"In countries with subsidized national health insurance, people demand care for minor ailments they used to treat themselves. As a result, patients wait for critical care. In Newfoundland, a patient needing cardiac surgery waits an average of 43 weeks. Affluent Canadians cross the border to our Cleveland Clinic; the poor suffer. The waiting lists for all surgeries have doubled since 1967. Canadians don’t have better health care for less money, they just have less health care! This is not the solution we seek! In Britain, the availability of health care may be even more limited. British doctors see five times as many patients as their American counterparts. Thirty-five percent of kidney dialysis centers refuse to treat patients over 55 years of age! While the elderly are denied access to health care, the poor are neglected as well. Studies in Britain, Sweden, Canada, and New Zealand indicate that people with high social standing receive 2-6 times more health care than the less affluent. National health programs even fail to deliver equal care!"
Healing Our World, Ch 22.
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Reader comments about this quote:
Total and absolute rubbish! Come and see for yourself and ask families like mine how we view the UK health service. We are in our 70s have had 5 children and now 12 grandchildren. We have not one complaint. For us it has been life saving and life enhancing service .... Without discrimination between well off people and poorer people. Of course being a human institution it will have it's weaknesses. What system does not? And with escalating costs and expectations there will be limitations .... But nothing like the discriminatory limitations of the US healthcare. It is a well documented fact that the US has the highest paid physicians and the poorest healthcare provision for all of its citizens in the developed world. And it is simply not true that people over 55 in the UK are denied dialysis! Please do not try to basse an argument on un- truth ! Harold Good (Rev) northern Ireland
 -- Harold Good, Holywood Northern Ireland     
    In Canada the more affluent have always sought more immediate and higher quality health care in the US. The system here is failing beyond description and all the bureaucrats seem able to do is throw more money at it. Which is detrimental on a couple of levels, first health care hasn't improved, second you now have less money as well. Beware America, Obamacare is part of the death knell of what was once the land of the free...but is becoming the latest greatest police state on the planet.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I've always considered health care and health insurance a commodity. One should choose what one wants and pay for it himself. No government involved.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    The radical right have so many lies to spread their message of fear, uncertainty and doubt... and this quote is just one more from their pile...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    What Lies Reston...these are verifiable FACTS. Its YOU who has your head in the sand and want everyone else's there too.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I've seen the same when I was in the US military. Many people go in for treatment just because it's "free" and they want their benefit.
     -- Kevin, Montana     
    Reston, I see you took your stupid pill this morning, like a good little leftist.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    I'm 62 have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, live in Canada, don't consider myself affluent, and I usually don't go and bother the healthcare system for minor ailments. Perhaps I'm lucky in a sense that I'm leading a fairly healthy life, but my wife has had breast cancer and received excellent treatment and is doing quite well today. To sum up Dr. Mary Ruwart quote: What she's uttering is absolute rubbish. She's just another mouthpiece for the mighty insurance conglomerate.
     -- Mike, Vancouver, Canada     
    Mike I'm glad to hear your wife was well treated, I truly am. I have stories of Canadian Health Care also, but mine end in funerals. 43 weeks for cardiac surgery? 4 to 5 months for an MRI? The system is a "bureacracy" and those are non-functional by definition.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Then why is the quality of health care in the USA number 37 and under most western countries. Once your ins runs out you are kicked out of what ever facility you happen to be in. I have known cancer patients who are remove from hospital when they have reached their respective maximums . Yet the cost of care in America is far more than any other country. The medical establishments milk the system to the last penny also providing procedures that are unnecessary. Physicians ask patients to return to their office if the need more than one procedure as they are only reimbursed for one office visits - the whole thing stinks - this is the reason we have such high premiums. There are many other reason for this disastrous system we call health care.
     -- Robken     
    this is pure bs
     -- gtheo, portage,michigan     
    J. Carlton...you are absolutely right in regard to the Canadian health System, and YES...ObamaHeath-Scare will be this and much more costly and much worse by 2014. It is simply government run healthcare, giving citizens virtually NO choices...NO freedom...which is preciscely Obama's premise and goal. He wants everyone to DEPEND on government. Translation: Slavery. Our freedoms, including choosing our own healthcare is slowly being taken away. The UN-Constitutional healthcare bill is a perfect example of a society of slaves. *If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face~forever" (george Orwell)
     -- L.P., Kirkland, WA     
    I am with th Revrend from Northern Ireland on this. I have met many Canadians while RVing in the Southern US. They love the warmth but must spend 6 months up there in order to keep their Health Care insurance. Canadian after Canadian have told me that they like their system of health care.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Dr Ruwart is an active Libertarian Party member, hardly an unbiased observer.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    It is not that simple. Canadians do cross the border into the US for some medical services and Americans do cross into Canada for some medical services -- that is as it should be -- you go where the best service for the best money for the right timing is. The idea that the government can provide for all and make those decisions for us is the problem -- mankind has always taken care of itself on an individual basis -- once central planning takes over, people are herded like cattle, often dying in large groups due to mismanagement. And as far as Canadian health care goes, Obamacare ain't even close -- not by a long shot. Canadian health care is managed at the provincial level with provincial health insurance, not national. Canadians are not required to purchase insurance -- it is covered through their provincial taxes and managed like a private insurance company -- that indeed has funding, and not raided by other government departments when they need money. Also, Canadian services cost less, and Canadian medical professionals are paid less too. As well, additional insurance is offered as part of the benefits package of most large businesses in Canada. Yes, the quality and availability of care varies from town to town and province to province -- one of the reasons people will move to a particular place. Just know that what Obama is proposing is NOT the Canadian system -- far from it, and the quality of care in America WILL go down if it becomes nationalized -- just look at any subsidized hospital here in New York City -- worse than a prison.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Dr. Mary should take a look at the Cuban model for public health care. One of the best health care systems in the world. As the comments already entered show, there is a wide range of opinions about any system, most of which are based on individual personal experiences and not any sort of overall analysis of success of the programs. Some people will always die under any health care system. If they were not sick in the first place they wouldn't be in the system. No system can save every sick person, and the attempt to do this regardless of the liklihood of success is a part of the cause of skyrocketting costs. But if the practitioners do not do everything humanly possible regardless of cost to save every patient, then the lawyers are on them like a pack of hounds on a sheep.
     -- KGround, Tampa, FL     
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