Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

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Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:17 pm UTC

You know, I love being a Canadian. And one of the distinct things about being a Canadian is our Health Care system, which is clearly superior to the American system and is indeed an example of a great system the world over.

According to Maclean's Magazine, this statement is false.

I find this a superbly well written article that essentially says that while our system is 'good', it is suffering from severe flaws (such as long wait times) that basically mean that it isn't the superior system that we Canadians think it is.

What do you think?
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Manial » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

But I thought Canada censored Dire Straits...

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

No, we just asked them to make a radio edit of their song.

Actually, I have to check up on that, but anyways.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Jessica » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:12 pm UTC

we asked them to review the radio edit of the song.

As for Macleans... I'll give the article a read but I've kind of stopped reading the magazine after some time. I don't like it's bias, and it's view point. They did print an article recently "Too asian?" as if that was something that should be asked... also their only use seems to be rating canadian universities.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:20 pm UTC

Yeah. I subscribe to the magazine and read it whenever an article catches my mind. I wonder what 'bias' you notice?

Also, the article you referenced seems to be about, as they put it, 'racial imbalance in Ivy League schools'.

The original article can be found here.

They made a response here.

Why am I getting so sidetracked today?
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:18 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:They did print an article recently "Too asian?" as if that was something that should be asked...

No. They gave the article that title because it is a question that has been asked, and because they intended to criticize that viewpoint.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Jessica » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:26 pm UTC

That wasn't how I read the article when I read it originally. But, ok. I haven't read it since November when I was in the Doc's office, after I had seen a number of blogs about it. I could very well be completely wrong.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Chen » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

I think people need to learn when to go to the emergency room and when to go to a clinic. I've been in emergency rooms here in Montreal where the range is people with severe injury to those with a bit of a runny nose. Clearly it won't solve the problem of wait times but there are an absurd number of people who to go emergency rooms with the most minor of things. All over Montreal there are a fairly large number of public clinics (CLSCs) where you can get treated for a fairly wide variety of things. Yet I still see people with a sprained ankle or something stuck in their ear or whatever in the emergency rooms instead.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Zamfir » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:00 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:You know, I love being a Canadian. And one of the distinct things about being a Canadian is our Health Care system, which is clearly superior to the American system and is indeed an example of a great system the world over.

According to Maclean's Magazine, this statement is false.

I find this a superbly well written article that essentially says that while our system is 'good', it is suffering from severe flaws (such as long wait times) that basically mean that it isn't the superior system that we Canadians think it is.

What do you think?

I can't comment on the Canadian system, but I have to say I never encountered a country where the people didn't have serious, well-founded complaints about the healthcare system. Healthcare provision is an extremely difficult and important topic in different ways. If anything, it would be unhealthy if people stopped complaining.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Yakk » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:04 pm UTC

I didn't know Ted Rogers was investing in for-profit health care industries.

Thanks for the info. :)
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby *bird » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:33 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Jessica wrote:They did print an article recently "Too asian?" as if that was something that should be asked...

No. They gave the article that title because it is a question that has been asked, and because they intended to criticize that viewpoint.


Except if that was their viewpoint, they did a piss-poor job of that as well. And they repeat the same tired stereotypes, including that of the model minority.

They also published Mark Steyn unironically. Mark Steyn would be considered the Rush Limbaugh of Canada (and he's filled in for Rush a bunch of times too), and that says something.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

His articles were very well written, but I noticed that they tended to be depressing and, well, a bit inflammatory at times, which is not the best approach to writing about topics such as Basic Human Decency and demographic shifts. I was a bit disappointed to see him leave the magazine at first, but they haven't been hurt by this too much and the magazine seems a bit...happier now.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:You know, I love being a Canadian. And one of the distinct things about being a Canadian is our Health Care system, which is clearly superior to the American system and is indeed an example of a great system the world over.

I've never heard anyone say Canada has the best healthcare in the world. Ever. Is that actually a popular misconception?

It's been the same story for a decade, at least. We have no GPs, everyone goes to emergency with non-emergency cases, emergency rooms are over filled accordingly. Nothing new, nothing changes.

