How Canada’s Universal Health-Care System Works


When you hear people talk
about health care in America there is one country
that seems to get a good amount of attention. It’s a single payer
health care system. Kind of like the “Medicare
for All” plans that some well-known Democrats
have been promoting. In fact, the system’s
unofficial name is also Medicare. It has
universal coverage. It has relatively cheaper
drug prices than the United States and it also
has reports of long waiting times and endless
reams of red tape. You’ve probably guessed
which country we’re talking about: Canada. Canada’s health care system
is playing a larger role in America’s political
discourse, as the 2020 presidential elections
heat up. Progressives on the left
love pointing to Canada as an equitable and
efficient health care system. Conservatives, on the other
hand, use Canada as an example when warning
about the dangers of socialized medicine and
unchecked bureaucracy. So how different, really,
is Canada’s health care system from what’s going on
in the United States. In 2017, it’s estimated
that Canada spent around 10.4 percent of its
GDP on health care. By comparison the United
States is estimated to have spent about 17.2 percent of its
GDP that year. The OECD estimates that
Canada spent around 4,500 USD per person in 2017. In the United States,
though, the figure is expected to be at least
double that at ten thousand dollars
per person. Out-of-pocket spending is also
lower in Canada. On average Canadians spent
around 650 USD per person in 2016. The average for
Americans was around eleven hundred dollars
that year. Canada still spends more than
the average of all 36 OECD countries, which
comes in around 3,800 dollars per person
and 8.8 percent of GDP. Despite spending less than
the United States, Canada’s medicare system
ensures citizens have universal coverage for medical
needs that are deemed essential something
the U.S. hasn’t accomplished. Canada also has comparable
or better health outcomes than the U.S. even though it
spends less money. But, compared to other
countries, Canada’s health care system has
room for improvement. Researchers looked at the
rate of deaths that could have been prevented
with proper access to care across 11 countries. Canada ranked seventh on
the list while America was last. We can see the same
trends in infant mortality rates. Canada outperforms
the U.S. but other countries like
Sweden and Australia have much lower infant
mortality rates than Canada. Canadians also live
longer than Americans. Canada’s average life expectancy
is among the highest of all the countries
and is nearly four years higher than
the U.S.. Additionally, Canada’s maternal
mortality rate is almost four times lower than
that of the United States and more Americans
die of heart disease and stroke
than Canadians. So how does Canada manage
to spend less money than the United States
while having a more effective health
care system? Canadian medicare is a
publicly funded model with private delivery. The system was established
in order to ensure equity among citizens
regardless of people’s ability to pay. It was also created
in order to keep administrative costs low. “There’s no private plan
can take cognizance of the family’s ability
to pay. Only a government can levy
taxes on that basis.” All Canadians receive
their coverage through Medicare which is run at
the local level by each of the 12 provinces
under federal supervision. “So basically the health
ministry in the capital in Ottawa determines what
procedures are going to be covered. What we’re going to
pay for it. What pills we’re going to
cover on our list. These are decisions that
are made separately by insurance companies, basically,
in the United States.” That’s T.R. Reid author of the book
“The Healing of America.” He traveled the world
exploring different health care systems and how well
they work in Canada. “Everybody has the
same treatment. They would drive them nuts
if George got better health care than Sam did. That’s that’s not
acceptable in Canada.” There’s some variation on what
is covered based on province but most medically
necessary care is covered with no
out-of-pocket costs. There are some
universal exceptions. Prescription drugs are
not considered essential under medicare. Dental, mental health, and
optometry are also not covered unless they
are considered medically necessary. Because Medicare does
not cover everything. Most Canadians also buy
private health insurance through their employers to
supplement out of pocket expenses. They cannot however use
that private insurance to purchase care that is
covered under the government plan. “If there’s any treatment
or procedure or surgery that the system covers under
its rules, then you can’t buy it privately. This is because – you know
how in America we hate this notion of socialized
medicine, whatever it seems that’s
really bad… in Canada the bad thing
is what they call two tier medicine. That is, they don’t
want rich people getting better care for all that
would be terrible that would violate their basic
gallantry and values. In America we kind of take
it for granted that a rich kid is going to
get better treatment than a poor kid, that’s kind
of standard. In Canada, that would
be taboo. That’s a sin.” In 2015, private funding
such as household out-of-pocket costs and
private insurance spending accounted for about
30 percent of health care spending in Canada. Despite the majority of
health care being publicly funded, most
hospitals and doctor’s offices are privately
owned and operated. Doctors who own their
own private practices are considered contractors who
bill the government insurance fund for
their services. The government is
not their boss. “The doctors are not
allowed to practice outside of the system. They can either practice
completely in the government medicare system or
completely out of it. And there are very
few places Canada where a doctor can make a
living without taking the Medicare patients, and therefore
for most people that’s the only choice.” Despite having universal coverage
the system still has some problems. Wait times are longer in
Canada than the United States. In a 2016 survey
53 percent of Canadians said they were not able
to get an appointment on the same or next day
when they were sick or needed attention. The United States performed
slightly better at 42 percent. Out of all of
the 11 countries surveyed, Canada performed the worst
in that category. Thirty percent of Canadians
said they waited two months or longer to see
a specialist compared to 6 percent in
the United States. Nearly one in five Canadians
waited four months or more for elective surgery while
only 4 percent of American respondents said
the same. About 60 percent of
Canadians find it difficult to access medical care
in the evenings, on weekends or during holidays
without going to a hospital. These long wait times
can lead to the overuse of the emergency
room, where half of Canadians said they’ve waited
two hours or more to be seen. “It’s a good system but
it doesn’t work that well in Canada, interestingly. In its own home country,
there are long waiting lines. You know, there
are constant stories about care being denied or people
just had to wait months just to
see the doctor. And I believe that’s because
the Canadians are too cheap about it. They just don’t spend enough
on health care to have a lively system. Some provinces like
Saskatchewan where this started, have shorter waiting
times for both acute and elective treatment
than most of the United States. So there are parts of
Canada where it works.” Not all medical care is
covered in Canada which leads people to
have significant out-of-pocket costs. Medicare does not classify
prescription drugs as essential which means they
are not covered for many patients. There are some social
programs to help Canadians pay for drugs, but the
benefits vary by province. For example, Ontario
provides prescription drug coverage for anyone under 24
years old who does not have
private insurance. The province also has a
drug program for people 65 and older. Canadian pharmaceutical costs are
also not as controlled as
other countries. Canada spends approximately the
same amount as the UK on pharmaceuticals
despite having only half the population. There are also no
out-of-pocket caps on spending. In 2015, Canadians spent
around $670 U.S. dollars per capita on
retail prescription drugs compared to the United States
per capita costs of roughly 1000 dollars
in 2016. One in 10 Canadians did
not fill a prescription or chose to skip a
dose due to cost. This is still significantly
better than the United States where nearly
one in five people chose not to buy
medication because of cost. Despite the problems Canadians
are proud of their health care system but they
do recognize it needs reform. 94 percent of Canadians surveyed
said it was an important source of both
personal and collective pride. But nearly one
in four Canadians were concerned about whether they would
be able to pay for all of the care they
might need if they ever became seriously ill. Despite that concern 45
percent of Canadians rated the overall quality
of medical care in Canada as excellent or very
good and nearly three quarters said the same of
their personal care in the past year. “The citizens are
crazy about It. It’s egalitarian and treats
everybody the same. That’s the most important
societal value in Canada is treating
everybody equally. The other thing they like
about it is they know it’s better than the U.S. system. They have better
outcomes, they have better recovery rates from
disease, they have longer life expectancy and they
pay less and man they love being better
than the U.S.. That matters
to Canadians.”




