Dr. Marcia Angell has a message for Canadians: Don't be too quick to judge the U. S. system as superior to what is already in place in Canada.
I can already hear the "boo birds" bashing this post.
But, that's okay. We've been working for almost 20 years in the world of hands on medical service delivery and I've got to tell you the gaps and the people falling through them call for some fresh new thinking about how we do health and wellness here in the U. S.
Read her article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The key points of the essay include:
• Health care costs per person are twice as high in the United States as in Canada.
• The US health care system has worse outcomes, is less efficient and provides fewer of many basic services than the Canadian system.
• The United States is the only industrialized country that treats health care as a market commodity, not a social service,and leaves uninsured those who cannot pay.
• In the United States, for-profit health care is more expensive and often of lower quality than not-for-profit or government care, with much higher overhead costs.
• The notion that partial privatization in Canada will shorten waiting times for elective procedures is misguided.
• Partial privatization would draw off resources from the public system, increase costs overall and introduce the inequities of the US system.
• The best way to improve the Canadian health care system is to put more resources into it.
Angell is clear: privatizing health care in Canada is not the answer.
In our arrogance, we seldom take a hard look at the facts of the system employed by our good friends to the north. Hear her out.
Almost 50 million of our fellow citizens would likely find her point of view very interesting indeed.