How's the healthcare?


JustinEllard
#1
Not sure if this should be under culture or politics, so sorry if I got it wrong.

Anyway, I'm from the U.S. and everybody's always talking about how universal healthcare is evil and will result in underpaid doctors, year-long waits for surgery, and 24-hour waiting periods in the waiting rooms. I was starting to wonder if this was all just propaganda spewed by the overpaid doctors in this country. So, I'd like to ask anybody here who as experience with the healthcare in Canada.

Few questions:
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
How much do you pay for medicine?
Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?
Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?

Thanks you,
Justin Ellard
 
TenPenny
#2
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
At the emergency dept - if you are in critical condition, major trauma, no waits. if you show up at emerg with a sore arm or a cold, you'll probably wait 4 to 6 hours, but you shouldn't be there anyway.

How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
If it's critical, not long. People are getting heart surgery within hours of arriving at the hospital if they need it. Things that are not life-critical have longer waits (usually longer than people want).

How much do you pay for medicine?
As in prescription drugs? Probably approx the same as in the US. Not a big difference.

Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?
If you want a private or semi-private room, you may have to pay extra:
  • Semi-private with two patient beds in one room. This upgrade costs $65.00 per day.
  • Private room with one patient in a room. This upgrade costs $75.00 per day.
These extra costs may be covered by Blue Cross or other coverage that people have through their employers.
If you are medically discharged, in other words, there is no medical reason for you to stay in hospital, you will also be billed, but I don't know the daily rate. This usually applies to seniors who don't have anyone at home to look after them, but aren't sick enough to need to be in hospital.

Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?
Absolutely. I accept the fact that I pay higher taxes, in order to provide health coverage for all. I feel that it is grossly unfair to bankrupt people because they have the misfortune to have health problems. Most of the people I happen to know that work in the system (docs, nurses, and various technicians) accept the fact that, yes, they could make more money under a different system, but it's not something they would be willing to change.
 
DurkaDurka
#3
-Waiting times depend on the hospital and the severity of your illness/injury.
-Life threatening issues are treated immediately more or less. Wait times for knee replacements etc vary by hospital & region.
-Prescription drugs are not covered by the government unless you have HIV, Cancer etc. Generally though, drugs costs are lower because the government negotiates prices with suppliers.
-You will pay for things like Ambulances, upgraded hospital rooms, crutches etc.
- I think it's a good system, it has its problems but overall I find no major faults.
 
darkbeaver
#4
There are waits. Depends on how fast you're bleeding. How long is long? Medicine is expensive but cheaper than in the USA I think. Pay nothing at the hospital. Universal healthcare is the best system on the planet. All kidding aside the USA should get with the programe, don't listen to your big pharma employed politicians.
 
shadowshiv
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
At the emergency dept - if you are in critical condition, major trauma, no waits. if you show up at emerg with a sore arm or a cold, you'll probably wait 4 to 6 hours, but you shouldn't be there anyway.

How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
If it's critical, not long. People are getting heart surgery within hours of arriving at the hospital if they need it. Things that are not life-critical have longer waits (usually longer than people want).

How much do you pay for medicine?
As in prescription drugs? Probably approx the same as in the US. Not a big difference.

Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?

If you want a private or semi-private room, you may have to pay extra:

  • Semi-private with two patient beds in one room. This upgrade costs $65.00 per day.
  • Private room with one patient in a room. This upgrade costs $75.00 per day.
These extra costs may be covered by Blue Cross or other coverage that people have through their employers.
If you are medically discharged, in other words, there is no medical reason for you to stay in hospital, you will also be billed, but I don't know the daily rate. This usually applies to seniors who don't have anyone at home to look after them, but aren't sick enough to need to be in hospital.

Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?
Absolutely. I accept the fact that I pay higher taxes, in order to provide health coverage for all. I feel that it is grossly unfair to bankrupt people because they have the misfortune to have health problems. Most of the people I happen to know that work in the system (docs, nurses, and various technicians) accept the fact that, yes, they could make more money under a different system, but it's not something they would be willing to change.

