Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Canadian Health Care

So, Canadian friend(s?), tell us about your health care system. Right now, many Americans are freaking out, saying that the waiting list to get care in Canada is months. Basically, Canadians are dying of cancer waiting for an appointment for treatment, all because of how "horrible" your health care system is.

I'm curious. Please, weigh in. Give me a first person account. How does your socialized (or, according to my fellow countrymen, ran by communists and/or the devil) system work?

I'm trying to be better prepared for when we immigrate.


Sheri said...

Okay...because you asked so nicely. :)

I need to go to my doctor...I make an appointment, show up and flash my health card, no bill.

I go to the hospital for an emergency, I flash my health card, no bill.

The one time I did show up at the hospital without my health card (because I lost it), they treated me and then sent me a bill.

When I was better, I went to my local health office, got issued a new card and was able to send the bill back to the hospital.

What more do you need?

Yes, the waiting list for elective and non-emergency surgeries is long.

But NO ONE in Canada gets turned away from a hospital or denied care just because they don't have enough "insurance".

If that means that communists or the devil runs this system, then I'm all for it.


lisafer said...

Thank you, Sheri!

Any complaints about how your system works?

Sheri said...

Well, family doctors are very hard to come by and a lot of people have to rely on the services of a clinic for their medical care.

That's not often ideal, especially if it's an on-going issue, because many times they end up seeing different doctors (from completely different clinics)and there can be a real gap in communication.

Also, over the last few years things that our provincial insurance usually covered have been dropped. (adult eye exams, ambulance service, some prescription meds etc...)

So, it's by no means a perfect system but I'm still grateful for it.

This help at all?

lisafer said...

Yes, it helps a lot! Thank you for your input!!

Vicki said...

I'm also curious as to what percentage of your income is taxed? Do you really pay 40 - 50% in taxes?

Sheri said...

I'm glad I could help.

On a less glib note,

For most Canadians, our health care system is the way it's always been and we've just come to accept the higher taxes.

Still, I think if someone were to try to introduce this kind of health care system and the tax it takes to support it, especially in the current economy, we might be as concerned as you folks are.

I don't envy the upheaval this is causing for you guys.

lisafer said...

Very true, Sherie. Our system is so broken, and now is a scary time to fix it. But, if not now, when?

lisafer said...

Oooh, I forgot to ask that. Good question, Vicki.

Sheri said...

Vicki - Personally, yes we do. In Canada taxes are assessed by a sliding scale based on income.

The more money you earn, the more taxes you pay. We personally pay about 42% of our income to taxes.

That's just personal income tax and doesn't include the tax we pay for our property which 20% of our mortgage payments go towards.

And though we own a 3 bedroom bungalow in a nice neighbourhood, it's by no means a luxury property.

Now I'm beginning to wonder...

lisafer said...

Holy Finance, Taxman!!! 42% of your income goes to taxes????? How do you survive?

So what all does the government foot the bill for? Anything besides health care? Is anything else subsidized?