Monday, August 17, 2009

Canada, Holland, France, and Health Care

Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors

SASKATOON — The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made. .......

His thoughts on the issue are already clear. Ouellet has been saying since his return that "a health-care revolution has passed us by," that it's possible to make wait lists disappear while maintaining universal coverage and "that competition should be welcomed, not feared."In other words, Ouellet believes there could be a role for private health-care delivery within the public system.

Canada's health care system is sick but it looks like they're exploring PRIVATE health care just when WE are.....when we are......doing the opposite.....ruh roh!...........Click HERE for the rest of the article.

Then there is THIS ARTICLE about French and Dutch healthcare, which I found pretty fair and even enlightening and thought provoking, but there are hidden sentences in it which should open any American's eyes wide...I provided a few here:

Dutch and French patients do wait longer than Americans for specialty care; around a quarter of respondents to the Commonwealth Fund survey reported waiting more than two months to see a specialist, compared to virtually no wait for Americans. But Dutch and French patients were far less likely to avoid seeing a specialist altogether -- or forgoing other sorts of medical care -- because they couldn't afford it. And there's precious little evidence that the waits for specialty care led to less effective care. (Z: "couldn't afford it'? I thought it's FREE? And, regarding not going to a specialist and evidence that it wasn't needed, tell that to a very sick person who needs that specialist)

And in both countries, people pay for health insurance through a combination of private payments and what are, by American standards, substantial taxes. (Z: substantial is a nice way of saying lifestyle threatening, trust me)

Z: I just found out that Holland starts paying for mammograms at the age of 50...America, 40. The American sample recommends every year mammograms and pays for that. Holland's pays for every FIVE years. That's bad medicine any way you slice it. (sorry to mention slice in terms of mammograms, ladies; I know, it just FEELS that way:-)

France's healthcare wasn't bad, I have to say.....I was part of it and benefited from it. But, the taxes are very high and nothing is 'free'. I hope I don't have to again mention that the lie you've always heard about "Germans get medical care FREE" has never been true. I just remembered my experience at a 'hand and arm clinic' in Paris while living there. I really badly sliced my index finger while washing a wine glass after a dinner party (I play piano so it was a little more scary than it might be and it turns out the cut was very near a nerve but didn't damage it, hallelujiah!).....While waiting for the surgery, I was wheeled in on a guerney two inches from both people on the sides of me ... all of us waiting for surgery. And, because you're so close, they have you feet to head...I was head, the two people on my sides, feet...get the drift? side by side.... I couldn't BELIEVE it. Crammed in like sardines. (I asked to use the bathroom and they gave me a bed pan........think about it...French health care might be good but it's not luxurious...EXCEPT at the American Hospital there, where I also had cooking-related hand-cut injury! THAT was a marvelous place, I have to admit)
In summary, regarding the above links, I think the second article is interesting and some parts should be seriously considered.......the question will always be HOW MUCH GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT SHOULD THERE BE? Seems to me that's the part that never works in any of these countries.


Always On Watch said...

Dutch and French patients do wait longer than Americans for specialty care; around a quarter of respondents to the Commonwealth Fund survey reported waiting more than two months to see a specialist, compared to virtually no wait for Americans.

Back in 1993, had Mr. AOW been forced to wait 8 weeks to see a specialist (neurosurgeon), Mr. AOW would have died.

On Saturday evening, I put in a non-emergency call to my doctor. At 9:15 this morning, he returned my call to discuss the problem I'm having.

Now, I complain a lot about the health-insurance industry (See my post of August 17, 2009), but I can't complain about the health care this household is getting.

FrogBurger said...

France's system isn't bad as far as quality. My grandma has had multiple cancers (6) and hasn't been treated very very well, although I'd be curious to know how many cancers she would've had if she'd been treated in the US. But she has, like my mom, a complementary health insurance co-op that is available to French teachers.

The French system is not a single payer as well, and co-ops exist. Now the French gov asks citizens to join private insurance companies too.

And as you say taxes are very high. In addition withdrawals from your paycheck that are not income tax account for over 20% (21 to 25 depending on your bracket) of your gross income to finance the welfare and healthcare system.

The healthcare system is 60 billions in the red. Nurses are underpaid, especially in public hospitals, which tend to be understaffed.

