From my friend Sian, in Scotland:
What piffle he's talking! all you need to do is talk to my parents' generation - who remember life BEFORE the NHS when children died because parents couldn't afford to call out the doctor - or, who, like my uncle, were born with preventable disabilities such as cerebral palsy because of problems during a birth. I remember being horrified as a child when I was told that my grandparents could not afford to send for the doctor when my grandfather got ill (and subsequently died of pneumonia) because you had to *pay* for one!
The NHS is the safety net for all of us when it comes to life threatening and long term conditions - there is nothing stopping anyone having private health insurance on top of that, and some companies provide it too, but on a few occasions when we needed to see specialists we were told by the GP that the NHS route was just as fast - for a few other non life threatening things (back pain, hip replacements etc) people often go private.
With my various chronic health conditions (since childhood) there is no way my quality of life would be as good in the US as it is in the UK. I would be unlikely to get proper cover for the long term conditions or the insurance would be so high I wouldn't be able to pay it. I have complete peace of mind that I can walk into my Doctor's surgery and get diagnostic tests, treatment and repeat medication FREE (currently in Scotland prescription charges are being phased out). Most people in the UK cannot begin to understand the situation in the US!In the UK there are regular screening programmes free to everyone (breast screening for example). A friend is diabetic and as well as all her medication she gets free dietitian advice, free regular chiropody, free eye checks all on a regular basis as well as regular visits to the nurse. What else - oh yes another friend had her young daughter (under 5) in hospital for five weeks and the mother had accommodation provided within the hospital for the whole time - free. I know two people who have been medically evacuated by helicopter, one chap then had major heart surgery, physiotherapy and regular checks.... all free. And then there's free nursing care for te elderly in Scotland...... shall I go on?
OK we "pay" for it through our taxes but as we've discussed before there is almost parity with our taxes, but the US spend more on defence....... "
My Canadian Healthcare may not be perfect, but I really enjoy the peace of mind knowing that whenever any of us gets sick or injured, there is health care available at no extra charge. Go to the hospital, go to a clinic... oh sure, you might have to pay parking or prescriptions, but that cast on your broken leg - NO CHARGE, having professionals help deliver your baby-NO CHARGE, major operations - NO CHARGE, vasectomies - NO CHARGE. Peace of mind....
That the nonsense I hear people spouting about Canadian healthcare is just that -- nonsense. It's not perfect, but it's a heck of a lot more perfect than the U.S. system. Your opthalmologist couldn't be more wrong!
I spell neighbour correctly, just like I spell colour, cheque and grey correctly. You're just jealous that with all of the health care savings we Canadians have due to universal healthcare we can afford extra letters for our words.
While far from perfect I would NEVER trade for your system even if I had all the money to buy the best coverage. Not when that coverage could be revoked at their whim!As for waits, well depending on your area that can be bad but urgent cases do get seen quickly. Usually. You hear the odd horror story but compared to your horror stories, again I wouldn't trade.For routine screenings you just know you need to book months (or years) in advance. But there is no "can I afford" a mammogram or colonoscopy. I've had many of the former and two of the latter and you have enough on your mind when being tested without worrying about money and coverage.As for "letting the government" decide what health care you get, I'd far rather that than letting some guy in a cubicle decide. The government is responsible ultimately to the voters (us!). The cubicle guy is responsible up the chain which ends at the SHAREHOLDERS. Which system will yield better results?