This is what we want in the US for a health care system?
The problems were brought home when a relative had difficulty walking. He was in chronic pain. His doctor suggested a referral to a neurologist; an MRI would need to be done, then possibly a referral to another specialist. The wait would have stretched to roughly a year. If surgery was needed, the wait would be months more. Not wanting to stay confined to his house, he had the surgery done in the U.S., at the Mayo Clinic, and paid for it himself. Such stories are common. For example, Sylvia de Vries, an Ontario woman, had a 40-pound fluid-filled tumor removed from her abdomen by an American surgeon in 2006. Her Michigan doctor estimated that she was within weeks of dying, but she was still on a wait list for a Canadian specialist.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s not unusual for some provinces to shut down everything but real emergency care near the end of the year because they are out of money. Not just hospitals and testing facilities, but clinics and regular doctor’s offices. It’s not that long since you could get your dog in for an MRI faster than yourself. Canada’s solution? Ban pets from access to after hours access to the equipment.
There’s that awful word, “rationing” popping up lately. Could this happen here?
Only half of ER patients are treated in a timely manner by national and international standards, according to a government study. The physician shortage is so severe that some towns hold lotteries, with the winners gaining access to the local doc.
A bit further afield, until recently, you could not get treatment for macular degeneration in Britain until you had gone totally blind in one eye. Where are the Europeans that need care NOW and can afford to pay for it come here to get it going to go next?