At least they don't ration unlike Canada and the UK. I was on the phone with my mom today and I gave her a few quotes of the Obama advisors from hell about prioritizing health care to people who are the most likely to participate to society. She was appaled and confirmed what I keep saying now: the American left has no compassion. Those things could not be said in France and people would send you to the political guillotine right away.

shoprat said...

That was a bit of a troubling story.

Now Canada is "rethinking their system" because it is, according to their own, unsustainable.

FrogBurger said...

I mean my grandma has been treated well. God my attention to detail is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

The great thing about socialist health care is that when the doctors bury their mistakes, there are no lawyers sniffing around the corpses.

Anonymous said...

Okay, maybe there are a couple. ;-)

Anonymous said...

As the song goes, "This Could Be the Start of Something Big"

Joe said...

Ya know? The Dutch and the French and especially the Canadians just need to attend some of Father Obama's health care lectures to learn how to fix it all.

He has all the answers, although he was for single payer before he became against it yesterday or the day before.

To invert an old saying, "The more things stay the same, the more things change."

Z said...

Thanks for all your input..

FrogBurger, I thought that was what you meant!>>no problem. I'm glad you fixed it...we all do it!

Shoprat, that's the WHOLE reason I did this usual, in 10 words, you encapsulate it perfectly.

Conservative: one of my favorite songs..great melody, too.

Deborah on the Bayside said...

I've heard the Canadians have been re-thinking options. Glad to see the post.

Americans already pay enough "substantial taxes" for the tremendous military research, deployment and global training that stands as both ravelin and spearpoint between nations worldwide and the bad guys. England, France, Germany, Canada, Japan -- they can all pay a lot less because of the presence of the American shield we all fund.

Same can be said for pharmaceutical research. We pay market rates here to pay for costly drug research and subsidize cheap prices for others, like the Canadians who buy discounted blocks of US drugs.

Under the circumstances, I resent Euro lectures trying to drag us into the same mess.

Anonymous said...

Years ago in England, my British friend explained to me that one had one's pay packet taxed for that free health care.

One could still go see a private doctor, of course, but more and more of those were going to other countries.

And then there were complaints about the caliber of some doctors and their places of origins.

Then there are the wages of those in the health care industry.

Lots of things to think about.

The thought of being left on a guerney , with other humans all lined up like sardines is enough to make one pause.

My my, an assembly line, just the way I like to think about humans.
What a scenario.

The stats on those dying from certain cancers are higher in countries such as England,too.

We do not need to jump into this mess.

The thing is, we can't run medicare very well, but we want to put everyone on something like it??

Makes no sense.


Z said...

Thanks, Deborah...I resent it, too.

WV...excellent point. Like Obama basically said "We can't run the post office as well as FedEx does!", right!? And yes, it DID feel VERY uncomfortable to be in a clinic in the swankiest neighborhood of Paris lying head to foot with strangers...very weird. They think that's perfectly normal. I don't!

Deborah on the Bayside said...

To add to your comments about mammograms. Here, screening men for colon cancer starts at 50; in England it begins at 75.

Z said...

Deborah! SEVENTY-FIVE? That is AWFUL! My best friend almost died of colon cancer at 48!! It's a good thing she had the colonoscopy when she did..and she just passed her five year mark..hurrah!

WOW..that's very interesting info..thanks.

Opus #6 said...

Starts at 75? That's terrible.

Average American said...

Reading some of these comments, it's easy to see why America spends more on health care. Start screening for colon cancer at 70, won't find much. They all already died!

I live 2 hours from Canada and I know people who have been left on guerneys in the hallway and lobbies for hours and a few cases for days (no rooms available). Is this really what we want? NO, F### NO!!!!

Deborah on the Bayside said...

Here's the link to the reference on age 75 -

Ducky's here said...

I think there is a basic flaw here. NO health care system can completely satisfy demand. Health care by it's nature is often redundant and inefficient.

What arguments like this do not acknowledge is that ours is in deep yogurt and needs serious revision.

Z said... can't read this blog and really mean this "What arguments like this do not acknowledge is that ours is in deep yogurt and needs serious revision."

Do you need posts and comments in braille or for hearing impaired? The reading's sure not working for you.

Anonymous said...

Our health care system is the best in the world and requires NO changes at all to remain so.

It's not perfect though. And we all know how much the Left will screw things up trying to make "as good as it gets" better.

Anonymous said...

Z, if you are musically inclined you may like this little tune about ObamaCare.

I think it's pretty cute ...