Chen wrote:I think people need to learn when to go to the emergency room and when to go to a clinic. I've been in emergency rooms here in Montreal where the range is people with severe injury to those with a bit of a runny nose. Clearly it won't solve the problem of wait times but there are an absurd number of people who to go emergency rooms with the most minor of things. All over Montreal there are a fairly large number of public clinics (CLSCs) where you can get treated for a fairly wide variety of things. Yet I still see people with a sprained ankle or something stuck in their ear or whatever in the emergency rooms instead.

That is because CLSCs don't take walk-ins. Yes you should go to a CLSC for a sprained ankle. But you have to make an appointment, that can take weeks. An emergency room wait can take 8-24 hours. I was sick the other month. Had a cough that wouldn't go away. Took me 2 days to find a clinic that either accepted walk-ins or new patients. I went to over half a dozen that just plain did not accept any new patients. "Sorry, you're shit outta luck, go to the hospital." Then we wonder why hospitals are over capacity. Jesus, it's not rocket science.

Spoiler:
Last time I went to the hospital, was because I had a really bad case of tonsillitis. My throat had closed almost completely. I couldn't eat, drink water, or speak. I could barely breath. When the triage nurse looked in my mouth, her jaw dropped, and a look of abject fear washed across her face. NOT what you want to see from your healthcare professional :? That being said, my wait time was a whopping 0 minutes.


Want to know how bad our healthcare is?
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby omgryebread » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

How is this supposed to make Canada worse than the US system? People don't go to General Practitioners here because they can't afford it. So people without health insurance crowd ERs for their bronchitis or whatever, while I wait 6 hours with my toe half hanging off. While I was there, a guy came in with a head wound and waited about an hour. (Granted, my closest ER is an inner city hospital, and one of the best hospitals in the world, so it's pretty crowded, but I'm pretty sure my point would stand at most urban US hospitals.)
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Jessica » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:36 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:How is this supposed to make Canada worse than the US system? People don't go to General Practitioners here because they can't afford it. So people without health insurance crowd ERs for their bronchitis or whatever, while I wait 6 hours with my toe half hanging off. While I was there, a guy came in with a head wound and waited about an hour. (Granted, my closest ER is an inner city hospital, and one of the best hospitals in the world, so it's pretty crowded, but I'm pretty sure my point would stand at most urban US hospitals.)
The article doesn't say that Canada's system is worse than the US system. In fact it says the opposite, a few times.

It does say, however, that the Canadian system is worse than most other socialized systems. That we rarely beat anyone BUT the US for our health system.

But yeah... nite has it right (hee hee). We have no GPs, because it's better to become a specialist. People can't see their GP because it takes 2-3 weeks to get an appointment with them, and if the issue is critical, you have the choice of walk-ins (which are open 9-5 monday to friday, and are full by 12... at least that's what they're like here) or emergency rooms. And yeah, non-serious issues (however that is determined) go last and take forever.

I like how in ontario we have tele-health, which is a phone like where you can call and speak to a nurse who'll try and diagnose you over the phone. Generally I've waited 15 to 20 minutes to talk to someone, and was able to get a good idea of what the issue was in 5 minutes with them. But, of course, if you need to see someone, or they can't help you you're still SOL.

I've heard that we're running out of money for our health care system. Which is another problem we have, on top of waiting lists. Most canadians know there are problems, and there are the anecdotes to back it up. And yeah, the article talks about a few of those big issues, and uses some big anecdotes to prove it (Waiting 3 hours for a mental health professional? Not unheard of in most places I've been too.). Also, unlike places like the UK, or belgium (sorry, just two europe countries), Canada is HUGE! Getting doctors to work and live within range of everyone is fucking impossible. In the big cities, you're better off medically. Some people have to drive hours to get to a hospital, before waiting in line.

My GP lives in Toronto - an hour and a half away from me. If I want to see him, I can make a new appointment (2 or 3 weeks) or wait for the next one to come up (once every 6 months... yay being trans). If I have a fever, what do I do?
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby KittenKaboodle » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:You know, I love being a Canadian. And one of the distinct things about being a Canadian is our Health Care system, which is clearly superior to the American system and is indeed an example of a great system the world over.[snip]What do you think?


