Canada healthcare?

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sweetiowachick
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 11/23/2007 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
confused  I recently saw Michael Moores new  movie, SICKO. I am curious if anyone here knows what its really like in Canada. I am half tempted to move up there just to get free healthcare....
*21 year old female
*Diagnosted with Crohn's Disease May 22nd,2007
*8 inches of small,3of large intestens & apendex taken out 5/22/07
*Another surgery to have infection/absess drained 6/13/07
*Hospitalized a total of 16 days withen one month
 


gachrons
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   Posted 11/23/2007 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Don't know where you hear it is free Canadians pay taxes to pay for health care. lol gail

Irish Red
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 11/23/2007 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I was born in Canada and currently still live in Canada. I also work as a sales representative for a Pharmaceutical Company. Gail is quite right, Canadian’s pay high taxes for our health care and we still have a lot of issues to contend with. What is your question exactly?
The level of "free health" care depends on your income and occupation. Some companies over a benefits package which will cover most costs, however if you are a independent contractor or unemployed then things like Remicade, Immuran ect become a much bigger issue in terms of payment on top of tax payments. In that case there is a long application process for coverage based on your income. The more money you make the more you pay into the system.
I do agree however that as a whole I am very lucky to live in Canada under the circumstances of Crohn's disease.
Hope this helped !
p.s. I refuse to watch that movie being in the industry myself.

CD since 1988,

Cocktail of medications ( Remicade included) and have explored many herbal remedies.

Currently experiencing another flair up after 4 years of remission.

 

"Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what your going to get inside" 

Everyone knows that quote... how true how true.


pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
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   Posted 11/23/2007 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I live in Alberta and the health care system varies from province to province however no one in Canada has "free" healthcare and health care is different from insurance for meds and such...

With Alberta Health Care a family of 4 generally pays 88.00/month which covers all doctors trips including health specialists and eye doctors but NOT plastic/cosmetic surgeons nor does it cover trips to the dentist. This does NOT cover RX for medical including RX glasses, you have to have seperate insurance for that via Alberta Blue Cross or which ever insurance you or your spouse has from employment, neither of these insurances are free either and they vary alot in price...

In Saskatchewan the health care isn't "free" either, it gets paid via property taxes...so contrary to what many americans or other countries believe there is no free health care and we certainly do pay very high taxes on top of that.

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


FitzyK23
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   Posted 11/23/2007 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Just curious- even though your tax funded health care does not cover prescriptions, is it correct that your prescriptions are a lot cheaper than in the US? In that case, can one afford the prescriptions without having RX insurance? Are they reasonably priced?
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


belleenstein
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Date Joined Feb 2007
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   Posted 11/23/2007 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Canada's public health system is based on the principles of universality -- that is where the concept of free health care comes from. Canadians believe that access to health services are a basic human right, just like education. Just as we pay for education through taxation -- and so do you in America -- so too do we pay for health services through taxation.

The per capita costs of providing health services are cheaper than in the United States for many reasons, but I think the pressures from lobbyists in a private payer system has a lot to do with it. Ask yourself why on earth any government acting for the people would agree that it can't use its tremendous buying power to negotiate cheaper prices for drugs covered by the seniors medicare and medicaid. Seems to me that is a case of the government working for the pharmaceutical industry.

I think that is one of the factors that helps keep prices down in Canada. We have taken the for-profit motive out of much of the health care industry.

While some provinces, like Alberta and BC have introduced annual premiums for insured health services, other provinces have no barriers to access. If you are a permanent resident, you have access to health services whether you make $100,000 a year and pay $30,000 of that in taxation or whether you earn $10,000 a year and pay none.

We have huge discrepancies in wealth throughout our country, and poorer provinces could not provide the same level of health services to their citizens without subsidization. The federal government helps fund the cost of the public health system (which is delivered on a province by province basis) through an equalization formula that takes some of the money it collects from the richer provinces and distributes it to the poorer provinces.

