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BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?

Lonesome EJ 21 Feb 08 - 12:55 AM
Barry Finn 21 Feb 08 - 01:07 AM
CarolC 21 Feb 08 - 01:14 AM
Ernest 21 Feb 08 - 02:18 AM
Liz the Squeak 21 Feb 08 - 02:48 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Feb 08 - 03:33 AM
GUEST,PMB 21 Feb 08 - 03:34 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 21 Feb 08 - 07:50 AM
billybob 21 Feb 08 - 08:19 AM
Liz the Squeak 21 Feb 08 - 08:57 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Feb 08 - 09:12 AM
redsnapper 21 Feb 08 - 09:16 AM
Lonesome EJ 21 Feb 08 - 10:05 AM
Lonesome EJ 21 Feb 08 - 10:10 AM
Peace 21 Feb 08 - 10:13 AM
Peace 21 Feb 08 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,PMB 21 Feb 08 - 10:16 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Feb 08 - 10:25 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Feb 08 - 10:36 AM
artbrooks 21 Feb 08 - 10:39 AM
billybob 21 Feb 08 - 10:58 AM
number 6 21 Feb 08 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,PMB 21 Feb 08 - 12:06 PM
kendall 21 Feb 08 - 04:36 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Feb 08 - 05:18 PM
John MacKenzie 21 Feb 08 - 05:20 PM
Little Hawk 21 Feb 08 - 06:22 PM
Peace 21 Feb 08 - 06:37 PM
artbrooks 21 Feb 08 - 06:46 PM
gnu 21 Feb 08 - 07:29 PM
gnu 21 Feb 08 - 07:32 PM
Bee 21 Feb 08 - 07:33 PM
Leadfingers 21 Feb 08 - 08:13 PM
number 6 21 Feb 08 - 08:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Feb 08 - 08:30 PM
gnu 21 Feb 08 - 08:32 PM
number 6 21 Feb 08 - 08:39 PM
Little Hawk 21 Feb 08 - 10:09 PM
Bee 21 Feb 08 - 10:44 PM
number 6 22 Feb 08 - 12:26 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Feb 08 - 01:18 AM
Barry Finn 22 Feb 08 - 02:52 AM
Barry Finn 22 Feb 08 - 02:55 AM
Emma B 22 Feb 08 - 06:02 AM
Anne Lister 22 Feb 08 - 06:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 08 - 07:04 AM
gnu 22 Feb 08 - 07:34 AM
number 6 22 Feb 08 - 08:06 AM
Bee 22 Feb 08 - 08:48 AM
Backwoodsman 22 Feb 08 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,HiLo 24 Feb 08 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,dianavan 24 Feb 08 - 12:27 PM
number 6 24 Feb 08 - 12:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Feb 08 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,HiLo 24 Feb 08 - 01:55 PM
Liz the Squeak 24 Feb 08 - 05:34 PM
Peace 24 Feb 08 - 09:31 PM
Peter T. 25 Feb 08 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,ALBERT 25 Feb 08 - 12:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Feb 08 - 01:00 PM
artbrooks 25 Feb 08 - 01:06 PM
gnu 25 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Feb 08 - 07:47 PM
bobad 25 Feb 08 - 10:29 PM
TRUBRIT 25 Feb 08 - 11:02 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Feb 08 - 01:15 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Feb 08 - 04:05 AM
DougR 26 Feb 08 - 05:35 PM
CarolC 26 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Feb 08 - 06:04 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Feb 08 - 09:22 PM
Ebbie 16 Apr 08 - 11:59 AM
Bee 16 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 16 Apr 08 - 03:04 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 16 Apr 08 - 07:26 PM
Sandra in Sydney 16 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM
Peace 16 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM
Peace 16 Apr 08 - 08:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Apr 08 - 08:27 PM
Jack the Sailor 17 Apr 08 - 02:00 AM
GUEST,john f weldon 17 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,john f weldon 17 Apr 08 - 08:02 AM
Lonesome EJ 17 Apr 08 - 01:57 PM
Jack the Sailor 17 Apr 08 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 18 Apr 08 - 05:48 AM
Ruth Archer 18 Apr 08 - 06:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Apr 08 - 10:12 AM
Alice 18 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM
Ruth Archer 18 Apr 08 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Sandra Green 18 Apr 08 - 01:29 PM
Peace 18 Apr 08 - 01:33 PM
CarolC 18 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM
CarolC 18 Apr 08 - 06:51 PM

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Subject: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 12:55 AM

Here in the US, our Health Care system is becoming increasingly expensive and ineffective, with more and more people unable to afford even basic insurance. Insurance companies are deciding who and what they will treat, and even those of us with reasonable coverage are all a major hospital stay away from financial disaster. Emergency rooms are overloaded with the uninsured. And yet there are those, particularly of the Conservative bent, who keep repeating the old saw "we here in the US have the best health care system in the world...look where 'socialized medicine' is being used. Take England, for example..You can wait four hours in line in a doctor's office for basic treatment! You can wait months or years for necessary surgery! And the treatment, if you can get it, is far below American standards. And you have no control over who treats you!"
Now, we hear less about the Canadian System, but still not much positive. It occurs to me that here at Mudcat we have a generous number of Brits and Canadians who could give us first hand observations as to how well "socialized medicine" works for them.

So, how is it working? What are the problems, and how can it be improved? How about other countries like Germany, Russia, Australia?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 01:07 AM

I'd rather wait the 4 hrs (if that's even true) & get treated than wait until the "12th of never" to be treated cause that's when I could afford to pay, even with coverage from my wife's employer (which covers one tooth extraction & a half pair of glasses & fuck all for meds & all the other blood work & etc that I need to stay alive) & with Medicade. This system's gonna be the death of me yet.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: CarolC
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 01:14 AM

I can't speak from my own experience, but my Canadian husband, who has experienced both systems, dearly wishes we had a system here in the US like the one they have in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Ernest
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 02:18 AM

Have you guys learned nothing from the threads about Fidel Castro?

Emigrate to Cuba!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 02:48 AM

Can I just point out that it is not the professional healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, osteopaths, dentists, therapists of all kinds and everyone else who actually speaks to and actively treats patients) that are dragging the system down, it's the middle managers who soak up all the money for not a lot of actual output.

I've had my share of 4 and 8 hours waits in surgeries, but I've also had prompt, expert and sympathetic care when it was urgently needed.

All systems have good and bad things. Our system is very open to abuse, but it also means that people in Britain know they can get healthcare without bankrupting themselves or paying out additional health insurance.

