So where will Americans end up going for health care?

Obama has often said that he would like a health care system like they have in Canada. Look at how so few doctors these days are taking new Medicare patients. If that type of pricing policy is applied across the board, we would see fewer doctors providing services there also.

A Canadian study released Wednesday found that many provinces in our neighbor to the north have seen patients fleeing the country and opting for medical treatment in the United States.

The nonpartisan Fraser Institute reported that 46,159 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, as wait times increased 104 percent — more than double — compared with statistics from 1993.

Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 provinces reported an average total wait time of 19 weeks between the time a general practitioner refers a patient and the time a specialist provides elective treatment — the longest they have ever recorded.

In 2011, Canadians enrolled in the nation’s government-dominated health service waited long periods of time for an estimated 941,321 procedures. As many as 2.8 percent of Canadians were waiting for treatment at any given time, according to the Institute.

“In some cases, these patients needed to leave Canada due to a lack of available resources or a lack of appropriate procedure/technology,” according to the Institute. “In others, their departure will have been driven by a desire to return more quickly to their lives, to seek out superior quality care, or perhaps to save their own lives or avoid the risk of disability.” . . .

On a related note:
Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court. . . .

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Blogger Don_R said...

Good to hear you on Coast to Coast.

The study cited in the article doesn't say that Canadians are seeking out expensive health care in the U.S. A little more research would show that most of these Canadians, like many Americans, are 'medical tourists' traveling to destinations such as India or Thailand for treatment. The word choice "fleeing Canada" is a non-sequitor and laden with connotations that the facts don't support, unless we want to say that Americans seeking treatment abroad, then returning home, are also "fleeing" the U.S.

While living in Asia, I met plenty of Canadians and Americans in Bangkok and Taipei seeking low-cost medical treatments. Some of the Americans were true health care refugees who had been denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions, while other Americans, and all the Canadians I met, were traveling for single procedures.


Don R.

7/12/2012 4:04 AM  

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