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.