At the moment, the NHS is balloting GPs (General Practitioners - the ordinary doctor you go to see first of all) for a response to the proposal for extended working hours. Most will decline the offer, because they make only a set amount of money treating NHS patients and top up their wages with private patients or clinics. Gone are the days when Doctor Finlay would sit up all night with a poorly patient - now you're lucky if they set foot out of the surgery, house calls are a thing of the past.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 03:33 AM

A system that provides necessary medical help without direct cost to the patient must be a fairer system that rations the necessary by ability to pay.

If (this is not a concession, it is a hypothesis) the US system can deliver medical help of a higher quality and faster it is only better for those who can afford it. It is worse for the rest.

In general, the NHS does deliver prompt help for real need. There are some lacunae.

There are four principal problems with it:

1. Rich bastards who don't want to pay tax and would rather see others suffer than become less rich (and politicians who are scared of them, and doctors who are in it to get rich rather than help their patients).

2. A particular rich doctrinaire political bastard who thought that imposing a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy to create an "internal market" would do anything other than waste the cost of that layer of unnecessary administration.

3. Waste on unnecessary medical help for people who want bigger/smaller tits dicks stomachs etc.

4. Stupid "cost savings" by outsourcing cleaning that (with a little help from religious nuts who say that muslim nurses and doctors need not wash their arms as well as hands because it means baring thier forearms in public) have resulted in ever bigger costs from hospital acquired infections.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 03:34 AM

There can be occasional waits for NHS treatment, but for most people the experience is excellent most of the time. For example, when I went to casualty in early January I was seen withing half an hour, X-rayed 20 minutes later, and out of the hospital, knowing I was in the system for follow-ups within an hour and a quarter. My follow up visits have been well organised and efficient.

On the other hand, I have known of incidents where people have not had necessary treatment, incorrect treatment, or have been forgotten by the system. In one case it was because of a pig- headed consultant who could not admit that he was wrong. Another incident was caused by a doctor who changed a friend's medication (probably to a cheaper alternative) and destabilised his condition. A third incident was a GP surgery trying to shuffle off costs onto the local hospital, resulting in a paperwork mess.

Where they do have problems is when treatment is seen as non- urgent. This can include plastic surgery for those damaged in accidents, or treatment that could improve quality of life for a patient, but would be expensive in the short term. Such treatment can be delayed for years, simply by putting up barriers to such people entering the system.

Much of this is caused by the rise in the cost of treatment as technology and medicine develops. But one result of this has been that the government has spent billions on reorganisations and business "experts" instead of on healthcare. In particular, the semi- privatisation of many hospitals has led to a ballooning of administrative costs which are contracted to private (often American) companies for up to 30 years ahead.

No system is perfect. The British NHS works almost all the time, even for very poor people, which is a big plus. It is hampered by the enduring British desire to get something for nothing. Although our health service is much cheaper than most alternative models, and voters consistently claim in opinion polls that they would like to spend more on it, when it comes to the ballot box they will almost always take the tax- cut bribe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 07:50 AM

The movie "Sicko" answers all of Lonesome EJ's questions. It is available on DVD for rent or sale and is excellent!
Trailer here:

http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/dvd/trailer.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: billybob
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:19 AM

Billy and I have private health care paid for by my company ( so do all my staff)this ensures if any of us need non urgent treatment in hospital it can be arranged to fit in with the running of the business at quiet times for example.
However when Bill's appendix burst last November our GP sent him straight to Colchester hospital with a letter, he was admitted to a ward ( not A & E) and was operated on the next day.The staff were fantastic,the care he was given was professional and the wards were clean!
When he came home he developed a high temperature . I phoned National Health direct and spoke to a nurse who asked lots of questions and decided I should phone our GP and ask for a home visit which I did. The doctor arrived at our house 10 minutes later,he stayed about 30 minutes, was really helpful ,it turned out that he was a surgeon before becoming a GP so explained in depth how complicated the operation had been and told me to ring him if I was worried and he would come out again.
I saw the same GP when I had Pleuisy, Phoned for an appointment at 8.30 AM , saw him that morning, antibiotics and a week in bed , recovered! National Health service worked for us, are we just lucky? No I think if it is a serious problem you usually get treated quickly and very well.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:57 AM

I would like to agree but when I had pleurisy in 1984, it took 6 months to get a diagnosis. Everyone has their horror stories and there will always be success stories - where someone has gone that extra mile... the staff at St Barts in London, where I was in the coronory care unit for a while were fabulous... but the horror stories are the ones you remember.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 09:12 AM

The NHS in the UK is wonderful, and I have had reason to be grateful on several occasions for their good care. People complain about all sorts of things, from the food to the slowness of the nurses in dashing to their summons, but that's petty.
True it is creaking at the seams a bit now, but it is under funded, and that comes from two sides, lack of government funding, and an unexpectedly large increase in customers. There are so many people benefiting from it's care who have never paid anything in to the system. I know there is a mechanism for levying charges on those who do not actually qualify, after they have received their car, but I believe it is not invoked very often. So the government is in a double bind, an inability to forecast the numbers that will require treatment, and under contributing from the users of the service.
It is time that people were surcharged according to their ability to pay, with those who earn most paying most.
I mean a 3 tier system where an over night stay will cost either nothing for the less well off, something like £5 for the better off, and £10 for those with deeper pockets. A&E and ambulance services continue to be free at the point of delivery as the jargon has it.
I've been in Greek hospitals, and I know where I'm better off health care wise!
G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: redsnapper
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 09:16 AM

The British system is not as good as that of most European countries, e.g. France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, that have a different administrative system but, on the whole it is still pretty good.

I think Richard Bridge has nailed the main problems with the NHS fairly squarely on the head.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:05 AM

I'm curious as to how prescription medications are handled in Britain and in Canada. Here in the US, we generally pay a set fee deductible, 20 or 25 dollars, and the costs of medications can be as hig as 300 to 400 dollars for a 30 day course of treatment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:10 AM

I don't generally like to cut and paste to threads, but this short article summarizes the Conservative position on a National Healthcare System for the US

British Health Care has Extreme Form of Rationing
Sunday 16 December 2007, by admin



Issue: Want to see the face of government controlled health care, look towards the British system. Cancer patients not allowed to privately pay for needed drugs. Government would rather you die.

1. If you don't think this could happen here, look at our government theft of private property, massive deficits, failed schools, stopping use of BBQ's, fireplaces and lawn mowers. Courts are stopping one third of water coming to Southern California and criminal illegal aliens having free reign on honest U.S. citizens.

2. We have already seen that due to refusal of government to pay for Medi-Cal, hospitals are closed and patients turned away.