It isn't a perfect system, but it is one of the most unifying aspects of Canadian culture -- perhaps one thing that we all agree that we must preserve.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


Roni
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Date Joined May 2003
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   Posted 11/23/2007 10:33 PM (GMT -7)   
All Canadians are entitled to health care with any medical doctor/specialist, and hospital care paid for by government finances (accumulated taxes).
 
The only thing Canadians pay out of pocket for is prescription medication outside of hospital care, but many or most have insurance that covers this. There are also many provincial governments programs to help get less wealthy ppl meds for free or extremely cheap.
 
Canadians would rarely or never have to worry about paying a doctor's or hospital bill, unless it is for a treatment that isn't covered, like say, cosmetic laser hair removal or cosmetic mole removal, or breast enlargement. lol

pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/23/2007 11:02 PM (GMT -7)   
FitzyK23 said...
Just curious- even though your tax funded health care does not cover prescriptions, is it correct that your prescriptions are a lot cheaper than in the US? In that case, can one afford the prescriptions without having RX insurance? Are they reasonably priced?

Well I pay 40.00 for 2 cans of cortifoam enema with insurance, without it I'd be paying 120.00 for 1 can so it's a huge difference not having RX insurance for sure.
 
In Alberta you can apply for a subsidy which goes by the amount of your household income, some people don't make enough money so they can get full subsidy on their ABHC but you must apply for it.  For others depending on their household income they may be able to pay less but still have to pay something.
 
Hospital visits likely vary from province to province as well, if you're in a ward then it's free, if you want a private or semi-private room you pay for it out of your pocket ABHC does not cover this...same with if you want a T.V or a telephone in your room, this is an extra cost to you.
 
In Alberta they are trying to bring in more private healthcare, meaning you pay out of pocket to get a hip surgery for example, within 1-2 months rather than go public and wait 1-2 years...this is a sore subject in Alberta because everyone (except government and very wealthy people) are afraid that public healthcare will become obsolete if we allow private in.
 
 
:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


belleenstein
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Date Joined Feb 2007
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   Posted 11/24/2007 5:21 AM (GMT -7)   
In Nova Scotia, while those that can pay may ask for a private room, but if the nursing supervisor on the floor feels there is a medical need, she/he can put any patient in a private room. And wouldn't it go without saying that things like phones and TVs are not included in a publicly funded health system?

Under current federal law, Alberta would have to opt out of the Canada Health Act and go it alone in terms of funding health care, if it chose to allow private for-profit hospitals to develop. There are many pressures now on the Canada Health Act as the country is turning more to the right with the new federal government. The new government may amend the Canada health Act to allow some for-profit and that might be a problem for the public system.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


chroniemomx2
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 11/24/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
pb4 commented about the wait time.   I'm not Canadian, so I always thought that was a big issue.  Sure the healthcare may be free/cheaper but you have to wait.  In the past, someone on here has commented about Australia...you have to go through certain things, and try different drugs before they will approve remicade for you.  Is it like that in Canada too?

pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/24/2007 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
OMG the wait time not just for surgeries but even in the ER have changed dramatically in Calgary AB in even the last 10 yrs (population growth and poor future planning on the healthcare system)...there have been teens that have died in the ER waiting room from apendicitis, women who have had miscarriages right in front of everyone waiting in the ER waiting rooms...that shows just how badly we are ripping at the seams with our healthcare.

Not to mention it's bad enough sometimes being in a ward but how would you feel about laying in your hospital bed day after day in the hallway, yes, it's that bad and no exageration here either...and from what I've seen, nothing's being done to change any of this...and sueing isn't an option either, it's very difficult if not impossible to sue anyone regarding poor and inadaquate health care.

Heck, a few months ago they had to send a pregnant canadian woman to Montana just to give birth to her tripplets (might have been twins) because they could not provide the extra help for the babies which they were concerned had issues. And this isn't the first time either.
 
