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Private Health Care Emerging in Canada

Isn't it interesting. Politicians here in America, like Hillary Clinton, push for a nationalized healthcare system like that in Canada. Meanwhile, private health care in Canada is growing because the nationalized healthcare system is breaking down.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 23-- The Cambie Surgery Center, Canada's most prominent private hospital, may be considered a rogue enterprise.

Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years in discomfort before receiving treatment.

But no one is about to arrest Dr. Brian Day, who is president and medical director of the center, or any of the 120 doctors who work there. Public hospitals are sending him growing numbers of patients they are too busy to treat, and his center is advertising that patients do not have to wait to replace their aching knees.

The country's publicly financed health insurance system -- frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity -- is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.

The health care in Canada is not free of charge as this article tries to assert. Canadian citizens pay good money in taxes for their broken healthcare system which then requires them to wait months for necessary procedures.

Now, they have to pay out even more money on top of their already high taxes so they can go to a private medical center to get timely health care.

Hat tip: Betsy's Page

Update: Viking Pundit discusses this issue as well as.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Private Health Care Emerging in Canada:

» whereIstand.com/adamelijah linked with If National Health Care's So Great...

Comments (17)

The health care in Canad... (Below threshold)

The health care in Canada is not free of charge as this article tries to assert. Canadian citizens pay good money in taxes for their broken healthcare system which then requires them to wait months for necessary procedures.

Now, they have to pay out even more money on top of their already high taxes so they can go to a private medical center to get timely health care.

Change Healthcare to Education, and the same holds true...

It should also be mentioned... (Below threshold)

It should also be mentioned that residents receiving "free" BC healthcare also pay $54/person ($108/family)per month for mandatory Medical Service Plan coverage. It is possible to file for relief if you are in a lower income bracket.

Very scary isn't it. It's a... (Below threshold)

Very scary isn't it. It's as though those clamoring for socialized health-care just ignore thousands of years of economic history.


I see the Marxist --... (Below threshold)

I see the Marxist -- errr Dems running nationalized healthcare much the same way they've run Air America..

The scary thing is when the... (Below threshold)

The scary thing is when they dangle nationalized healthcare in front of business like GM who salivate at the chance to level the wage playingfield. Depending on the province, what happens in Canada is that companies get hit with a ginormous payroll tax.

BTW, private healthcare in ... (Below threshold)

BTW, private healthcare in Canada has always existed for the elites of the government and the rich. They've also always had the option of just going to the US or Europe.

The Canada system works in ... (Below threshold)

The Canada system works in some provinces, my uncle had his prostate removed for cancer, it was diagnosed and treated as timely as it would have been in the United States.

Other non-life threatening diseases get pushed back, like total joint replacement....which is very costly no matter where you live.

The Capitalism healthcare system provides cheaper, faster, better care than the Free/someone else to pay for it model. Don't attack me for the last statement.

Heart Bypass surgery was at... (Below threshold)

Heart Bypass surgery was at 8+ months waiting list in Ontario when I finally got of the Socialist Paradise. I guess that's not life threatening.

You Americans are (as usual... (Below threshold)
Fred Z:

You Americans are (as usual) well behind us advanced Canuckis. Lucky for you.

You are just starting your descent into Socialist madness. I hope you avoid most of the idiocy from which we are recovering.

Sorry to say, but I think ... (Below threshold)

Sorry to say, but I think that Canadians have been beaten down into submission by a medical system controlled by a caucus of [mostly originally British and S.African] senior doctors, who act as gatekeepers keeping their lucrative earnings to themselves. It is not uncommon for some categories of specialists to bill up to 500 to 600K annually.

What then is the incentive for Canadian specialists [i.e. individuals vested with the moral responsiblity of providing big-picture healthcare to the public] to change the system?

They do not need to practice competitively to increase or maintain their patient base because so many disempowered Canadian people are anyway made to line up to see them. They have effectively blocked available medical talent from overseas [tax-paying immigrant doctors] from contributing to the system, thus protecting their lucre.