I agree with all of your points, TenPenny.

I just wanted to add that even with the Universal Healthcare system, Doctors and Nurses still make good money. So, the American Doctors and Nurses should not worry too much about losing money.
 
JustinEllard
#6
Wow, very quick responses.

A couple more questions:
Do the taxes have a detrimental effect on the middle-class working citizen? I make minimum wage here with no health insurance, and I know if my taxes went up even the slightest, I would have to either give up my car, house, or food to continue paying them. Is it that way in Canada?

Also, I pay about $75 for 50 capsules of doxycycline (Vibramycin) as a prescription. How much would something like that cost?

Thanks again,

Justin Ellard
 
DurkaDurka
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Wow, very quick responses.

A couple more questions:
Do the taxes have a detrimental effect on the middle-class working citizen? I make minimum wage here with no health insurance, and I know if my taxes went up even the slightest, I would have to either give up my car, house, or food to continue paying them. Is it that way in Canada?

Also, I pay about $75 for 50 capsules of doxycycline (Vibramycin) as a prescription. How much would something like that cost?

Thanks again,

Justin Ellard

I pay about 30% income tax, I would like it to be less but I get by.

I haven't a clue what the drugs you need would cost. Try googling "Canadian online pharmacies". That should give you an idea.
 
JustinEllard
#8
Thanks for the info. Turns out they're about $45 for 100 tablets. That's a lot cheaper.

And 30% income tax? I work 50 hours a week at min. wage and pay 40% income tax.

I'm starting to think there's something seriously wrong with the country I'm in..

Thanks again,
Justin Ellard
 
DurkaDurka
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Thanks for the info. Turns out they're about $45 for 100 tablets. That's a lot cheaper.

And 30% income tax? I work 50 hours a week at min. wage and pay 40% income tax.

I'm starting to think there's something seriously wrong with the country I'm in..

Thanks again,
Justin Ellard

Try this out, it will calculate what you would pay in Canada
Canadian Income Tax Calculator 2009
 
JustinEllard
#10
I just tried it out. I want to move to Canada now, lol.
The amount of taxes I'd be paying there would be so much less.

Thanks for all the info
Justin
 
Colpy
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Not sure if this should be under culture or politics, so sorry if I got it wrong.

Anyway, I'm from the U.S. and everybody's always talking about how universal healthcare is evil and will result in underpaid doctors, year-long waits for surgery, and 24-hour waiting periods in the waiting rooms. I was starting to wonder if this was all just propaganda spewed by the overpaid doctors in this country. So, I'd like to ask anybody here who as experience with the healthcare in Canada.

Few questions:
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
How much do you pay for medicine?
Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?
Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?

Thanks you,
Justin Ellard

Well........

In Saint John, when it is busy you can expect an eight hour waiting time in the Emergency for minor aflictions.......

I had open heart surgery two and a half years ago. (quadruple bypass) I was delayed three times as other, more serious cases jumped the queue, but at that I only waited 10 days for surgery.........now for hip replacements or back surgery...oh oh.

We usually have to buy perscriptions, or get them through private insurance schemes, usually partially paid for as a work benefit. Perscriptions are considerably cheaper here than in the USA, or so I am told.

Hospital care is free. I was in three weeks and had heart surgery.....didn't cost me a dime.

Yes, I think universal healthcare is a necessity in a modern society......the main debates should be around how it is delivered, as in:

Should the entire system be owned, and maintained by the State?

Should the State pay private enterprise to provide some services?

Should there be user fees?

Should drugs be included?

I understand the Swiss system is completely private.....but the government provides each citizen with a voucher to buy basic health services.....which he can add to as he desires. Seems like an innovative, sensible system......
 
Colpy
#12
One more small comment.....I got a date yesterday for cataract surgery.......soonest possible is March 4.

Long wait.
 
JLM
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Not sure if this should be under culture or politics, so sorry if I got it wrong.

