The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

If You Liked George Orwell's Animal Farm, You'll LOVE Socialized Healthcare.

SOCIALIZED MEDICINE IN A NUTSHELL:

THE GOOD . . . One of the BEST things about Canadian Healthcare, is that EVERYONE in Canada is covered for Virtually Every Manifestation of Catastrophic and Chronic (Pre-Existing) Illnesses.

Bruce Caskenette of Cornwall Ontario, said in a recent COMMENT that Canadian Healthcare ISN’T FREE. He’s right. And I never alluded to Canadian Healthcare being FREE, since nothing the Government does is FREE.

INEVITABLY . . . Every Penny the Government spends, comes from the People, giving the Uninformed, the Weak-Minded, and the Socialists who Pay NOTHING, the False Impression that the Government somehow GIVES us anything.

THE BAD . . . Unless the Problem is more or less LIFE-THREATENING, to be determined by someone other than the Patient; Healthcare in Canada is DOLED-OUT at the discretion of the “System”. And because there are literally NO PRIVATE OPTIONS . . . Competition, which is the LIFE-BLOOD of Success and Competence DOES NOT EXIST IN CANADIAN HEALTHCARE.

THE HORROR STORIES . . . Everyone has heard about WAIT-TIMES in the Canadian System for NON-LIFE-THREATENING issues are all TRUE. It is indeed 100% TRUE that people can wait for Years for treatments such as Hip and Knee Replacements.

It is also 100% COMMON for Canadians to wait Weeks-On-End to see their Primary Care Doctor, that is if they can even FIND a Primary Healthcare Doctor to include you in his or her practice, and MONTHS to see a Specialist . . . and MANY months to have a CAT SCAN, MRI or a DOPPLER ULTRASOUND, which by Canadian Standards is “NORMAL”.

I’M ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES . . . Because, even though Anne and I aren’t FLUSH with money, and we struggle, like just about everyone else, we have enough to go outside the System to get what we need (within reason), when we need it. BUT THAT ISN’T THE CASE WITH MOST PEOPLE.

THE OTHER BIG PROBLEM WITH THE CANADIAN SYSTEM . . . For some Unfathomable reason, which I believe boils down to a SERIOUS LACK OF MONEY, Canada does not Graduate enough Health Providers . . . from Nurses to all manner of Physicians to provide for the Burgeoning Demand.

And given the Ludicrous and Criminal amount of money the Canadian Governments (Municipal, Provincial & Federal) spend on its Public Sector Work Force and THEMSELVES, it should NOT be shocking to anyone, that there simply isn’t enough money to properly invest in the Health-Care of the Nation.

And then of course there are BILLIONS OF OUR TAX PAID DOLLARS, which our Governments simply THROW AWAY overseas to supposedly “HELP” Third World Countries, and the EXTREME Wasteful Spending on Domestic Stupidity, which could and SHOULD otherwise be spent on making Canadian Healthcare WORK BETTER FOR EVERYONE.

BUT IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT BAD AND WASTEFUL GOVERNMENT . . . Since far too many Canadians and Landed Immigrants entitled to what is “NOT FREE“ Healthcare, actually ABUSE the Privilege because they PERCEIVE IT TO BE FREE.

I am 100% CONVINCED, Beyond any Shadow of Doubt . . . that if a USER FEE would be charged Per Patient Per Visit, it would FREE-UP the System for people who REALLY need to see their Doctor without having to wait for weeks.

AND AS UNREAL AS THIS MIGHT SEEM . . . THIS IS ENTIRELY TRUE:

When Anne and I moved to the Province of Ontario from the Province of Quebec in the Year-2000, literally 45-Minutes from the Provincial Line, where our Family Doctor Practices in Quebec, we were determined to keep our Family Doctor.

BUT . . . As it turned out, our Doctor does not Accept Payment from the Ontario Health Plan, since he didn’t see enough Ontario Patients to warrant his registering with OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Program), and subsequently paying their Fees for Membership.