3. The only way a system of government health care works is by rationing. In this case, the British government prefers that a woman die of breast cancer, than allow her to pay for drugs to keep her alive. All because they don't want the rich to have good health care, the poor must die.

Why hasn't the Bee or the Times reported on this aspect of government health care. Instead they tell us about lack of coverage for illegal aliens and those who can't afford private insurance (but could get public assistance for health care).

Our health care problems are because of government not the lack of government.

What do you think. If this was your mother or sister, would you be angry at the doctor or the government. Would you say, "OK, let me die, government knows best."

Pass this on, let your friends know what will happen to them under government medicine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Peace
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:13 AM

The approximate cost for a family is $1000/year. That will cover darned near everything except drugs--wouldn't want the drug companies to have hard economic times. You may have to share a room after surgery (with one or three others. Depends on the surgery. The surgery doesn't cost. I had a hip replacement and it was about $75. That was because I could afford the $75. Had I not, they'd have replaced the hip anyway.

There can be waits. I waited six months for the surgery--but that was after 10 years of pain, so six months was zip.

You may end up waiting in the emergency room if someone needs the attention more than you. (Had a piece of glass sticking in my arm. Some people from a car crash came in. The medical staff saw to their injuries before mine, which only makes sense.) I suppose I could bitch about them not having enough staff, but I didn't and don't. There are matters of perspective.

NO ONE does not receive treatment if it's life-threatening. Regardless of whether their health care is paid up. There are problems with the system, but that aside, none egregious enough to make me EVER want to see it replaced with private health care programs. That's just a fast-track for rich folks.

IMO


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Peace
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:14 AM

PS,

I'm a Canuck in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:16 AM

It is time that people were surcharged according to their ability to pay, with those who earn most paying most.

They used to do. It was called supertax. Remember the Beatles, "one for you, nineteen for me"? And society was a LOT better when the rich paid their share.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:25 AM

Prescription charges are £6:85 per item prescribed. If you have a long term problem you van pre buy a certificate which entitles you to a reduced charge for a given period.
Certain chronic illnesses are entitled to free prescriptions, as are all people over 60 years of age.
Other charges vary, and cover all sorts of things from wigs to teeth, and surgical supports.

G


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:36 AM

Lonesome EJ - that is complete bollocks. If you are loaded, you can go to Harley Street, get a private prescription, and pay the private cost.

The government will not approve drugs it hasn't trialled as safe. Quite right too.

The government will not pay for drugs that it says have not been proven to be effective - a different issue. The rich can get them, but if the government pays the price the patent-protected drugs companies want, there will be less money for other undoubtedly necessary drugs. The particular issues at the moment are (1) a breast cancer drug that might (some say) save more lives if given earlier. It is given in later stages and the goverment view is that the case for giving it earlier has not been made on medical grounds in view of the cost and (2) a drug alleged to relieve alzheimers, situation totally ditto.

Maybe the wiseass (translation, knee jerk economic fascist) who wrote it ought to check how to spell "free rein" too. I guess it proves you can't buy brains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:39 AM

One of the things that appeals to me about the UK's and Canada's systems is that they seem to be relatively uniform. That is not true in the US - insurance fees, additional payments, prescription charges and so forth are all over the place (for example, I pay much less than Lonesome EJ's example for prescriptions - generally $3 for a 90-day supply). I'm curious how it works for those who choose to go into some kind of self-pay mode; do they pay for additional or faster services on top of what NHS covers, or once they opt out, are they entirely on their own?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: billybob
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:58 AM

Art,
if I use my private health cover (it costs me about£50 per month to the Insurance company)then I go to a private hospital and any medication is very expensive however we still pay National Insurance which goes toward the NHS.As I said before the NHS treatment Bill had was fantastic.
Some years ago my daughter needed an operation and waited for months for a bed, in the end we paid for her to have the surgery, she had no private health care and it cost about £7,000. Most of the fee went to the hospital for her room etc at £350 per night!It was worth it to get her healthy again.
Most private hospitals do not have an A&E department so if you have an accident you go to the NHS hospital.
wendy


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: number 6
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 11:42 AM

The one major problem I find with the Canadian Health system is the lack of doctors. It seems many of them emmigrate south of the border. The explanation given by the ones (many) who do pack up and leave is that they want what they feel is the big $$ offered by the U.S. non-socialized system.

People who move to New Brunswick from out of province are on (at least) a 1 year waiting list to get a family doctor. If you feel sick you head to your emergency ward of your local hospital and wait 2 hours to see a doctor. There is also a drastic lack of qualified doctors in many of the rural regions of Canada.

Solution I guess is pay doctors more, increase the quota of doctors from our medical schools, make it easier for immigrant doctors to get their licence. Anway, that's my 2 cents worth.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 12:06 PM

There should be plenty of spare doctors from the UK and India. After many years of under- recruiting nationally, due in port to the hidebound medical schools, they became reliant on doctors from abroad, many from the Indian subcontinent. Then they radically expanded medical training. Thousands of extra students were recruited, prepared to pay the fees and living costs of years of university. Then last year, the first fruits of this appeared- a glut of junior doctors unable to get jobs in their speciality. To make more jobs available, they reversed policy on overseas doctors abruptly, making it almost impossible for them to get jobs here.

So Canada, recruit away, they're well trained and even if they only stay a few years they'll be worth it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: kendall
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 04:36 PM

I have health insurance through my retirement from the Fish & Wildlife service, and my part costs me almost $500.00 a month. I don't know what the government pays for me.

However, I have had some serious health problems throughout the last 7 years, and without that insurance, I would be dead broke and homeless.
My latest visit to Mercy Hospital in Portland Maine was for strep throat and a mild heart attack. The bill? $8,700.00.
One item was billed at $400.00 for medication two or three times. I can't imagine what kind of meds cost that much.

Of course, we have to pay not only for ourselves, but for the indigent too. Those millions of poor people who have no insurance at all. When they are stricken they have to seek treatment in the ER where the cost is triple what it would have been if they had insurance. Talk about pennywise and pound foolish!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 05:18 PM

The average cost of health care in the US is about $7000 per capita. I'd guess that if the UK or Canada had that much to spend on health care, the NHS would provide fantastic care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 05:20 PM

Well I do believe that one of the biggest costs a doctor has in the US, is insurance. It is such a litigious society that insurance is both mandatory and very expensive.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 06:22 PM

What I can say about Canadian health care is that it seems to be quite good going by what I've seen. The only problem is that dental work is not covered. I've not had any notable health problems that required much health care, but my parents both have, and the system here did very well for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Peace
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 06:37 PM

It's a pitiable situation when drugs cost more than doctors, in'it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 06:46 PM

LH, I pay more for my dental insurance than I do for my medical insurance!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 07:29 PM

sIx!!! TWO hours? So, I could drive to Saint John and back and get in and out faster than driving two minutes from my house to the Moncton Hospital?

