Comment 32720

By Chris Angel (registered) | Posted August 09, 2009 at 12:20:07

Both the Canadian and American medical system have the same fundamental flaw. Payment by a self interested 3rd party undermining service to the patient. Some may argue that a public or state supported system has no self interest. This is not true as it is linked with the political structure. For example generations of Canadian have been feed lies about how our system is the envy of practically every nation on earth. Experience it first hand and you quickly learn it is medical care of the lowest common denominator. Not only is the 3rd rate service harmful and inefficient but it is not remotely adequate in its coverage. This requires all Canadians to have secondary coverage for drugs, eyeglasses, dental service and a growing list of items not covered. Our politicians of all stripe pretend that this does not exist and offer up putrid dreck about how this or that undermines the sanctity of our "single tier" system. It has been a multi tier system all my working life 30+ years. When I have a benefit plan from a private service provider I get a comprehensive description of the services provided and the period this contract is in effect for. With OHIP I get zip. Outrageous that anyone can have any faith in such a blank cheque system. With a private plan I know to the penny what it costs. What does socialized medicine cost? What does my OHIP cost, I would like to know but it would be ridiculously difficult to find out primarily because no one wants the user to know. I am sure costs are being managed wonderfully in this system we only get glimpses of. In fairness some of the same elements exist in the US system because the customer is the HMO not the patient. The same way when a Canadian seeks medical care here the customer is the province not the patient. Care is provided 100% in keeping with government or business guidelines and as long as it is provided in accordance with those guidelines the provider is paid. No matter if the service was acceptable to the patient or not. The only positive changes possible in either system is rigorous cost analysis and scrutiny - no more $80 hospital aspirin and most importantly patient sign off for payment to medical service providers. That will be fought tooth and nail by both government and business as it relinquishes a minuscule bit of power. It is our money in both cases and without this missing element the patient is at the end of a long list or missing entirely from it. This obvious vital element is conspicuously absent from all discussion of health care reform on either side of the border. Wake me up when it is; if I live that long.

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