Monday, June 22, 2009

The Canadian health care collapse

The Fraser Institute compiles statistics on hospital waiting times in Canada. Two of their charts show clearly just how much health care has deteriorated in Canada in the last 15 years. The first chart shows wait times by specialty:

12 of the 13 specialties showed increased wait times since 1993. The longest waits are for neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery. It is best not to have a brain tumor if you live in Canada. The second chart shows wait times by province:

In each province, wait times have risen dramatically from 1993 to 2008. Both these charts are for the wait time between referral by a GP and the appointment with a specialist. These charts include neither the time you have to wait to see the GP nor the time you have to wait for treatment after your appointment with the specialist.

Wait times, AKA rationing, are of course the socialist way of saving money. There is a human cost. Calgary emergency room doctor Grant Innes says "there's no question patients are dying because of the wait times. We just don't really know how many." Rationing may not even save money, as Globe and Mail reports;

Waiting for a joint replacement not only prolongs pain in the knees, it causes billions of dollars of damage to the health of the Canadian economy, a study released Tuesday by Canada's doctors says.

The study, conducted for the Canadian Medical Association by the Centre for Spatial Economics, found that it cost the economy $14.8-billion in 2007 to have patients wait longer than medically recommended for four procedures: joint replacements, cataract surgery, coronary bypasses and MRI scans.

That, in turn, cut provincial and federal government revenues by $4.4-billion, the report says.

“Time spent waiting robs the economy of workers, both patients and their caregivers. Time spent waiting also leads to increased costs on the health-care system, as patients need extra appointments, tests and medication,” it says.

Of course, one of the advantages of that single-payer health care would have in the US is that Pres. Obama is so smart he can make work well, as Scott Stantis illustrates:

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