BTW... immigrant doctors? My aunt was told by her immigrant doctor that she could only renew one prescription per visit. Had to make four appointments for her four prescriptions. My Bro just had to pay $15 to his immigrant doctor for her to fill out his handicapped parking form... she stamped it and signed it! Ten seconds, tops. She arrived from Africa a few months back. My Bro did 35 years on call 24 hours a day and served in war zones. He does not deserve that crap. And neither does my Aunt.

We have medical schools and we have CANUCK kids that cannot afford to go to them. Fuck the immigrant doctors... send them all home and educate our own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 07:32 PM

Oh... my Aunt did get sorted. But, Medicare still got billed $25 each for the prescriptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Bee
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 07:33 PM

I can't find it at the moment, but I read that 2006(or '05?) was the first year that more Canadian trained doctors returned to Canada than left.

Speaking for my Nova Scotia family and friends, most of us would be dead or disabled if it weren't for the Canadian health care system. We've always been mostly low income working rural people. Over my fifty plus years, I've seen a couple doctors make a few mistakes - not a bad ratio, I think.

Wait times are vastly exaggerated, in my experience, though others may have different experiences. The biggest wait complaints seem to be around the issue of joint replacements, which are being ordered up by doctors earlier and more frequently because they now work so well in terms of improved quality of life - well worth waiting for.

My Florida relatives aren't better off financially - less so, in fact. They have a lot of health problems and poor or no insurance with their jobs. My very elderly aunt finally moved home to earn her residency back in order to take care of a minor medical problem she couldn't afford to have done in Fla. A procedure done here at outpatients, home the same day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:13 PM

There ARE problems with the U K National Health Service - The Main one being that it is no longer National , but Local - Hospital Trusts are totally self governing , so the efficient ones are Great , and the innefficient ones are CRAP ! this is where the horror stories come from , with Cancer patients being refused the drugs that will help their condition . ( The Post Code Lottery)
But for Routine problems , it works ! I had a Strained/pulled chest muscle ! Painful weekend , to the local Doc Monday AM , Appointment Monday 1630 PM Prescription for Painkillers (FREE as I am over 65) from local chemist at 1715 PM , and home at 17.ro PM - Cost ?
£ 0 .00p . I rest my case .


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: number 6
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:16 PM

gnu .... I don't want to rattle too much here but our doctor is Canadian born, who just happens to be an ex Colonel in the Canadian Military (doctor) who has a list of xtra (out of pocket charges) on her office wall ... one such charge for handicap parking authorization

Regardless, she is an outstanding doctor, and equally on par with our Indian immigrant doctor we had in Toronto ... who never xtra charged for any such service.

I have no problem with immigrant doctors ... I do have problems with incompetant, unqualified doctors whether they are Canadian or from away.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:30 PM

For my wife and I (both over 80), we are reasonably happy with Canadian health care. Drugs so far have been reasonable in cost (Alberta).
Had to wait for MRI and orthopedic surgeon, but not too bad. If I had wanted the MRI immediately, private clinics here in Alberta would cost (the quote I got) $900 or so. Routine medical with our family physician is quick, about two days for an appointment. Specialists are in short supply, two or more months wait- some patients with money go out of country.
New lenses for our eyes required a wait of about four months; the province limits the number per month.
Just got a hearing aid, needed mostly because I was losing high frequencies. Alberta Health paid half, which isn't bad.
Emergency treatment at the hospitals is hectic because of short staffing; if triage assessment is that it can wait a bit, be prepared to sit for a few hours. There is the odd horror story when a wrong assessment is made, but that happens anywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:32 PM

Guilty as charged! My sincerest apologies. I was WAY out of line. I guess I am just upset with our system.... that treats my Bro so poorly.

Maybe if he had decent doc who knew the difference between a dollar sign and a Satanic nerve, he wouldn't be in hell right now. I guess it's the system that is creating this problem.

BTW, his doc sent him for blood tests ($25 she charges to Medicare, over and above the visit charge) and an MRI ($??). Which means he still is not getting the physio he needs. She just doesn't know anything about this common "back problem". She seems to know how to milk Medicare, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: number 6
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 08:39 PM

Not guilty gnu .... I can feel your frustration .... I think it exhibits that not all is that well with our healthcare system here in canada .... though in many ways i feel we are bettr off than our friends south of the border, we do have our faults with the system, and i fear it will only get worse. The money will eventually run out to carry it on.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:09 PM

Hey, Art, almost the ONLY significant medical expenses I've had in the last 40 years have been for dental work...and it's NOT covered by Canadian medicare! How ironical. The one thing they haven't covered me for is the one thing I've needed.

However, they did take care of my mother with diabetes and my father with liver disease...and either one of those situations would have probably bankrupted my parents without Canadian medical coverage, so I'm grateful for what we have in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Bee
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 10:44 PM

There are bound to be a few bad doctors, a few stupid doctors, a few greedy doctors, in any system. They are human, after all, and just scraping by through med school does not necessarily make a good doctor.

Our family's doctors have taken us through pneumonia, kidney infections, thyroid tumours, hysterectomies, hepatitis, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, peritonitis, drug allergies, and a hundred other afflictions since the beginning of medical insurance in Canada, and only once did one of them make a terrible mistake, one corrected just in time by another doctor - a foriegn one, at that.

I believe we have to be proactive when interacting with health care, asking questions and getting a second opinion if you don't think you're receiving good care.

As for the system in Canada running out of money - it's nonsense: we have a surplus, and politicians must be persuaded to use it where we citizens want it, not where Stevie or his follower want it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: number 6
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 12:26 AM

Bee ... it's not nonsnese to believe the system is running out of money ... we are at a crossroads now on how long the current system can be sustained ... if we do not arrive a reasonable solution now healthcare will absorb a large majority of government funding in 10 years ... so much so other social programs such as education, care for the elderly will be severely jeopardised.

The country currently is suffering from lack of doctors, shortage of hospital space and lack of funds for maintaining the quality medical infrastructure.

Case in point regarding shortage of hospital space right here at the New Brunswick regional here in Saint John ... "recently an 86-year-old man had to spend the night in a shower room at the Saint John Regional Hospital in the midst of its continuing bed shortage" .. they have also had to put adults up in the pediatric ward.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not proposing that privatization or even part-privatization is the route to go ... but we can't be fooled and we must be aware that a solution has to be arrived at soon or before we know it our beloved health care system will be gone.

