Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

August 18, 2009

Letter to the Editor, A Canadian living in Ohio Refutes claims about Canadian Health System, ANITHA THOMAS, Findlay, August 12, 09


Several letters about Canadian health care system are appearing on these pages on a regular basis, all of which are nothing but rumors and speculations. The letter of Ms. Madelynn Palmer is an example.
First, Canadian doctors do not “draw names out of a box” to select a patient. This is part of a misinformation campaign that is going on in this country. Second, all Canadian citizens and permanent residents are entitled to the care they need anywhere in the country at any time. Third, the government does not mandate the choice of doctors or hospitals, as many insurance companies do in this country. If a family doctor cannot accommodate an emergency request, the patient can go to a walk-in clinic to receive the needed care. Today, Canada permits private doctors as well, who will be available for consultation.
If there is an emergency, one could go to any hospital for treatment. If too many patients are showing up in an emergency room at the same time, the staff will have to streamline them, depending on the degree of emergency. This happens even in our own hospitals, where the waiting time can be longer than what was expected.
The ministry of health provides prenatal and postnatal care to all pregnant women. Babies are delivered free, and the government does not control the preferences of the patients. Disabled patients receive continuous care, including physiotherapy, and transit vehicles for free transportation. Their medical system, care providers, and pharmaceutical companies are just as highly developed as ours.
Those who are not permanent residents will have to buy health insurance policies from private companies, which carry low premiums and equally satisfactory basic coverage. Many married American students at Canadian universities usually plan to have their babies born in Canada, the cost of which was once the government’s responsibility. Today, one has to be a permanent resident or citizen to receive free health care.
One must not forget the fact that a large number of Americans are on what is called “medical tourism” to Singapore, India, Hong Kong, and Brazil, where the cost of treatment is very low. The point is this: to criticize a system without factual information is to dwell on the verge of stupidity.

ANITHA THOMAS
401 Howard Street
Findlay, OH 45840
Ph. 427 1675

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