through employment I know I have been blessed with excellent care all of my life and my childrens.
There are some private clinics popping up for those who have the money to pay to have an immediate MRI/hip replacement/cataract surgery etc.etc. Some people have had to go to the U.S. for some cancer treatments....some of those costs are covered however. It's true as in any business, that the health care industry can be improved in many ways but it's an ongoing situation....I can't imagine having to pay for all of the medical tests/doc visits my daughter has had in the last year. It's taken a while to get thru all the visits etc. because docs/clinics are so busy but at least they are available and we have not been last in line because we don't have the best insurance that we've had to pay a fortune for.
I know there may come a time when I may feel differently but for now I am very thankful that for all of my life I have had excellent medical care. When I was born almost 51 years ago my father had to recruit people at his office to donate blood for my mother or pay for each transfusion.
The local hospital in my town is nothing more than a walk-in-clinic now.It never had a maternity dept. It is used for dyalisis mostly.
I have hospitals in each town east and west of me-no more than 15 minutes away with everything required right there. The hospital that our doctor is affiliated with is 20 minutes away as is her private office.
As some wise person once said "do the best with what ya got" and for the most part the health care industry as I've known it and read about does just that. At times, for some people I do understand that may not be good enough tho..
I depend on my medical caregivers because I pay them and I have not found any of them to be slothful. AS far as patients being slothful or dependant there are those in our society who should not be cast aside because of their circumstances - health and education of a countrys citizens are paramount to its viability and success in all areas.
www.macleans.ca this week has some interesting stories....not all are on-line tho...
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:44 AM   #8
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I think we just hear of the very worst cases, like my friend in St. Stephens, New Brunswick. She waited several years to have an ovary remove. She's a firm believer in substandard Canadian health care. (She grew up on the American side of the border).
Actually, I don't think our healthcare system is any better. It is very expensive, unless that person is lucky enough to have coveraged through work, or had the foresight to purchase a good disability plan (which I also did through work).
Still, with all my insurance, my doctor didn't have the foresight to do an MRI when I was complaining of headaches a few years back. He just blamed it on my age, stress from my job, possible allergies, etc. If he'd have done an MRI, he'd have seen the aneurysm and saved me a lot of headaches (yes, that's a pun).
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:06 AM   #9
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Don't get me started on doctors who don't listen - on either side of the border. My sister Mary - the one with all the health problems - has seen the worst and best of them. She nearly died from an adverse drug reaction, saved only by an observant nurse who basically said screw the doctor and acted immediately. That doctor never admitted to an error; he was later removed from the facility and his license revoked, due to other cases.

She is a difficult patient only in that she can be difficult to diagnose due to a host of overlapping problems. She's not a complainer and she's very compliant. But more often than I care to think about, her problems have been dismissed as all in her head, or due to anxiety or other psychological problem when there's (eventually) a physical reason found.

She walked around with a hot appendix for months when three different Georgia doctors thought she was having hormonal problems (ovarian cysts - which she's also had.) Another time they thought she had the flu - in August! - when our local ER correctly figured out she had food poisoning. Another doctor apparently never looked at the lengthy patient history she'd filled out before ordering the one antibiotic to which she is deathly allergic.

So when she DOES find a doctor who listens and takes the time to ask the right questions and follows up on lab tests etc., she sticks to him/her like glue. In the case of her neurologist, she drove to Alabama when he moved his practice there from Georgia for a time, so he could continue to treat her neck spasms.

You can have the best insurance in the world but if the practitioners aren't worth their salt, it can do more harm than good.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:47 AM   #10
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A patients best advocate is him/herself (or their parent). i take nothing as gospel from any doctor. i grew up in a house where a doctor was revered....Even docs make mistakes, are negligent etc.
An educated patient puts off some doctors....those are the ones i don't go to.
If I feel as tho my questions or thoughts are disregarded I move on. The same with dental care....
I have one body and I have a say - when I was pregnant with my son 23 years ago I had pages of questions, thoughts, fears, ideas. My doctor welcomed them all and never made me feel like I was infringing on his territory.
The internet was not part of my life then or 19 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter so I was at the library reading up on the things I would need to know and ask questions about.
A good doctor is a treasure to keep that's for sure.
Don't get me started about divorce lawyers tho....
lol
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:17 PM   #11
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Amen - Mary had FOUR (very long $$$ story.)
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:53 PM   #12
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Some very good feedback...thanks. I still think the US needs a national health care plan. My sister's insurance won't pay for a procedure that I think would make a world of differance in her health. It's just that it's not the best medical insurance...but she isn't covered at work and she was turned down by several companies (sic) because of other health problems.
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:03 PM   #13
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I'm just thankful that I had good health insurance when the aneurysm ruptured in August. Between Mass Medical in Boston, and Eastern Maine Medical in Bangor, my bill was $1.8 million, and I'd dare to bet it's way up above $2 million now.
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:36 PM   #14
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I was watching CNN or something and they commented many AIDS patients can only get their drugs free by not working. It said if these people were working in low paying jobs they would not have the drugs they need. Seems someting needs fixing in the U.S. system.
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:50 PM   #15
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I saw that on CNN tonight.
It's a sad day when people have to decide whether to work for 13 grand a year or get meds to stay alive...regardless of what their illness is.
I hope I never have that decision to make.
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