Socialized medicine at work [UPDATED 10/10/07]

| September 4, 2007

[UPDATED 10/10/07 – 1747 MDT]

As does this article:

Canada’s Expectant Moms Heading to U.S. to Deliver

 Mothers in British Columbia are having a baby boom, but it’s the United States that has to deliver, and that has some proud Canadians blasting their highly touted government healthcare system.

“I’m a born-bred Canadian, as well as my daughter and son, and I’m ashamed,” Jill Irvine told FOX News. Irvine’s daughter, Carri Ash, is one of at least 40 mothers or their babies who’ve been airlifted from British Columbia to the U.S. this year because Canadian hospitals didn’t have room for the preemies in their neonatal units.

[UPDATED 09/14/07 – 0932 MDT]

The article speaks for itself:

Stronach travels to US for cancer treatment

OTTAWA–Belinda Stronach, the MP for Newmarket-Aurora and former cabinet minister, travelled outside Canada’s health-care system to California for some of her breast cancer treatment earlier this year.

Stronach, diagnosed in the spring with a type of breast cancer that required a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, went to California in June at her Toronto doctor’s suggestion, a spokesperson confirmed.

Hat tip to Don Surber.

[START OF ORIGINAL POST]

That bastion of populist medicine, the Canadian health care system, has seven (7) urologists for all of Newfoundland and Labrador (serving a population of over 500,000 and a geographical area nearly double that of Great Britain):

A shortage of urologists has become so pronounced that patients’ lives are at risk, managers of a St. John’s-based health authority have been warned.

In a powerfully worded letter to the Eastern Health regional authority, urologist Dr. Douglas Drover said an “excessive volume of work” in the specialty has meant waiting times of almost a year for patients seeking treatment….

Drover is one of just seven urologists practising in Newfoundland and Labrador. He urged Eastern Health to hire more specialists, warning that not to do so would be “tantamount to medical negligence.”…

Drover’s letter said Nova Scotia, with less than double the population of Newfoundland, has more than four times the number of urologists, with 29.

I tried to find out how many urologists we have here in Colorado. It appears to be well over 100.

Hat tip to Dave Barry. (Yes, that Dave Barry).

In the meantime, merry olde England is chiming in with a proposal that — in all fairness — is a logical conclusion of a socialized health system: don’t treat those who fail to take care of themselves:

Patients who refuse to change their unhealthy lifestyles should not be treated by the NHS, the Conservatives said today.

In a bid to ease spiralling levels of obesity and other health concerns, a Tory panel said certain treatments should be denied to patients who refuse to co-operate with health professionals and live healthier lifestyles.

And those who do manage to improve their general health by losing weight and quitting smoking, for example, would receive “Health Miles” cards.

Points earned could then be used to pay for health-related products such as gym membership and fresh vegetables.

The aim is a shift in the NHS towards preventing disease and ill-health rather than having to treat it.

Admittedly, these are the Tories (Conservatives), and they’re not in power — but it represents the creeping (or, in some cases, galloping) nannyism of socialist medicine. Hat tip to the Drudge Report. ..bruce..

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Category: 2008 Election, Commentary, Main, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

Comments (2)

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  1. Kevin Brennan says:

    Colorado also has almost ten times the population of Newfound. If it had the same number of people you’d have 11 urologists (better but not by much). Nova Scotia, which is just as “socialized” in fact has more per capita than Colorado. In other words this doesn’t really mean anything.

    What does mean something is that government spending on health care is actually almost identical per capita in Canada and the United States. For your extra private money you get lower life expectancies, higher infant mortaility rates, and worse health care outcomes on almost every measure…the weight of alll the evidence is that socialized medicine is both better and cheaper.

    Start here: http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/rp/healthcare/accounting_cost_healthcare.asp
    Here: http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/health_care/index.html

    But if nothing else look at this chart. http://ezraklein.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/health_spending_countries.jpg

    The U.S. spends as much tax money on health care as almost every other developed nation. You then spend an equal amount of money from private funds, most of which is spent on administrative overhead rather than on actual treatment of patients (see the McKinsey study if you don’t want to take my word for it).

  2. Gene Mate says:

    I decided to see how Ontario fares using your not very scientific method. With a population of 12.75M and nearly 400 urologists it seems our sociliazed system has MORE urologists per capita than Colorado. Hmm. How can that be?

    Oh, and having required the services of one of those urologists a few months back I can even tell you the wait time: 1 week. Well, it would’ve been faster if I’d not asked for a doctor who was on holidays. And the surgical wait? 1.5 days. Recovery was the bitch.

    Stupid socliazed medicine. Free and timely. Damn them!