SO INSTEAD . . . We were informed by our Doctor’s Administrator, that we would have to pay CASH or CHECK for our visits, and claim the amounts BACK from OHIP.

But the amount we would have to pay to our Quebec Doctor would only be determined upon the Amount and Limit, which the Quebec Health Plan allows its doctors to charge per issue.

SO THE LOGICAL QUESTION FOR US – WAS . . . How much CASH should we bring to the Doctor for the Check-Up? And would he accept a Check? And please bear in mind that this Doctor had been our Family Physician since 1980, and every time we saw him when we lived in Quebec, we never once thought about money. So we didn’t know what to expect.

WE WERE TOLD THAT OUR DOCTOR ACCEPTS CHECKS . . . So, we went with $200 in CASH, and our Check-Book in hand, just in case the Amount would be MORE than $200.

SO PLEASE IMAGINE OUR SURPRISE . . . Actually SHOCK is a far better description for how we felt, when the Bill, ACCORDING to what our Doctor was ALLOWED TO CHARGE BY THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC WAS JUST $18?

ON A $100 RESTAURANT MEAL . . . Anne And I Will Tip More Than That At 20%.

BUT NOT TO HOLD A “TAG DAY” FOR OUR DOCTOR . . . since he staggers all of his Patients at 10-Minute Intervals, and on an 8-Hour Work Day, he can see 48-Patients at a minimum of $20 EACH. And if he were to work for 50-Weeks on the Year, he would earn a bare minimum of $240,000.

But, very often . . . he sees MORE than 48-Patients Per Day, and he earns MORE than $20 Per Visit, depending upon what services he provides. SO HE’S VERY HAPPY, which I know, because he and I have often spoken about this and other Healthcare issues. And believe me when I write, I have no objection to him earning this type of money.

THIS PHYSICIAN . . . is one of FOUR or more in his Clinic. So assuming they all make the same kind of money, by seeing the same number of Patients . . . the Government could save MORE than $1-MILLION Per Year just on that one Clinic, which in essence is ONLY ONE OF THOUSANDS.

I assure you . . . this Clinic is not in a Cheap Part of Town. The people live in expensive homes, drive expensive cars, and eat at expensive restaurants, AND can certainly afford to pay $20 OR MORE PER VISIT instead of having the Government Pay.

BUT THEIR MINDSET IS THAT THEY WANT FREE . . . especially since they figure they’ve already paid for the service in their Taxes. BUT . . . OF WHAT VALUE IS FREE, when you have to Wait Weeks to receive the Benefits . . . and you NEED to see your Doctor NOW?

So . . . why doesn’t Canadian Healthcare simply save what could be BILLIONS of Dollars per year in FEES, while at the same time FREEING-UP Physicians to see MORE Patients in a Timely Fashion, since if it is NOT FREE, a lot of people who abuse the System, will not use it, who really don’t need it?

IF YOU LIKED ORWELL’S ANIMAL FARM – YOU’LL LOVE SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE:

THE ANSWER . . . Is 100% Political, because the SOMETHING-FOR NOTHING BUNCH, most of whom pay ZERO into the System, and many Who Do Pay Into The System, but have become like PAVLOV’S DOG, CONDITIONED into wanting and expecting FREE, when they should all know that NOTHING IS FREE, won’t hear of it.

I LOVE CANADIAN HEALTHCARE . . . Because no one will go Broke dealing with Catastrophic and Chronic (Pre-Existing) Health Issues, but for virtually everything else – IT’S VERY MUCH WANTING.

THE UGLY PART . . . The Politicians have DEEMED that all of the People within their Provincial Jurisdictions are like George Orwell’s Animal Farm – where everyone is Equal, with the exception of some being MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

And That’s Socialized Medicine For You In A Nutshell.

Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov

25 Comments

  • obama has sent an army of political hacks campaigning against Netanyahu financed by our State Department
    I do not want any of my taxes going to this traitor. PLEASE continue your good work. God Bless, Pearl Nelson

    Pearl Nelson, Laurel, MD 20708
  • Yup, spot on.