They effectively practice privately, billing the MSP but need not bother about the essential A's of private medical practice [Affability, Availability, Affordability and Ability!] that practitioners cultivate the world over. True dogs in a manger.

And in the mean-time a gullible, brow-beaten, supine Canadian public swallows all these 'manpower shortage' myths that these very specialists have propagated.

So pray tell me someone, how a 1st world nation has a crappy so-called 'free' healthcare service that many an Asian country would be ashamed of? It's time to ask penetrating questions about how the captains of the medical industry have held the public at ransom for so many decades [while deflecting the blame for this healthcare travesty on politicians]

Anyone else here see a para... (Below threshold)

Anyone else here see a parallel between Canada's public health care system and America's public school system?

jpm100,It's a Darw... (Below threshold)


It's a Darwinian effect, if they won't die after 8 months, they better do the bypass!

It's common in the US to have waiting lists too.

The Canadian system is broken, I just wanted to get my Uncle's story out there, because it's one of the very rare good outcome stories from that system. Oh yeah, he's American too, medicare eligible and double dipping on both welfare, err retirement systems, too.

Hmmm.1. Frankly an... (Below threshold)


1. Frankly any time I meet someone who is in favor of a national healthcare system run by the government I have ask them if they'd like getting open heart surgery by someone from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The answer is always a "no" and then I have to gently point out the parallels.

2. I read somewhere, and this is somewhat off-topic, that doctors in Britain are allowed to treat only so many patients per day and that they're not encouraged to exceed that number.

Which, if true, is a truly strange situation.

Yep, theres nothing more r... (Below threshold)

Yep, theres nothing more right than having a health care system that people for only those who can afford it, managed by 3rd party for-profit institutions!! Heeell Yeeeah!!!
Screw all that nonsense about AMERICA being ranaked 43rd in infant mortality!! God Bless Us All!!!!

Hmmmm.Scr... (Below threshold)


Screw all that nonsense about AMERICA being ranaked 43rd in infant mortality!! God Bless Us All!!!!


The reason why America is ranked like that is because our standards are far more stringent. In America more resources and effort will be made to keep a premature infant alive while in Europe, and a number of other countries, they simply wouldn't make the effort. And here in America we have a different standard for reporting such things as well.

For us infant mortality is reported if the infant dies after the birth. And because America expends more effort to keep infants alive after birth any such deaths are more likely to be marked as "infant mortality" rather than a death associated with the birth.

In Europe such deaths are simply marked up as being a part of the birth process and as such aren't placed into the "infant mortality" category.

So such comparisons are utter tripe.

@ed 2:17 pm point 2:<... (Below threshold)
Jim B.:

@ed 2:17 pm point 2:

from the Grauniad, no less:

Flagship hospital halts operations
'Over-performing' surgeons turn away non-emergency cases in latest NHS cash crisis

excerpt: "Hundreds of patients have been told by Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent, they will now have to wait longer for their operations. Surgeons performing gynaecological, urological and orthopaedic procedures have been told by local health officials that they have 'over-performed'.


"In Devon and Cornwall, there is an almost total ban on routine surgery. At the Royal Cornwall hospital in Truro, surgeons have been told to increase their waiting lists. One told The Observer: 'We can't see any outpatients until they've waited at least 11 weeks, and we can't operate until they've waited an additional 24 weeks. This is ludicrous.' "

Hmmm.I can't imagi... (Below threshold)


I can't imagine what kind of hell it must be to have the skills, equipment and the desire to heal only to be forced to sit and wait because of bean-counters.

I can't imagine what kind of worse Hell it must be to have to wait 11 weeks before seeing a specialist and then another 24 weeks before surgery!

In the past few years I've had quite a few surgeries and emergency procedures. I couldn't imagine having to wait 36 weeks.






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