With that, I post a quote from Tommy Douglas, the father of Canada's Health care system ... "Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world."

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 01:18 AM

gnu, have your brother get another specialist. Have him talk it over with his family physician and tell him why another specialist should be contacted.
I had a spinal problem, and the second specialist (of course after a few months wait) finally made a diagnosis, based on the MRI and x-rays, that led to some treatment that helped.

Physiotherapy, however, is poorly supported here in Alberta; I don't know about other provinces.

If you think a practitioner is bad, get another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 02:52 AM

If it weren't so cold up north I'd probly move to Canada but I'm contemplating Cuba if it gets better there. My wife pays into the family insurance through work & I pay additionally as a disabled on SS for Medicare. So I pay twice. My medicare is far better that the private but both suck. When private my highest monthly med was $175 my lowest was $30, I take 6 different meds per day my monthly bill was killing me, I did better on Medicare but only by half in general & my monthly bill is still killing me but I'll last a few days longer now. Then both have denied me drug coverage because they claim it's not one they cover, that's it flat NO. So I bought one, it cost me $17 a pill , ONE PILL, so I fill it 4 at a time & only take it when absolutly nessary. I've come across this a few times, where the insurance provider decides what they'll cover no matter what the doctor says or how necessary it might be.
Also in this same line is trying to get appointments. I call for me or my kids, if it's something that I believe needs to be addressed right away I have to fight to get an appointment with the office manager whose's telling me that it doesn't sound very importan & we'll see you in a few days to a week when it's a matter of they need to be seen right away. Where's they're medical training come from, she's an office manager, not even a nurse. I have a hospital down the street from the house, within 400 yds. My son called an ambulance when we were out, pains in his chest, he's 17 at the time. The insurance provider flat out won't pay because it wasn't per-authorized (pre-authorize an emergency???), we keep getting a bill for the $500.00 ride. I keep tossing the bill in the trash & tell in hospital to fuck off, call the provider. Who keeps telling them NO.
If you'd ask me, this counrty's health policy is better for animals than humans. They won't let a dog die, from sickness, accident, hunger or cost but they'll turn a poor person from their door if they can't find a dollar in their pocket or an medical insurance card in their wallet or purse. I'm furious, after yrs of paying into a health system, not only mine but people that have been in my employment, I end up scratching for food because I end up paying for meds that I need to keep me alive. Now if only I could find a way to pay for my kids college education! Don't ask about my dental or eye coverage, I can't see my eye teeth through the fumes.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 02:55 AM

I should make it known that I'm in the US, home of the undead where there's no national health plan or system at all for the unrich.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Emma B
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 06:02 AM

On a somewhat lighter note - for an interesting insight into hospital care (with its problems and rewards) in the UK the book 'Trust Me I'm a (Junior) Doctor ' has been serialized on BBC Radio 4 daily for 15 mins all this week and should be available on listen again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 06:51 AM

Here in Wales prescription medicines are all free for everyone. We've had plenty of experience of both private and NHS hospital care over the past few years with our elderly parents and in each case the NHS has compared very favourably with the private provision - in fact, in the case of my father, the private hospital couldn't actually sort out what was wrong with him (it was a blood clotting problem) and had to send him to the NHS. Both my father and my father-in-law smacked their lips over the NHS hospital food (my father being used to more of a gourmet experience, my father-in-law not necessarily).
My only problem is that because my own GP believes in monitoring any potential health problem I seem to spend far too much time attending appointments to check I'm OK when I don't feel ill in the first place.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 07:04 AM

You can wait four hours in line in a doctor's office for basic treatment! I can't ever recall having to do that. No doubt it happens sometimes, but no one should get the impression it's the normal pattern.

We've just come back from our local walk-in centre, problem, because my wife had some trouble with her knee. It was a non busy time - so in and out within half-an-hour. I have had to wait as long as an hour.

The NHS isn't perfect. It needs some changes, and it also needs to watch out that we don't get the wrong kind of changes brought in under the banner "reforms". But for all the problems and the times it falls short of what it should be, basically it's brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: gnu
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 07:34 AM

Q... my bro hasn't been referred to a specialist yet.

I apologize again for saying the immigrant docs should be sent home. I just read that in the light of day and, well, fuck ME!

I'll shut up now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: number 6
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:06 AM

Q ..   "If you think a practitioner is bad, get another" ... I can't help but agree with that 100%. In many situations this should be a standard procedure on should take.

But here's the frustration, case in point .... I waited 2 1/2 months to see an Ear, Nose and throat specialist .... I did not feel comfortable with his assessment, so I make an appointment with the only other Ear, Nose, Throat specialist here in Southern New Brunswick. I wait 3 1/2 months for my visit with her. As mentioned we have a severe shortage of doctors in Canada, so you have to get in back of the line. All in all I wait 6 months to get properly assessed. It's free, and I really appreciate that, but you get 'sicker' over the time it takes to get treatment.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Bee
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:48 AM

It seems to me that some places in Canada are worse than others. I hear on the news, for example, horror stories about getting a doctor or getting into hospital in Cape Breton - makes it sound like a desperate situation there. Yet all my family there (dozens and dozens of them), from infants to those in their eighties, mostly rural (though not really far from town), are receiving the care they need promptly and without too much waiting. When my elderly Mom had a mystery problem last year, she was examined, scanned, X-rayed, and seen by two specialists within a matter of weeks. Here on the (rural)mainland, I can call my local clinic and see one of six family doctors within one or two days, same day if I feel it is urgent. Bloodwork and X-rays can be done same day at the local small hospital.

My dentist, OTOH, who isn't covered by the health system, will require a months in advance booking, even for quite serious problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Feb 08 - 08:51 AM

Haven't read every post, too much of the same ground being covered, so if I'm duplicating anything - sorry! But here goes:-

Over the past two years under the UK NHS:-

Seventeen weeks in hospital (Lincoln & Nottingham) with repeated attacks of pancreatitis and, latterly raised liver function and jaundice.
Pancreatitis attacks - on each occasion, treatment by emergency paramedics, transported 20 miles to hospital by emergency ambulance. Wait for hospital treatment - none, treated immediately.
Emergency transport between Lincoln and Nottingham (40 miles) by ambulance with paramedics in attendance.
Two blood transfusions - two and four units.
Several Ultrasound scans.
Seven CT Scans.
Three MRI Scans.
Five laparoscopic procedures (including endoscopic ultrasound, taking biopsies, placing a bile-duct stent)
Surgery for gall-bladder removal and pancreatic pseudo-cyst gastrostomy. Wait from first consultation with Consultant to surgery, 8 weeks. Not immediately life-threatening so the wait was not a problem.
Surgery to construct a bile-duct bypass using a section of bowel, and approx. 50% of pancreas removed. Two nights in intensive care following. Wait for surgery - 4 weeks.
Many, many blood tests - too many to even estimate the number.
Medication - Antibiotics, Gliclazide, Omeprazole, Ramipril, Allopurinol.
Countless units of saline drip.
Care and attention of a large number of highly-trained, caring and conscientious nursing staff (British, West-Indian, Indonesion, Indian, Japanese - every one a saint!)