Anyway, I'm from the U.S. and everybody's always talking about how universal healthcare is evil and will result in underpaid doctors, year-long waits for surgery, and 24-hour waiting periods in the waiting rooms. I was starting to wonder if this was all just propaganda spewed by the overpaid doctors in this country. So, I'd like to ask anybody here who as experience with the healthcare in Canada.

Few questions:
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
How much do you pay for medicine?
Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?
Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?

Thanks you,
Justin Ellard

I can't answer all your questions, but I'd say the answers to the first two vary with the day and the medical conditions, ie cancer may be different from knee replacement. I'm on an extended health plan where I bear the first $250 annually for prescription drugs for the wife and I and about 25% of the cost thereafter. Not sure about hosp. costs. I would give the system a "C" rating. A better system (for me) would be a personal insurance policy where my premiums were assessed according to risk (like most other types of insurance).
 
Liberalman
#14
no money from your bank account
 
SirJosephPorter
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

I agree with all of your points, TenPenny.

I just wanted to add that even with the Universal Healthcare system, Doctors and Nurses still make good money. So, the American Doctors and Nurses should not worry too much about losing money.

Quite so, shadowshiv. My wife is a doctor, and I am not complaining (neither is she).
 
SirJosephPorter
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Thanks for the info. Turns out they're about $45 for 100 tablets. That's a lot cheaper.

And 30% income tax? I work 50 hours a week at min. wage and pay 40% income tax.

I'm starting to think there's something seriously wrong with the country I'm in..

Thanks again,
Justin Ellard

That doesn’t make sense. Here in Ontario, the minimum wage is 9.50 $ per hour. If you work for 50 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, you would earn 23750 $ per year. If you are single, unmarried person, you would pay 3033 $ tax per year (assuming 2008 figures), which comes to about 13% income tax This is both federal and Ontario taxes combined.

Are you saying that in USA you would pay 40%, or 9500 $ in taxes? I find that hard to believe.
 
AnnaG
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Not sure if this should be under culture or politics, so sorry if I got it wrong.

Anyway, I'm from the U.S. and everybody's always talking about how universal healthcare is evil and will result in underpaid doctors, year-long waits for surgery, and 24-hour waiting periods in the waiting rooms. I was starting to wonder if this was all just propaganda spewed by the overpaid doctors in this country. So, I'd like to ask anybody here who as experience with the healthcare in Canada.

Few questions:
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
How much do you pay for medicine?
Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?
Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?

Thanks you,
Justin Ellard

Waiting lists in Canada vary from province to province. If you have an emergency, there's no waiting in lines. But, sometimes you wait a bit in the ER cubicle depending on status of injury. Here's some info from the Canadian gov't containing links to provincial wait list averages:

Wait Times in Canada - Health Care System

Again, waiting for surgeries varies from province to province and from area to area. In BC we are told that a hip replacement may take a year or more. If you have need of a pacemaker or something relatively urgent, you are ushered in quite quickly.

Health insurance for me is about $85 for 3 months and they base it on ability to pay. If you can't afford very much, the gov't pays more of the insurance. Some medicine is covered, some isn't.

I think a combination of public and private would be beneficial, such as the system Switzerland has. Like Canada, Switzerland has an insurance mechanism where everyone must have insurance within 6 months of entry to the country. If you cannot afford the insurance, the gov't pays, if you can afford insurance, you pay, if you can only afford a part of it, the gov't chips in the remainder. No-one waits for procedures there.

Part of the reason we have waits is dependent upon availability of doctors. Most doctors want to be in major cities so that puts a pretty big burden on the few doctors in the rural areas that have to take up the slack. Travelling fairly long distances for procedures is common, at least in BC.

'We have one outfit that does an annual report on Canada's healthcare:

Health Care in Canada
 
JLM
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter View Post

That doesnít make sense. Here in Ontario, the minimum wage is 9.50 $ per hour. If you work for 50 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, you would earn 23750 $ per year. If you are single, unmarried person, you would pay 3033 $ tax per year (assuming 2008 figures), which comes to about 13% income tax This is both federal and Ontario taxes combined.