    Perry E Poling, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
  • Howard, you are in good company of those who think everyone needs to be charged a copay. That which is given free tends not to be valued. Put another way, everyone needs to have some skin in the game. Hope we do this for Medicaid.

    Charles A. Orr, Huntsville, Alabama, United States
  • I’m about to have to go to China to get surgery done since the US docs won’t remove a tumor without chemo to shrink a walnut size tumor. So off to China it is so I can pay cash and get what I want done–not what the oncologists insist has to happen which is poison me for money in a 100K a pop “treatment” where they have NO SURVIVORS. Uh. No. Just NO! I’ve lived longer with NO chemo than my sister did with all the poison they could pump into her for a 750K charge. She’s dead. I’m typing.

    Teri Newman, Belleville IL
  • Canada’s plan well summarized! When I turned 65 the Ontario government offered to sign me up for prescription coverage. However I still had my group plan from work so did not need the province’s help but the insurance company told me that if I did not sign up for the government plan, the group policy would not pay! Private insurers must pay first, saving the taxpayer $ millions. We are subsidizing the insurance industry with our tax dollars at the expense of the efficacy of our health care.

    Steven Scheffer, Burlington, Ontario
  • Howard, you are so right and as a former Canadian doc who fled Canada under Trudeau 1 to the USA in 1977. At that time, OHIP was happy to see us leave as then patients would have to wait longer to see their family doctor and costs would go down.

    I am happily still in an enjoyable practice (my own clinic) after 40 years here in Houston area. I was going to retire if Hildebeast won, but hopefully Trump will abolish Obamacare and not give us Ryan care.

    David McDonald, Pasadena Texas
  • I used to sell pharmaceuticals to Canadian hospitals. The consensus in all departments was that a simple user fee of $5.00 (adjusted for inflation to about $20.00 today) would eliminate the frivolous over-use of emergency care. I would gladly pay $100.00 to avoid waiting several hours. Too bad ideology trumps common sense in our something-for-nothing healthcare system.

    Barry Jackson, St. Lazare, Quebec
  • Howard, the only difference in the Canadian medicare system is that in Québec, you are allowed to open private clinics and charge accordingly, which is not the same in all the other provinces. So if you need to find out if you have an Ulcer, you could wait up to one year and do the procedure in a hospital without payment, or, you go to a private clinic and pay $600.00 for the procedure & do it within a month. We have a 2 tier system in Québec & I think its an excellent idea. Steve Acre, Montreal

    Steve Acre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 10 yrs ago no conservative would have voted for socialized medicine. The voters changed and so did the politicians. Most people seem to want something at someone else expense. I am so surprised!

    Ray Loveless, Plano, Tx 75025
  • Are your politicians required to utilize the same system?

    James Cochran, Austin TX
  • Don’t forget, the doctor’s office, staff, and overhead come out of the provincial payouts. In Quebec, once a doctor reaches a pre-determined amount of hours, there is no more payments in compensation for services provided; if the doctor continues to see patients its on the doctor’s dime.

    Stephen Eisenberg, Montreal, Quebec
  • I hope the delicate snowflakes that follow Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would read Howard’s summation today. I believe they believe Socialized Medicine should be here in the USA. The folks I know think what conservatives I know here in the States think; “T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L.”. “Their Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” The best articulated and written piece I have ever read on Canada’s health care system. Thank you very much Howard! Enlightening!

    Paul Kuzinski, Lawrence, Kansas, United States
  • I believe health care costs Canadians about $220 billion dollars. Divide that cost by 35 million Cdns and the cost is about $6300 per person. Divide the cost by 20 million taxpayers and the cost is about $11,000 per taxpayer . Multiply the two results by four persons per family and recognize the amount of money paid for health care per family. Finally thank god for the top 20% of taxpayers who are forking over most of the cash for health care via GST, Inc.tax, and tax on investments.

    jack ellefson, calgary, ab
  • Thanks Howard for being so forthright about Canada’s Healthcare System. I was working with those surgeons who left Canada in the 1970’s. The US also did a not so smart thing by not accepting young college grads into Med School if they were Jewish because there were too many Jews in medicine. Nobody wants to really say this, but it is the truth. It was one of the first blatant actions of anti-Semitism that I saw back in 1972 as a Surg. Tech. Student. It was shameful to me.