Cute title :D

I think that if one is a millionare and has thier own jet airpalne, they can fly down here the the inferior USA and have a a private ambulance (or limousine if they prefer) waiting at an airport to take them to a private hospital where they can go to a private room, to be attened to by a private physician as soon as they arrive. They can probaly have a cute private nurse as well, but she (or he, yeah, that's not appropriate in just about any context. -Hawk) certainly won't be free. If they will still be a millionare when they are done is another matter.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby ++$_ » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:38 pm UTC

If the problem is that people with nonthreatening conditions are crowding ERs, then the problem can be fixed with better triage. You came to the ER because you have bronchitis? Fine, we'll see you after we're done with the serious people. Hopefully you brought a book encyclopedia with you.

If the problem is that people with serious conditions can't get treatment in time, then this is a shortage of doctors. We also have that problem here in the US, and I'm pretty sure there are also such shortages in every country in the world (even those with great health care systems). There are just way too many sick people everywhere.

Anecdote: I have a relative who lives in Canada. While he was down here, he got some kind of condition which required an endoscopy. He looked into having the endoscopy done during his trip (i.e., in the US) but he could actually get an appointment sooner in Canada (though the wait time was reasonable in both cases). I believe his insurance would have paid for either procedure.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Mittagessen » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:45 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:If the problem is that people with nonthreatening conditions are crowding ERs, then the problem can be fixed with better triage. You came to the ER because you have bronchitis? Fine, we'll see you after we're done with the serious people. Hopefully you brought a book encyclopedia with you.


I honestly can't understand the problem you guys in North America have with people crowding emergency facilities. Either you're dying and need the services provided by the emergency room or you shouldn't even know where to next one is. At least in Germany most emergency rooms aren't even equipped to deal with the stuff primary care physicians are supposed to do (at least in larger towns they are usually highly specialized) or will just send you away.

++$_ wrote:If the problem is that people with serious conditions can't get treatment in time, then this is a shortage of doctors. We also have that problem here in the US, and I'm pretty sure there are also such shortages in every country in the world (even those with great health care systems). There are just way too many sick people everywhere.


I'd say Cuba has more than enough highly qualified doctors and they'll send them to almost all 3rd world countries out there while basically being medical school for half Middle and South America.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Zamfir » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:14 pm UTC

Mittagessen wrote:
I'd say Cuba has more than enough highly qualified doctors and they'll send them to almost all 3rd world countries out there while basically being medical school for half Middle and South America.

The downside of their export-orientation is that in Cuba itself doctors aren't as widely available as you might expect. It's doing OK for a poor country, but it is not really a useful example for the medical sector of richer countries.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Mittagessen » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:The downside of their export-orientation is that in Cuba itself doctors aren't as widely available as you might expect. It's doing OK for a poor country, but it is not really a useful example for the medical sector of richer countries.


It's doing more than OK for a country in its economic category. Access to doctors isn't the problem, high tech medical equipment and certain classes of medicines (AIDS/HIV medication etc.) are in short supply or too expensive for the general population. Cuba is an example that it is possible to train large numbers of doctors with excellent qualifications without exploding costs in the long-term. Of course that is only possible in a climate that encourages tertiary education independent of monetary background (tuition-free college, generous stipends) so future doctors don't have to worry about paying of huge loans after graduating.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Zamfir » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:43 pm UTC

Mittagessen wrote: Cuba is an example that it is possible to train large numbers of doctors with excellent qualifications without exploding costs in the long-term. Of course that is only possible in a climate that encourages tertiary education independent of monetary background (tuition-free college, generous stipends) so future doctors don't have to worry about paying of huge loans after graduating.

Yeah, but it also requires a rather dirigiste system, where the government can order people to become doctors, set their wages arbitrarily low, and order them to move to other countries to pay for imports. Also, don't forget that for every doctor Cuba trains, they are not training some other highly needed professional. That's a cost that doesn't directly show up in the statistics, but it is very real.

For a poor country, I am open to the suggestion that this is all for the best. Health care is important for everyone, and for poor countries it is hard to train qualified doctors without losing them to wealthier countries. Cuba's health care might have improved the lives of many, even if it took some unethical means to accomplish.

