In 2016, the median wait to see a specialist for treatment after receiving a referral from a GP was 20 weeks.
Those opposed to market-based health care reform do their best to scare Canadians, suggesting that the introduction of private competition will lead to longer wait times, higher costs, and poorer quality, particularly for lower-income individuals and families. Reality, however, is considerably different. International experience suggests that private competition is a fundamental feature of a high-performing, universal access health care system.
Imagine receiving a credit card bill that totaled $243,476. This would no doubt be a shock for most Canadians. But if you add up all the liabilities of every Canadian governmentfederal, provincial, and localthat is in fact how much each taxpayer would owe of the $4.1 trillion total in direct debt and unfunded liabilities.
This admittedly is a very large number and much bigger than what is usually talked about by both politicians and pundits alike. So lets deconstruct it to gain a better understanding.
A recent testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee by Dr. Danielle Martin, former head of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare, has given Canadians the chance to indulge in what may be a favourite pastime - criticizing the American health care system.
Many Canadians and commentators in other countries lauding Canadas government-dominated approach to health care refer to Canadian health care as free. If healthcare actually was free, the relatively poor performance of the health care system might not seem all that bad. But the reality is that the Canadian health care system is not free in fact, Canadian families pay heavily for healthcare through the tax system.
Get ready for Medicares annual summer slowdown, where the forecast calls for possibly poorer than usual service levels.
Every year, provincial health care systems across Canada dutifully reduce the volume of services they provide in preparation for the summer vacation season. This planned-for reduction has the inevitable effect of lengthening waiting times for Canadians over the summer months (and during Christmas holidays). The added twist this year is the slowdowns might be extended in a bid to reduce expenditures.