Are you saying that in USA you would pay 40%, or 9500 $ in taxes? I find that hard to believe.

yeah, there is something a little fishy there methinks. U.S. pays less tax than we do.
 
Tonington
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

I just wanted to add that even with the Universal Healthcare system, Doctors and Nurses still make good money. So, the American Doctors and Nurses should not worry too much about losing money.

If they're willing to get by on $300,000 a year, then Canada's system can accommodate. If they feel the need to make an extra figure on their annual income, have a 5 car garage, three summer homes, etc. then they'll have to leave Canada and practice elsewhere.
 
AnnaG
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

There's more than one kind of MD...

I know. Most MDs are family practitioners, though, and that's why I specified FPs. No worries.
 
Tonington
#21
I mean radiation oncologists routinely make that much, working in university settings they can make that much I stated or more. I think the brain drain isn't so much due to $$, it's due to the research intensity up here compared to down there.
 
Machjo
#22
[QUOTE=JustinEllard;1184966]Not sure if this should be under culture or politics, so sorry if I got it wrong.

Anyway, I'm from the U.S. and everybody's always talking about how universal healthcare is evil and will result in underpaid doctors, year-long waits for surgery, and 24-hour waiting periods in the waiting rooms. I was starting to wonder if this was all just propaganda spewed by the overpaid doctors in this country. So, I'd like to ask anybody here who as experience with the healthcare in Canada.

Few questions:
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms?

I don't know. But I know the waiting times at the grocery store are no different whether you buy healthy food or not.

How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries?

I don't know. But then again, I avoid extreme sports but do walk and cycle lots to keep fit.

How much do you pay for medicine?

Well, the price of fruits and vegetables does go up in winter, but still not too bad.

Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital?

No. I just pay through taxes, but can barely remember the last time I'd gone to the hospital

Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?

Debatable. I'd like to see a two-tier system. Maybe something based on the Singaporean or Swedish systems would be nice, or some mixture of the two. My beef with an excessively socialized system like Canada's is that it removes responsibility for individual action. Those of us who care for our health are essentially subsidizing those who don't.

On the other hand, a purely privatized system like the US one could really put a poor person or one born with medical issue at an unfair disadvantage. What I like about the Singaporean system is that it's a true two-tier system. It guarantees universal healthcare for all, but those who can't pay their own way just get the essentials. If you want more, you pay extra. The Swedish system also encourages private sector involvement to promote more choice in healthcare too. Unlike the Canadian and US systems that go to extremes, the Singaporean and Swedish systems seem to be trying to find some happy medium.
 
AnnaG
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

I mean radiation oncologists routinely make that much, working in university settings they can make that much I stated or more.

ok
Quote:

I think the brain drain isn't so much due to $$, it's due to the research intensity up here compared to down there.

There's that, too, yes.
 
SirJosephPorter
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

There's more than one kind of MD...

It really depends upon how hard a doctor is willing to work, I would say that these days a Family practitioner would net 150,000 $ per year easily, without any trouble, and around 200,000 $ if he is willing to work hard, at least here in Ontario.

Family doctors don’t do badly at all in Canada.
Last edited by Ron in Regina; Dec 10th, 2009 at 09:07 AM..
 
Ron in Regina
#25
Many Off-Topic posts have been removed. Please continue On Topic, without
the Personal Attacks & Insults and Name Calling. Thank You.
 
AnnaG
#26
Someone's being purposefully misleading about doctor's wages discussion.

But anyway, things could be better in Canada, but they could be an awful lot worse. In 2008 we were ranked 30th of 190 countries.
 
VanIsle
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by JustinEllard View Post

Not sure if this should be under culture or politics, so sorry if I got it wrong.

