Many Canadians and commentators in other countries lauding Canada's 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. That high price paints the long wait times and lack of medical technologies in Canada in a very different light.
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.
When Canadas premiers met recently in Halifax, talks of a possible pipeline to move oil from Alberta to eastern Canada dominated national headlines. There was also mention of talks about trade, immigration, skills training, and infrastructure. One issue that didnt receive nearly as much attention is the management of public finances and growing government debt.
The true cost of Medicare for individuals and families in Canada is often misunderstood, with many people thinking its either free or covered by our provincial health insurance premiums.
This misconception has many sources. In part, it stems from the fact that health care consumption is free at the point of use, leading many to grossly underestimate the actual cost of care delivered. Furthermore, health care is financed through general government revenues, rather than financed through a dedicated tax, further blurring the true dollar cost of the service.
The true cost of Medicare for individuals and families in Canada is often misunderstood with many people thinking its either free or covered by what we pay for our provincial health insurance coverage. It is critically important however, that Canadians understand the true cost of Medicare. Armed with a more meaningful estimate, Canadians will be able to better assess whether or not they are receiving value for their health care dollars.