But you can't really implement nor defend such a system in a wealthy and open society. You can't force people to become doctors, or force trained doctors to practice. That means that if you want a long-run steady supply of qualified doctors and other medical professionals, you'll have to pay them wages that are comparable to similarly qualified other jobs.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby firechicago » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:57 pm UTC

Mittagessen wrote:I honestly can't understand the problem you guys in North America have with people crowding emergency facilities. Either you're dying and need the services provided by the emergency room or you shouldn't even know where to next one is. At least in Germany most emergency rooms aren't even equipped to deal with the stuff primary care physicians are supposed to do (at least in larger towns they are usually highly specialized) or will just send you away.


The issue, as lots of other people have pointed out, is a lack of GPs. There are lots of conditions which may not merit a trip to the emergency room, but do need treatment soon, not "some time next week." For example, I have systemic reactions to poison ivy. So when I'm exposed, I get puffy red rashes all over my body, which turn into oozing sores at the slightest scratch. It's far from life threatening, and with the right meds it goes away in a day or two, but it is extremely painful and debilitating while it lasts. So it probably doesn't merit a trip to the emergency room, but if my doctor tells me that they're completely booked and I'll need to wait until next Tuesday to get an appointment so he can prescribe some steroids, you better believe that I'd rather spend 8 hours waiting at the emergency room.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby nowfocus » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:35 pm UTC

We do lack GPs - I can't get in to see mine for months, BUT, since he works out of a hospital if I need to come in I can get an appointment with a resident really quickly. I'm a bit lucky in that I have a flexible schedule, so I can just tell them to give me anytime.

For things like the poison ivy, a walk-in clinic might be best.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby achan1058 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:36 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:As for Macleans... I'll give the article a read but I've kind of stopped reading the magazine after some time. I don't like it's bias, and it's view point. They did print an article recently "Too asian?" as if that was something that should be asked... also their only use seems to be rating canadian universities.
I disagree with the last part, quite a few universities do not like how they setup the rank and boycott it as well, so it is essentially a useless magazine.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

achan1058 wrote:
Jessica wrote:As for Macleans... I'll give the article a read but I've kind of stopped reading the magazine after some time. I don't like it's bias, and it's view point. They did print an article recently "Too asian?" as if that was something that should be asked... also their only use seems to be rating canadian universities.
I disagree with the last part, quite a few universities do not like how they setup the rank and boycott it as well, so it is essentially a useless magazine.


How is it a 'useless' magazine?

I mean, if their is controversy over their university rankings then yeah, that's one thing. But claiming that it has absolutely nothing of value whatsoever is a pretty bold statement.

So what do you mean by 'useless'?
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:21 pm UTC

The claim is that if, as Jessica says, the magazine's only use is its university rankings, then it's actually entirely useless, because the university rankings themselves are useless. Compare with US News and World Reports: nobody fucking ever reads any of their articles. I see it from time to time when I pass a newsstand, but the only issue that they're selling is the university rankings one from last fall. And those are in themselves pretty questionable. So if your only use turns out to be extremely broken, you end up… useless.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

Actually, I rescind my previous statement. It has a use as something to read while waiting to have your teeth pulled, or other medical fun. Also, it has nice pictures and words for clip out art.

But in all seriousness, I personally don't really like the magazine. I'm sure people do, but I don't.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:28 pm UTC

Eh. That's fine then.

Still, how did this conversation get derailed from Health Care to my source material?
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby ginadagny » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:42 am UTC

I'm going to throw my two cents in.

I work in health care. I have worked in nursing homes, out in the community, in the hospital, et cetera. I like the fact that if I need to go to the doctor, it won't cost me a fortune. However, our system is really flawed, and it gets worse with cuts to community health care. I'll explain.

I worked on an orthopedic/neuro surgery floor this summer. Many of the patients were elderly folks getting a ORIF of the knee or the hip. Now, after the surgery has been said and done, most people usually go home in three days after they've been given the OK. However, many of the elderly patients need to go to convalescent care (before they can go home), but with government closures of certain convalescent beds, these elderly folks have no where to go. They have to stay on the unit and wait for placement, which costs a ton of money and takes up surgical beds that could be used for, you know, other surgical patients.

I've heard stories other about patients who have had to come to ER and be admitted just so they could have their IV antibiotics four times a day, because of cut funding to home care nursing. Its a frustrating situation for everyone.

TLDR; Funding cuts suck for everyone.

(Side note: In my experiences, I've never had to wait 2-3 weeks to see my family physician, maybe a few days at the most. I find that it takes a lot longer to see specialists and to get certain tests done (if you're a medically stable patient) such as ultrasound/CT/MRI).