Cost? £0.00 - all part of the service covered by my NIC contributions.

No organisation is perfect. But the NHS was there when I needed it and I'm very grateful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 10:10 AM

I think that the Canadian Health Crae system is great. I have never waited in line at the Dr.'s office, I have never waited more that an hour or so in emerg. All of my health needs are paid for except dental and I have a personal plan for that. Universal health care may not be perfect but it sure beats having none at all, or only having coverage for those who can afford it.
   When something is free, people will, and do sometimes, abuse it. This drives up costs. Is there a funding problem, yes, is there the waiting times problem, in some cases yes. But my experience and observation is that those who are in need of care get it.
   You have to admire any country that believes that all of its people are entitled to health care. I can't understand why all countries, particularly wealthy ones, do not share the same committment to the citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 12:27 PM

Canadian healthcare isn't perfect but it is adequate. The government needs to stop thinking that the 'cure' is privatization. Its always going to need more tax dollars and in order to make the system better, we need to increase those tax dollars. I hope we never allow privatization. It will be the beginning of the end.

Like any form of 'social' system, it is the rich who do not want to pay for the poor. The rich would rather spend those tax dollars on their own healthcare. If we strive to become a compassionate nation, privatization would be a step in the wrong direction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: number 6
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 12:35 PM

"The government needs to stop thinking that the 'cure' is privatization. Its always going to need more tax dollars and in order to make the system better,"

I certainly agree with that dianavan ... but rather that tax more, I think we should divert more of our tax $$ from military spending, and what is wasted on squander ... with better management of our tax $$, and changing many priorities I'm sure we could maintain and improve our Health Care system.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 01:31 PM

Alberta already has a dual public-private system for some services (e. g., MRI). If one does not wish to wait, a private clinic is available- an MRI at one of them is about $900, as I noted before.

A number of specialists here charge up front; if the treatment is covered by Alberta health, the portion covered is refunded by the government. Fees are not wholly reimbursed- my last specialist's fee was $400 and I was refunded only about $100; for the examination, the treatment (removal of bothersome, itchy keratoses) being considered cosmetic. Also, the basic fees charged by some of these specialists exceed the health care allowable.

Some specialists here accept patients from the United States and abroad; especially opthalmologist-surgeons who replace corneas, etc. The province has a quota system limiting the number of operations that they will pay for in a given time period. The specialist accepts foreign patients rather than playing golf or twiddling his thumbs when the quota is filled.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 01:55 PM

I wish to make two comments..one, I am fairly well off and I have no problem whatever paying into social programmes that benefit all. I think that accusing the rich of not having compassion for fellow citizens is a gross over generalization.I would gladly pay more tax for health care and education, so would most of my colleagues.
Secondly, Secondly, many people do abuse the system. I know this from first hand experience and I feel that we need to stop the kinds of abuses that are so costly. Emergency rooms are not consulting rooms and should not be treated as such. A change in this attitude alone would save millions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 05:34 PM

But sometimes going to the Emergency room is the only way a person can see a doctor - my doctor's surgery list is full, the only way onto it is dead people's boots and there are always 100 applicants for every 1 place available. Many people cannot get onto a doctor's list because they have no fixed abode, have recently moved into the area or fall between catchment areas.

I agree that people should only use the A&E for genuine accidents or emergencies - but with the best will in the world, that is not always possible.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Peace
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 09:31 PM

Funny how our elected officials who have friends in the pharmaceutical industy and health care inducstry always seem to be talkin' about the benefits of privitization. Just can't figure out why that is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 12:32 PM

I am a big fan of the Canadian system to which I belong. I have watched many people (including Mudcat's own Rick Fielding) having vastly expensive treatments which would bankrupt anyone -- even people with some levels of private insurance -- for nothing. Nevertheless, it is probably slightly less responsive than the French system. I have always felt that some small user fees would work: I know of doctors who find that their time is often taken up with useless multiple hypocondriacs. On the other hand, one of the great benefits of a free system is preventive care: no one worries about going to a doctor about costs early on, which I believe cuts down on later costs dramatically. But our system could do more with preventive care generally.

The big problem with which the Canadian system is not coping very well is the elderly -- the provision of home nursing care is pitiful, and this is an area where Britain and other countries shine.

The American system is completely and totally pathetic.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: GUEST,ALBERT
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 12:55 PM

The NHS is defended by health care workers and ordinary people in the UK because access to it does not depend on wealth but is still mainly free at the point of use.
It has many problems including chronic underfunding [healthcare is about 7percent of national spending in the UK whereas in Europe in countries like France it is more like 13%.
Another big problem is that New Labour has copied the Tories in pushing Private Finance Initiative [PFI ] deals in the NHS which are both grossly expensive in the long run and run contrary to the whole ethos of the NHS. Cleaning teams in the NHS are now mainly provided by private contractors who pay poor wages and impose shabby conditions of work on their demoralised and demotivated staff.No wonder the cleaning of wards has become one of the great medical scandals in our hopitals.
As a previous writer has said the National service is being localised and run by managers and business types who are undermining the NHS itself
But it is still a massive force for good in the UK and well worth defending as Karen Reissman and her mental health nursing colleagues have been doing in Manchester this year.
ALBERT


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 01:00 PM

the provision of home nursing care is pitiful, and this is an area where Britain and other countries shine.

Well, it's all relative, but I'd hesitate to say that Britain exactly shines in this respect. Sometimes it does - I could cite the way services responding to the situation of my father-in-law, who is 96, to enable him to continue to live at home after he had a fall last year.