And regarding the approval on the remicade that's true because the cost of it here (where I live) is around 1000.00 for one month, out of our pocket (at least it was a few yrs ago, it may have changed now and there may be some subsidy on it now but you can bet that the majority still comes out of the patients pocket for remicade).

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 11/24/2007 10:07:29 AM (GMT-7)


chroniemomx2
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   Posted 11/24/2007 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks pb4....You always "hear" things, and don't necessarily want to assume they are true.

I don't want to turn this into a political debate, but I would much rather pay than have "free"--and I use that term loosely because we know our taxes would go up--helathcare where I have to wait or a politician telling me what drugs I can take and when!

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 11/24/2007 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
In Ontario, we do pay higher taxes for HC ........ for my RX I pay only 2.00.........The waiting list is very long for specialist and in the ER..........

However I would not after reading how much you have to pay in other Countries complain anymore about cost lol

Pb4 is right on we are in a war right now with the gov wanting HC to go Private and I dont think this will happen here IMHO but ya never know .......

This is great to see a healthy debate / thread .........

Thanks all for participating
LYN

The only time gov steps in here in Ontario is about shedule 1 and 2 narcotics and then a 'form is needed to fill out by doc and given to pharmacy........especially Oxycontin.


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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 11/24/2007 11:19:51 AM (GMT-7)


Roni
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   Posted 11/24/2007 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   

One thing that's important to note is that the wait times are generally longer for the less serious cases (or they try to keep it that way). For more serious cases the patient can get in to see a specialist much quicker.

I have seen specialists within a matter of a few days in the past. Other times, within a matter of about two months.

 

 


belleenstein
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   Posted 11/25/2007 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
PB4 I can really feel your frustration with the poor planning and the right of centre political climate that has resulted in an inadequate response to population growth in Alberta. What I think is not captured in your remarks is the reality that in the United States access to health care is only available to that portion of the population that has enough money or is employed by a company with a health benefits package. For the rest, it's each person for themselves. I guess it is a choice between excellent, immediate, expensive access for only those that can pay or very good, mostly timely access for everyone. Yes, sometimes (rarely) expectant mothers are shipped from centres in Manitoba, Sasketchewan and even BC because the limited neo-natal intensive care units are full, (all medical expenses paid by the province regardless of the parents' financial circumstances) But how many babies do you think have died or been born with serious birth defects in the United States because their mothers had no access to prenatal health care? Canada's infant mortality rate is lower and its life expectancy is higher than the US, mostly because of its national health policy.

It is far from a perfect system, but I want energies expended on supporting the principles underlying it ( universal access for all). I don't think that adopting the American model is the answer.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


Roni
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Date Joined May 2003
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   Posted 11/25/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
emergency rooms put the most serious cases first. There are times when there are many more people in emergency than the doctors on staff can handle in a timely fashion, so they may wait hours to be seen.

In regards to people dying in the emergency room or losing babies because of inadequate care, that doesn't happen every single day at every single hospital. It happens, but it's actually rare, considering the amount of people across Canada going to emergency on a daily basis. You don't hear about these things that often. When they do happen, the public is outraged. Rightly so.

Emergency room doctors in the US are busy too. It's a bustling atmosphere, and they can become overcrowded, especially on weekends.

FitzyK23
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   Posted 11/25/2007 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Roni- you commented about the US before I could. I understand the concerns about the waits in Canada but we have some ridiculous waits here in the US too. Years back I had to see a neurologist after a ski injury. I was given a SIX MONTH wait. People frequently wait HOURS here to be seen in the ER. And yes, even here, people sometimes end up on a bed, in a hallway, because all the rooms are full. That is far more common in the city hospitals but it still happens. It seems that we have a lot of the Canadian health care problems in the US without ANY of the benefits.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 11/25/2007 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok I have to give props to the Veterans Affairs system here. I live in the US and my healthcare is completely covered. I pay absolutely nothing unless I have to go outside of the system. Which has happened occasionally, but that is rare and they have covered 6 out of 8 times (and the other two are still in process).

