Thursday, August 13, 2009

Working hard and failing to find something wrong with Canadian health care.

John Stossel, in a 20/20 piece attempting to find something wrong with the Canadian health care system came up with the following
The town of Norwood, Ontario, has only one family doctor available to serve the entire community. To ration the patient list, the town clerk holds a lottery once a month, drawing a few names out of a box that contains all of the people hoping to get on the doctor's patient list. She calls the lucky winners, but everyone else must continue to wait.

Altogether now: clutch pearls!

Mr. Stossel has proven that there is one Canadian town with a shortage of doctors. That's all.

How are we doing in the US? I've had trouble finding exact numbers, but rural Kansas has a severe doctor shortage: "state health officials say about 90 Kansas counties do not have enough physicians," as does rural Minnesota, Nevada, Massachusetts, rural Wisconsin (there's a two-year wait for child psychiatric services), rural Mississippi, 152 counties in Texas have no obstetrician, and 21 Texas counties have no doctor of any type. I think you get the idea.

Let's look at some overall numbers--
Number of Americans that don't have health care. 47.5 million
Number of Canadians that don't have health care: 0

U.S doctors per 1000 people: 2.56
Canadian doctors per 1000 people: 2.14
US nurses per 1000 people: 9.37
Canadian nurses per 1000 people: 9.95

Found here.

A comprehensive study of the difference between Canadian and US health care finds:
These results are incompatible with the hypothesis that American patients receive consistently better care than Canadians. Americans are not, therefore, getting value for money; the 89% higher per-capita expenditures on health care in the United States does not buy superior outcomes for the sick.
Canadian health care has many well-publicized limitations. Nevertheless, it produces health benefits similar, or perhaps superior, to those of the US health system, but at a much lower cost.

John Stossel should be ashamed of himself for such a deceptive report. What's the matter with the truth?

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