Skip to comments.Canadians Venture South for Health Care (seek medications and doctor appointments)
Posted on 07/24/2003 6:15:42 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
BANGOR In a new twist on a familiar story, Bangor played host Thursday to a busload of Canadians who crossed the international border in search of medical care. Fourteen patients traveled down from St. John, New Brunswick to purchase medications not available in Canada as well as to keep medical appointments they say would take months to schedule in their home country.
The Canadians ranged in age from 29 to 85 and suffered from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, infections, limb pain and other complaints. A 29-year-old man took the four-hour trip in order just to get a routine physical examination because he was unable to find a physician taking new patients in his area. The family of a 77 year-old woman with Alzheimers sent a family member to purchase the drug Reminyl a drug available through private plans in Canada but not through the national health system that most Canadians rely on.
Don Cole, 66, of Hampton, N.B., said Avandia, the medication hes been using to control his Type 2 diabetes, was available through the private insurance plan he belonged to until this spring. But when he switched to the national health system, he discovered the drug wasnt included on the list of allowable medications. Glycophage XR, the alternative prescribed by his doctor, is not yet approved for use in Canada, so he came down to Bangor to get it from the pharmacy at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Cole had no idea what the cost of the drug would be. At home, he said, he pays a $15 "dispensing fee" for each prescription. Canadas health system is a good one, Cole said, "but theres no system that cant be improved."
The trip was organized by the Consumer Advocare Network, a national healthcare advocacy group. Chairman Durhane Wong-Rieger said that, on their own, Canadians make the trip to the U.S. "every single day" in order to avoid long wait periods or to purchase medications that are otherwise unavailable. "Its great if you can afford it," Wong-Rieger said.
Delays for cancer patients run a month or two. The wait is almost seven months for eye care and eight months for orthopedic surgery.
Canadians have only limited access to new technologies. In August, reported Nadeem Esmail and Michael Walker of the Fraser Institute, "While ranking number one as a health care spender [compared to 26 largely European states], Canada ranks eighteenth in access to MRIs, seventeenth in access to CT scanners, eighth in access to radiation machines, and thirteenth in access to lithotripters." Provinces contract out treatment, such as for cancer, to U.S. hospitals. -January 15, 2003, NRO
I have no argument with that quote, but my family has run into the opposite situation as well. In some cases Health Canada (if that is the applicable agency) seems to approve new devices more quickly than the FDA. I have seen the FDA lag by more than a year. Whether this is due to more thorough testing by the FDA I can not say (but am skeptical).
[audio links] you can hear Rush discuss Canada's health care crisis and the situation on the ground in Maine with a nurse. She sees Canadian patients rushing to her state to get cancer treatment, and finds health care professionals seeking greener pastures here in the Land of the Free. - RUSH, July 21-22, 2003
At least they have gay marriage and easy access to dope < /sarcasm>. Canada is a typical socialist paradise: always getting priorities screwed up and then extorting vast quantities of money from the taxpayer to pay for it.
I fear we (Americans) have lost the "Point" where ANY "Rational Debate" about the "Alleged Merits" of Socialized Medicine is MOOT!
Despite Individual reports of the "Downside" of "National Health Care," there apears to be a HUGH "Propaganda Machine" Dedicated to the creation of a "National Healthcare System!"
Believe it or not, your "Doc's" would be MUCH BETTER OFF in such a system (Guaranteed Salaries & Benefits.)
So WHY (Given the obvious benefits to the Docs) do Your Docs Mostly Oppose "National Health Care??"
The Reason for the Opposition of Most "Docs" to "National Health Care" is that--despite TONS of "Propaganda,"--Most docs actually care about the health of their fellow Citizens!!
Government Controlled Health Care has ONE--& ONLY ONE--overriding Criterion!!-------CHEAP!!
Most Docs Fully Understand the Universal Maxim--"TANSSTAAFL!!" (Look it Up!!)
If America finally succumbs to "Socialized Medicine," Medical Care for the ENTIRE PLANET will be Degraded for Decades to come!
American Docs will--once again--be able to "pay Their Bills,"--but "Medical Care" on EARTH will be Degraded for Decades!
I'm SURE I will be "assaulted" by those who think I exaggerate, or am "Greedy," but I ASSURE YOU, we face a CRISIS in the delivery of Medical Care Unprecedented in our culture.
If we choose to "Socialize" Medical care, we are Likely to diminish our average lifespan by 10+ years, & we will likely lose ~20%+ average Productivity!
I Speak as One who "Cares for" 8-9,000 patients/year!