But on a wider basis it is pretty patchy, and under strain as we all grow older. Nothing that can't be fixed, but the will to do so has to be there, and good services cost money, and raising that money can cost votes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 01:06 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: gnu
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM

What's wrong Art? Ya got me very worried about ya lad. Never seen you without somethin ta say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 07:47 PM

I am an enormous fan of the war in Iraq. If we got all these young teenage tearaways in uniform or making bullets and that sort of thing. They would all be paying tax. We could afford better hospitals than and we could have another war - perhaps another two or three more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: bobad
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 10:29 PM

Comprehensive comparison of Canadian and American health care systems at Wikipedia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 25 Feb 08 - 11:02 PM

I've lived under both -- give me National Health anytime....


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 01:15 AM

Thanks, bobad. very interesting that the US spends 15.3% of GDP on healthcare, while Canada spends 9.8. Value for money seems to favor the Canadian system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 04:05 AM

And UK about 7. Something to be said for single payer systems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: DougR
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 05:35 PM

My experience, and it was considerable when my first wife was alive, with the US health care system has been excellent. The cost of one of her hospital stays in intensive care for 12 weeks totaled more than a million dollars. Our HMO covered everything. It cost us nothing.

From what I have read on this thread, I would prefer our system to the one in Canada or Great Britain.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM

Would you prefer our system if you didn't have any insurance, DougR, or if your insurance wasn't as good as what you had when your late wife was alive?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 06:04 PM

HMO - that's "Health Maintenance organization", I see. Made my head spin trying to make sense of that article.

Glad it came through for you, Doug, and that you were in a position to be able to rely on it. But I'm so glad I'm living in a country, and indeed in a whole continent, where we can rely on getting decent health care for without ever having to worry about whether our payments are up to date, or that we have employers who have made the right arrangements or anything like that. And to know that all of us here have those same rights.

Even stuff like my digital hearing aids.

Come on in, the water's lovely...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 09:22 PM

Even conservative projections show US health care costs doubling in the next 5 years as baby boomers begin to retire. Reform of the US Healthcare system is imminent, whether Doug R thinks it's great or Barry Finn thinks it's horrible. The fact is, with status quo, costs will be unsustainable. If we don't make a wise choice, a Hobson's Choice will be forced on us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 11:59 AM

Did anyone watch 'Sick Around the World' on last night's Frontline? T.R. Reid comparison-shopped health care systems in the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan (there may have been one or two others).

(It struck me as very strange that he didn't visit Canada)

For the first time I have hope that universal health care will come to the US in the near future. What kind it will be is more problematic but I have hope. As I've said many times before, there is no need to re-invent the wheel; cherry-picking elements of the various systems is the way to go. That is what Taiwan did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful?
From: Bee
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM

DougR, unfortunately your experience is not universal. I have a raft of relatives, mostly in Florida, who mostly work low paying jobs where employers do not provide good (or any, for most of them) health insurance. They can't pay for insurance and still have food and shelter. They are always putting off medical care until their health is seriously compromised, and they are frequently (especially the older ones) in debt to medical facilities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:04 PM

>>It occurs to me that here at Mudcat we have a generous number of Brits and Canadians who could give us first hand observations as to how well "socialized medicine" works for them.<<

After all the grief I've given you on the other thread I think you deserve the best answer I can give on this one.

I can compare the systems here and in Canada pretty well.
As a worker is Canada, I barely noticed the deductions. I could go to the doctor I wanted. appointments could be made within a week. I rarely had to wait. I had emergency room care a couple of times. I rarely had to wait more than an hour or two. The offices and clinics were well staffed, but sometimes the nurses seem frazzled over the load.

In the States I have had HMO through United Health Care, PPO form another big company, the name escapes me, and HMO from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Two of these plans were corporate, from huge companies to my knowledge, they were the best plans available to me at any price, and the price was high. Appointments could never be had that week, usually they had to be more than three weeks out.

My dad, who was in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada at the time and I (Columbus, GA, USA) had a colonoscopy about two months apart. We both had to wait two weeks for our procedures we both had polyps removed, we both followup appointments the following week. We both were treated expertly courteously and prosessionally. I paid about $50 in deductibles. My Dad paid nothing.

While Carol and I were on Blues Cross our doctor had to drop us as patients because of red tape, inadequate payment and general poor treatment from blue cross and we were paying an obscene about of money for that coverage.

I would not only rather have the Canadian system than no coverage, I would choose it head up over any US health "insurance" company I have dealt with.


BTW, In Canada the medical insurance system does not pay for drugs. But drugs are way less expensive than here because the government is not in bed with big pharma.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:26 PM

Jack said: "BTW, In Canada the medical insurance system does not pay for drugs. But drugs are way less expensive than here because the government is not in bed with big pharma."
While that is still true about drugs being cheaper, the federal government has twice in recent years changed the patent act to block generic drugs. They were acting on behalf of the drug corporations and not the populace. Today we have arseholes running things in Ottawa anxious to impose a USA system of medical care. Privatization and Harper go hand in hand. I worry what the bastards will do if they ever get a majority!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM

Australia - universal health cover by Medicare. Private Health coverage for those who want it (or feel they need it).

examples - 2006 my heart was racing a lot & I made 2 trips to the Emergency department at my local hospital, one of Sydney's biggest teaching hospitals with a great reputation.

The first trip I had to pay for the ambulance (2 reasons - I don't have Private Health cover nor am I a Pensioner who is covered by a Healthcard that allows free treatment), second trip I took a taxi as I knew I wasn't dying. All my treatment in Hospital each time was free - hooked up to heart monitors, blood tests, lung x-rays etc. Second trip diagnosed me - a very occasional & irregular heatbeat that didn't show up the first 10-hour visit, but was finally caught the second time.

Subsequent visits to a heart specialist does cost me. Medicare covers part of the bill - they pay out what they calculate a visits costs, & Health care professionals are not bound to that cost, & can & usually do charge more (their Associations always says it's not enough!) For pensioners Medicare covers all the bill. My tablets & many other medications get a Govt subsidy.

I also had a trip to the Eye Hospital one night where I waited 1 hour (bloke ahead was heading for the table to have a piece of metal removed from his eye so I didn't mind waiting!) Neither of us paid anything for our treatment, tho the follow up trip to my eye specialist cost the usual amount & I received the usual rebate.

All Australians (single & family) are covered by a Safety net - if they spend over a certain amount in a year (& most families do), they get a lot more back for their bills & medications.

My eye specialist has me on his list for free cataract operations when I finally need them. My thyroid specialist will also remove my thyroid (if it needs removing) for nuffin' in the Public hospital system, (cross you fingers for me the the biospy results will be good as she thinks they will be when I get them on friday). The biopsy cost nearly $500 & I received about half back.

There are lots of problems in our State & national health systems - Google Australia gives 80,900 references for "waiting lists & elective surgery", massive staff shortages in many systems, horror stories of people with ghastly conditions waiting for a long time for emergency treatment, but on the whole our universal health cover works well considering our population size & finances.