    Mickey D Watson, Douglasville, GA, USA
  • It’s no mystery Howard Canada’s lack of physicians is simple Medical greed.
    Canada’s National College of Physicians and Surgeons logically wants more Doctors.
    However the Provincial Medical associations block more Doctors least the gravy train of patient billing becomes diluted/shared amongst more doctors. Only licensed Doctors may bill the system. It’s like a fishing license where only those with licenses are allowed to fish. That’s the truth – no mystery – don’t dilute the gravy.

    David MacKAY, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
  • Your description of a cash strapped heath service reminded me so much of the British NHS. But why is it so? here in Israel they have a socialized health service, and it works extremely well! Maybe having 5 independent companies competing within the system makes the difference. I was brought up in the British socialized womb to the tomb philosophy, so it seems natural to me, and it did work for a long time. Just like proportional representation, theoretically a good idea, but bad in practice.

    Bob Knight, Modiin, Central, Israel
  • i once brought up the issue of user fees to a former Ontario health minister. It was pointed out that from a political standpoint there would be so many exemptions- children, the poor, seniors, etc that only about 25% would pay the fee.

    The only real solution to the Canadian system is to allow a parallel private system paid by the individual or private insurance companies. Many will choose this and it would take a lot of pressure off the public system.

    Lawrence Alexander, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
  • I find it MOST INTERESTING that your POLITICIANs are required to have the SAME healthcare system. What’s good for Canada, SHOULD BE SAME HERE IN USA!

    Geri Lyons, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States
  • My son is a doctor and whenever I visited him I saw a lot of the medical students where foreigners. A lot of them go back to their home countries. Problem with medical schools is they admit so few every year and yet they churn out lawyers by the thousands. This needs to change. Thanks for the enlightment, Howard. I will have to pass this along.

    Linda Gibney, Dayton, Ohio, United States
  • I fall into the forgotten group. I’ve worked hard all my life & have had serious injuries & health challenges myself & my son. I recently broke my arm & lost my job as a result. With physio & followup apts with Ortho, its difficult to pay gas, parking & all my other expenses. I’m on a reduced income & if I had to pay additional fees, I don’t know where the money would come from. I’ve never abused or put my hand out ever. The Cdn System is corrupt & needs fixing, not at my expense.

    Bev Mayo, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Wynne’dmills, Solar & French sucks billions $$$ from taxes, money could go to much needed improvement in Health System. Immigrants, Muslims, well beyond work (contributing) age, pouring in & get welfare, healthcare & free dental, better care than Canadians, I DON’T, I PAID FOR IT during my working life. I have a great doctor but seeing specialist for knees is another long wait story. A NINE MUSLIM FAMILY in hospital room is unacceptable. USA! Trudeau will take your illegals, we have open border

    Ken Davies, Cornwall, Ontario
  • “Socialized medicine” means rest of us pay for smokers, drug and alcohol abusers, plus “overeaters” or those with “genetic defects”! (Little “incentive” to live “healthy” lifestyles!) “Foreigners” are taking total advantage of healthcare systems (since their former nations didn’t have this)! What’s driving up costs is all those expecting others to pay when they get sick (or pregnant), but not trying to keep from getting either way! Nothing is ever “free”- somebody somewhere has to pay for it!

    Mollie Hejl, Austin TX
  • Roughly 10 years ago, the Ottawa Citizen, Sunday edition, had a several page article about the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, NY which is/was apparently almost world class thanks to the many doctors who cross the bridge every day.

    John F. Morgan, Dalton, GA USA
  • Whenever I visit my brother in Dallas, he introduces me to many physicians, born raised and educated in Montreal. They now drive Rolls Royces and live in villas. I asked, “How’s that?”. The answer always was, “Socialism breeds mediocrity”.

    John Smith, Toronto, ON

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