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Me321 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:14 am UTC

[sarcasm]Wait, your saying that universal healtcare/socialized medicine does not work? wow![/sarcasm]


Just had to say that.

One thing that could fix the problem is more doctors, but (at least in the USA) we are having a shortage of doctors because of excess regulation and lawsuits, and untill these are addressed in the USA then we cannot handle a system like this.
(not sure if this is the same problem as Canada is having but is a good guess)

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Hawknc » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:25 am UTC

Me321 wrote:[sarcasm]Wait, your saying that universal healtcare/socialized medicine does not work? wow![/sarcasm]

Works pretty well here. Although I'm surprised the thread got this far without somebody saying that.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Yakk » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:45 pm UTC

Me321 wrote:[sarcasm]Wait, your saying that universal healtcare/socialized medicine does not work? wow![/sarcasm]

Many of the complaints are "compared to other socialized medicine systems, Canada's sucks. We should stop simply comparing it to the broken US health care system, because that sets the bar too low", as far as I can tell?

Ie:
The evidence of a looming crisis comes not from comparing Canadian to American health care—a unique and expensive beast—but by taking a world view, as assessed by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S.-based Commonwealth Fund, the Health Council of Canada and other groups. “We believe our own rhetoric around ‘we’re the best in the world.’ What these [international] surveys and our own work are telling us is: no,” says John Abbott, CEO of the Health Council, an independent national agency mandated to monitor and encourage health reform. “If you look at cost, we’re maybe in the middle of the pack. If you’re looking at overall quality indicators, quality of life, longevity, on these factors we can learn from others. When you look at how we can access the system in a reasonable and timely way, we rate quite low,” he says.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

nitePhyyre
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:16 pm UTC

Me321 wrote:One thing that could fix the problem is more doctors, but (at least in the USA) we are having a shortage of doctors because of excess regulation and lawsuits, and untill these are addressed in the USA then we cannot handle a system like this.
(not sure if this is the same problem as Canada is having but is a good guess)

One of our problem is that our doctors get trained, then move to the states, where they can make boat loads of cash.
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Chen » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:53 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:That is because CLSCs don't take walk-ins. Yes you should go to a CLSC for a sprained ankle. But you have to make an appointment, that can take weeks. An emergency room wait can take 8-24 hours. I was sick the other month. Had a cough that wouldn't go away. Took me 2 days to find a clinic that either accepted walk-ins or new patients. I went to over half a dozen that just plain did not accept any new patients. "Sorry, you're shit outta luck, go to the hospital." Then we wonder why hospitals are over capacity. Jesus, it's not rocket science.


I'm curious as to where these clinics are that don't accept new patients. I've never had a problem with a CLSC or clinic flat out saying "No you can't be seen". I will grant that some of the private clinics fill up pretty damn quick and that you may not have TIME to be seen before they close, but I've not had that happen at a CLSC. Again maybe its just lucky on my part but I've been able to get into clinics (as have colleagues and friends) on their way home from work. I admit the waiting times at the clinics can still be long, but if its not a critical issue its far better to take up time there than the ER.

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LaserGuy
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:00 pm UTC

ginadagny wrote:I'm going to throw my two cents in.

I work in health care. I have worked in nursing homes, out in the community, in the hospital, et cetera. I like the fact that if I need to go to the doctor, it won't cost me a fortune. However, our system is really flawed, and it gets worse with cuts to community health care. I'll explain.

I worked on an orthopedic/neuro surgery floor this summer. Many of the patients were elderly folks getting a ORIF of the knee or the hip. Now, after the surgery has been said and done, most people usually go home in three days after they've been given the OK. However, many of the elderly patients need to go to convalescent care (before they can go home), but with government closures of certain convalescent beds, these elderly folks have no where to go. They have to stay on the unit and wait for placement, which costs a ton of money and takes up surgical beds that could be used for, you know, other surgical patients.

I've heard stories other about patients who have had to come to ER and be admitted just so they could have their IV antibiotics four times a day, because of cut funding to home care nursing. Its a frustrating situation for everyone.

TLDR; Funding cuts suck for everyone.