Anyway, I'm from the U.S. and everybody's always talking about how universal healthcare is evil and will result in underpaid doctors, year-long waits for surgery, and 24-hour waiting periods in the waiting rooms. I was starting to wonder if this was all just propaganda spewed by the overpaid doctors in this country. So, I'd like to ask anybody here who as experience with the healthcare in Canada.

Few questions:
How's the waiting times in the waiting rooms
How long do you have to wait for major treatments/surgeries
How much do you pay for medicine?
Do you have to pay anything at all at the hospital? If so, how much? And in what cases?
Do you think universal healthcare is a good system?

Thanks you,
Justin Ellard

TenPenny has answered you well. I don't think he mentioned that everyone in Canada is entitled to health care (equal health care). If you don't earn enough money, you still get the same care as the guy next door who does earn enough. In many provinces, people pay a monthly fee for medical to their provincial government but again, if you cannot afford to pay (meaning your earnings are too low), you still get care but you don't pay. Many of us have back up care such as Blue Cross or Sunlife. Through our employers, we receive extra benefits that are paid for by the employer. For my husband and myself, my husband's previous employer pays a portion of our medical and we have to pay out the first $100.00 toward our medical costs such as prescriptions, physio/chiro/Massage therapy, podiatrist etc. Then we send in our receipts and we get back 80% of what we have paid out. In our case, our dental is much the same. I work too and I also have a plan in place. That means we get back pretty much 100 % of our medical expenses.
We can have a private room in the hospital if we up-grade our coverage but it's been many years since I have seen a hospital room in BC with more than 2 beds to a room.
 
SirJosephPorter
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter View Post

Quite right, and we have not hashed out anything before, in spite of what Anna claims. I don’t discuss anything with her. With her, all the conversation is one way.

It really depends upon how hard a doctor is willing to work, I would say that these days a Family practitioner would net 150,000 $ per year easily, without any trouble, and around 200,000 $ if he is willing to work hard, at least here in Ontario.

Family doctors don’t do badly at all in Canada.


Surprisingly, Family Physicians don’t earn all that much more in USA. These are 2008/2009 figures, and they show an income between 150,000 and 200, 000 $ per year. I assume somebody willing to work harder would earn more.


FAMILY PHYSICIAN SALARIES at MDsalaries - The Physician Salaries Blog

But it may be that Family physicians are not well compensated in USA, specialists earn much more. Not surprisingly, the same website says that USA needs 39% more Family Physicians.
 
JLM
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter View Post

Surprisingly, Family Physicians donít earn all that much more in USA. These are 2008/2009 figures, and they show an income between 150,000 and 200, 000 $ per year. I assume somebody willing to work harder would earn more.


FAMILY PHYSICIAN SALARIES at MDsalaries - The Physician Salaries Blog

But it may be that Family physicians are not well compensated in USA, specialists earn much more. Not surprisingly, the same website says that USA needs 39% more Family Physicians.

Please correct me if I'm wrong (which is a remote possiblitity) but any figures I've seen published re doctor's salaries (I believe they were in the $200,000 to $400,000 range) I understood included the cost of running his office and hiring nurse and receptionist etc. Was I mislead there, or just had a spell of CRS?
 
SirJosephPorter
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Please correct me if I'm wrong (which is a remote possiblitity) but any figures I've seen published re doctor's salaries (I believe they were in the $200,000 to $400,000 range) I understood included the cost of running his office and hiring nurse and receptionist etc. Was I mislead there, or just had a spell of CRS?

You have to be careful here, JLM. If the figures report how much the doctor billed to the government, then yes, they are gross figures, before deducting any expenses. Many times it is these figures that are published and then people think that doctors earn an outrageous amount of money.

But expense for running a doctorís office can run up to 100,000 $ per year. The expenses are higher for a Family physician than a specialist. FP sees more patients than a specialist, and most of them in his office, a lot of specialistís work is done in the hospital. So an FP needs a bigger office and perhaps a staff of two, a specialist can make do with staff of one (and many times, that too part time).

But here I am quoting the net figures, after expenses.
 

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