Aust Bureau of Stats 2008 yearbook re Australian health system

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM

IMO, anyone wants to slag Canadian health care, try doing without it for a few years. It'll look pretty good after that. Pretty darned good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:20 PM

However, if there was a way to separate the drug companies from the picture--man, wouldn't THAT be nice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:27 PM

There's good and bad aspects of PCs of various kinds and Macs, and sometimes things can go wrong and they can really piss you off. But the idea of doing without a computer and relying on a manual typewriter and traipsing down to the library to check stuff doesn't bear thinking of.

That's more of less how I see the relationship between the health care we've got in the UK and in most parts of Europe and in places like Canada and Australia, on the one hand, and what you currently seem to have in the States, on the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 02:00 AM

We just watched Sicko it was a great movie. Light years ahead of his previous ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: GUEST,john f weldon
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 07:53 AM

I'm Canadian, I'm old enough to remember the days before medicare, when you could die for lack of cash.
I've been suffering from pneumonia lately; when I realized I was sick, I was given an appointment by the my doctor in just two hours; three hours later I had antibiotics in hand.

In the last few years I've had a CAT scan, an MRI, several XRAYs etc, all with very little waiting.

Drugs are covered at 80%, everything else, 100%.

Everything that American right-wing politicians say about the Canadian system is a lie.

It works well, and can truly save your life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: GUEST,john f weldon
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 08:02 AM

Sorry, but I really have to continue this rant, but it's important for Americans to understand.

A few years ago, a friend, a penniless farmer, managed to mangle his right hand in a piece of farm machinery. His friends quickly picked up bits of detached fingers from the mud; an hour later he was racing to Montreal in an ambulance with finger-bits in an ice-filled plastic bag.

The operating room was waiting for him when he got there, and a top-notch surgeon put him back together.

It may seem like a snarky joke to say that two months later he was playing the guitar as well as ever, but it's quite literally true. And it didn't cost him a cent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 01:57 PM

I'll be damned, Jack! I agree with you. Sicko was undoubtedly Moore's best film, but many of the people who would most benefit from the information probably won't see it. We have a huge bureaucracy in the States with a vested interest in seeing things continue as they have. But I believe that the AMA is even starting to show signs of coming around. It will take a clear vision and a firm hand to change the system, and I'm hoping that either Obama or Clinton, who both advocate National Health Care, possess the qualities needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 04:24 PM

You are more optimistic about that and me. You saw "Sicko" so you know where Hillary's bread is buttered now.

I think there is a chance Obama can nudge the country in the right direction. I think he will try his best. That is one reason I am working for him. The other is that he has the right ideas about foreign policy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 05:48 AM

10 myths about Canadian healthcare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 06:27 AM

"You can wait four hours in line in a doctor's office for basic treatment! You can wait months or years for necessary surgery! And the treatment, if you can get it, is far below American standards. And you have no control over who treats you!""

The thing about having no control over who treats you: from what I remnember, isn't that how an HMO works?

One of the things that's probably evident from this thread so far is that, in the UK, it really depends on where you live whether you experience the shortcomings of the NHS or not.

Liz says she has had the 4 hour wait for basic care, but I believe she lives in London. I've lived in villages for most of my time here, and I have to say the care I've received has been first class. From having my caesarean when my daughter was born to a breast cancer scare last year, I've never been left feeling I could have received better care if I'd been paying for it. In fact, when it came to the breast cancer, my doctor said to me, "Don't be tempted to go private - this is one of the things the NHS does better than anyone." He was right. I was on holiday in Greece when i found my lump, and rang my doctor for an appointment while I was still over there. I went in the day after I got back, and had been fast-tracked into the specialist clinic within a few days. At the clinic they treated me with kindness and respect and informed me exactly what was going to happen. Everything was there in one place - it wasn't a case of going here on this day for one test and there on another day for the next one - they did all the tests on the day, and even analysed the results while I was there - I was given the all-clear within a couple of hours of arrival.

Brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 10:12 AM

"And you have no control over who treats you!"

If your GP is in a group practice with others - which most of them are - you can decide which of the GPs you want to see. (Of course you may have to wait longer to see them than if you just go for the first in line, but that's true in any system.)

And if it comes to needing to see a specialist in hospital you can specify which hospital you want your GP to refer you to.

And it is possible to mix and match - get a test done privately, which can be quicker, and then use that as a basis for NHS treatment.

If anything it seems the NHS gives us more choice in practice than going private, especially if that involves relying on private health insurance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Alice
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 10:35 AM

Don't know if this has alread been posted.

Within the week I have watched reporter T R Reid on Charlie Rose and seen the documentary on Frontline.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

Sick Around The World
Comparing 5 capitalist democracies and how they have universal health coverage for all their citizens.

"In Sick Around the World, FRONTLINE teams up with veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid to find out how five other capitalist democracies -- the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland -- deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures."

Watch the Frontline documentary. Other countries consider it a human right that a person get medical care without going bankrupt, without losing their house, without being expected to pay when they cannot pay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 01:18 PM

"Watch the Frontline documentary. Other countries consider it a human right that a person get medical care without going bankrupt, without losing their house, without being expected to pay when they cannot pay."

I have to say, Alice, this and the free higher education system were two of the main things that made me think that the UK really had it together when I moved here almost 20 years ago. You look after people's health, and you make sure that everyone is entitled to the best education appropriate to their abilities - what they make of themselves then is up to them.

Of course, it's not nearly that simplistic in practice, and several important fundamental principles have been eroded since i've been here. But that basic human right is one that a LOT of people in the UK really take for granted. You really can't understand how important the NHS is until you've had to live without it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: GUEST,Sandra Green
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 01:29 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 01:33 PM

Selecting a doctor.

When we extricate people from crashes, and the ambulance guys and gals do their thing, the patients seldom specify the doctor they want to be examined by at the hospital.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM

I was watching some of the extra features in the Sicko DVD last night. They gave a figure of 18,000 people who die a year because of not having any health insurance. We went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq to the cost of trillions of dollars of tax payer money, because 3,000 people were killed. But we can't afford to put a much smaller amount of money into making sure all people in the US have enough health care to stay alive? We need to change this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brit /Canadian Health Care Awful? US,too?
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Apr 08 - 06:51 PM

I watched the Frontline piece. I don't trust it, frankly. I think they're trying to push a market based solution. They didn't say anything at all about the systems in Canada and France. I would have liked to see that.


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This Thread Is Closed.


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