(Side note: In my experiences, I've never had to wait 2-3 weeks to see my family physician, maybe a few days at the most. I find that it takes a lot longer to see specialists and to get certain tests done (if you're a medically stable patient) such as ultrasound/CT/MRI).


This is somewhat similar to what my understanding of the system is. If it's emergency, you can normally get in without any trouble. If it is something non-life-threatening but seriously inconvenient, it's going to be a bit of a wait, especially if you need a specialist, especially if you need something that is common to people aged 65+, and especially if you live in a rural area.

In my neighbourhood, there are pretty much no family doctors around accepting patients. Walk-in clinics will generally take anybody, but there's normally a very long line.

++$_ wrote:If the problem is that people with nonthreatening conditions are crowding ERs, then the problem can be fixed with better triage. You came to the ER because you have bronchitis? Fine, we'll see you after we're done with the serious people. Hopefully you brought a book encyclopedia with you.


The system already works this way. I don't remember the technical term for it, but ERs take patients based on their immediate priority, not first-come-first-served. If it isn't serious, it could be a long wait. Which is a problem in and of itself, if you happen to have something contagious.

nitePhyyre
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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I'm curious as to where these clinics are that don't accept new patients. I've never had a problem with a CLSC or clinic flat out saying "No you can't be seen". I will grant that some of the private clinics fill up pretty damn quick and that you may not have TIME to be seen before they close, but I've not had that happen at a CLSC. Again maybe its just lucky on my part but I've been able to get into clinics (as have colleagues and friends) on their way home from work. I admit the waiting times at the clinics can still be long, but if its not a critical issue its far better to take up time there than the ER.

Every clinic in west-island Montreal?
CLSCs don't take walk-ins, so you have to make an appointment. If the appointment is for tomorrow, then an 8-24 hours emergency room wait is shorter.
Clinics that aren't walk in clinics aren't accepting new patients around here. Period. Lucky you to not have this problem.
Walk-in clinics either stop accepting new walk-ins by noon, they already have a line that will take until the clinic closes at 6 to clear. There is no point in making you wait for 6 hours if you aren't even going to see the doctor before he goes home for the day. Also, generally walk-ins only have a walk-in doctor 2-3 days out of the week. The rest of the week they are a non-walk-in clinic.

LaserGuy wrote:
++$_ wrote:If the problem is that people with nonthreatening conditions are crowding ERs, then the problem can be fixed with better triage. You came to the ER because you have bronchitis? Fine, we'll see you after we're done with the serious people. Hopefully you brought a book encyclopedia with you.

The system already works this way. I don't remember the technical term for it, but ERs take patients based on their immediate priority, not first-come-first-served. If it isn't serious, it could be a long wait. Which is a problem in and of itself, if you happen to have something contagious.

Yeah, Canadian hospitals have triage. Thing is, if it is low priority, you are there for 24 hours. Because there is no alternative.
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.

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Re: Canada's Health Care System in Dire Straights

Postby Chen » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Every clinic in west-island Montreal?
CLSCs don't take walk-ins, so you have to make an appointment. If the appointment is for tomorrow, then an 8-24 hours emergency room wait is shorter.
Clinics that aren't walk in clinics aren't accepting new patients around here. Period. Lucky you to not have this problem.
Walk-in clinics either stop accepting new walk-ins by noon, they already have a line that will take until the clinic closes at 6 to clear. There is no point in making you wait for 6 hours if you aren't even going to see the doctor before he goes home for the day. Also, generally walk-ins only have a walk-in doctor 2-3 days out of the week. The rest of the week they are a non-walk-in clinic.


Hmm I would have assumed it was better in the west island than it was downtown (what with population density and all that), but I guess its not. I remember going to Statcare (which may or may not be a private clinic, I forget now) which is RIGHT across the street from the hospital. This was when my friend had her head cut open during a Rugby match and it was still going to take us HOURS in the ER (I'll grant it wasn't life threatening but a head injury really should take priority over many other things). We finished up at the clinic in less than an hour. Now that was quite a while ago (5-6 years I'd wager) and its quite possible things in the west island have gotten much worse, wait wise. I suppose my initial comments were BECAUSE the clinics downtown seem to run pretty smoothly. This might be because there are a ton of hospitals nearby the downtown core and people keep going there instead and thus they are constantly overcrowded.


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