Thank you Mr. Hoover.
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We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...


pb4
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   Posted 11/25/2007 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I know both canada and the US have major issues, it's just that where I live we did not feel the impact we do now...you break your foot and they don't even have time to cast it, instead they put you on a wait list for a procedure like that, this kind of treatment is completely new to us...heck, back in 91 when I got sick with CD and went for frequent colonoscopies they'd serve me a sandwhich of choice, a snack and as many drinks as I cared for, now they throw a cookie at you and send you on your way...for expectant mothers that gave birth they would load you up with diapers and pads when they sent you home now you have to bring all your own items they also used to keep you in the hospital for a few days after having a baby, now they send you home the next day (since '93 when I had my second child...it's a big change compared to what it used to be and Canada is not a poor country, they went from one extream to another practically overnight and the way I see it they're getting worse and worse.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


MMMNAVY
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   Posted 11/25/2007 11:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean about giving birth ...my best friend gave birth two years ago and they sent her home less then 3 hours later.
Forum Moderator 
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...


pb4
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   Posted 11/25/2007 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
It's just wrong for any health care provider to do that, there are so many risks and complications that can go wrong with a woman or the baby sending them home that soon, because trying to get back is almost impossible even via ambulance ride (like I said they leave you in the hallway even when you come in via ambulance), it's just wrong and very frustrating to hear all the horror stories on the news which is more and more frequent all the time even on a daily basis you'll go through weeks of hearing all the stories on the news.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Howlyncat
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   Posted 11/25/2007 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I gave birth in 93 too and I was 39 yrs old at the time .......Sent home the next day .....well had Cait at 3:19 am April 5th and was home by the next morning at 10 am ........they had me packed and basically pushing me out the Dang door

When I gave birth to my first son in 74 I was in hospital for 7 days and I all too remember getting the diapers ,bottles and everything you could imagine plus

Could not agree more pb4 ........Mom was in the ER hallway straight after being intubated waiting for airlift to larger hospital .......I found it to be very offensive and demeaning to my Mother.........she passed away the next day........

Take care all

Lyn
** pb4 out of interest did you follow the " Mike Cole ".Minister of Immigration"s reasons for having to resign from office and the Millions of monies that were handed out to ppl that had not even followed protocol or did applications for monies they received**
If interested check the Toronto Star Newsparper and I am sure you will see what I am talking about ......May and June of this yr....Cait was a Page at Legislation during this period .......It is totall disgusting and he was not charged and he still is paid his yrly salary** 
 
Take care all
 
Lyn
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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 11/25/2007 2:04:48 PM (GMT-7)


gumby44
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   Posted 11/25/2007 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
For us in the U.S., Canada's health care system sounded like Utopia. It's interesting and sad to hear from pb4 that there are significant problems. Still it is absolutely heartbreaking to hear of so many Americans with no insurance and low income, who suffer terribly with no care. The US is the land of the haves and the have nots and it just isn't right! I personally am middle class...I can afford health insurance which covers hospitalization, but not doctor visits or prescriptions. With Crohn's disease that adds up pretty quickly. It costs me $175.00 a month just for Pentasa. I am dreading it if I have to move on to the stronger meds!
48 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's Sept-Oct. 2007


chroniemomx2
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   Posted 11/25/2007 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that the US does have issues with its healthcare system now, but I don't think national healthcare is the answer. It is just one more thing they are wanting to control and are trying to take away from us. I want a choice in who insures me and where I can go. I don't want the government telling what, when, and where any more than they do all ready! I have an excellent trusting relationship with my drs. now and and I would like to keep it that way. :)

gumby44
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 11/25/2007 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
It seems like there has to be a way to do both...keep our own choices of doctors, and have coverage for all Americans. It breaks my heart to hear of Americans suffering with horrible diseases and no care. It just isn't right!
48 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's Sept-Oct. 2007

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