Comments
  1. Had breast cancer, in Canada. It was found on free mammogram screening test. I was in for more tests and biopsy and lumpectomy all within weeks. Then radiation therapy. All free, all immediate. Close relative has rare blood disorder, they receive life preserving expensive medication for free. All medical treatment paid through our taxes. Brother in law had surgery for new hip. He waited about a month to get appointment for specialist and a couple of months for surgery. Was up and about the next day. I could go on and on… we have a good system. Yes we expect everyone to get good service. Some problems do exist in some areas, especially in more remote areas with fewer specialists. We are working to help those communities though.

  2. The history of the Canadian health care system is unique and happened by default. Tommy Douglas was I believe the leader of the Social Credit Party now called the N.D.P. ( New Democratic Party) who was the opposition party to the liberal and conservative party's in Canada. What happened was one day his mother got very sick and he went to see a doctor. But it was on a weekend or holiday or something…not sure. Anyway, the doctor refused to have a look at his mother saying he was off work. Well Tommy got furious about this. So when he went back to legislature, he requested a bill to be passed that would require doctors to assist patients at any time, for any reason and it would be universal to all individuals whether rich or poor, young or old. Soon the liberal party endorsed this bill to win a election. Hence our health care system was born and modefied over time. I hope this is fairly accurate. Heard this story a while back from a television program. If someone can better source this story please say so. In addition to this, one of our prime ministers required surgery or medical attention of some sort. He crossed the border to the U.S. to have it done. Not exactly sure why he did this, but he was a liberal leader. I don't want to say who it was, but I am sure that any person that is wealthier or of importance would do so. Probably done so for the fast access. Money still talks! Makes our health care system second class.

  3. I’m in Canada. I can go to a doctor whenever I went. I’m never denied help. Regardless of my income I will always have access to healthcare. I live in a small town where we have a lower income than the rest of the country. We have 12 doctors, 2 anesthesiologists and 1 surgeon. We have that beacuse per capita regardless of the fact that most people here couldn’t afford insurance our doctors are paid.

  4. I think Canadians over-all, care about their fellow Canadians and we tend to have each other's backs! Americans do not think like that but in Canada, richer provinces pay more to support poorer ones with transfer payments, it's just the way we are. It's more about collaboration, compromise and working together to iron out problems. We don't have the conflict and vitriol that Red States and Blue States have for each other. It's almost like the Civil War never ended in America and it plays out in the healthcare debate, as well as gun issues, the Electoral College, social services and in many other ways. Canada is a very different country than America and it has been that way, right from the start.

  5. You ask any Canadian and you would be hard pressed to find one who would rather switch to a private system. I am happy to pay taxes to ensure my fellow Canadians have health care. It’s the one tax I don’t mind paying!

  6. What you all fail to realize is the population difference. The entire population of Canada is equal to the state of California alone. This system will NOT work in the United States. The cost would be MUCH more in the US. Wait time is longer in Canada? It would be more than quadrupled in the US. It’s common sense, not rocket science…

  7. Let me clarify about Ontario covering prescriptions for young adults, they have to be between 18 and 25 not 24 like she mentioned, and no longer on their parents' insurance plan, if they still are, the insurance companies are the ones covering.

  8. This system seems to be almost equaly to the german health care system. You do not have to pay a dental visit or the every half year check up but if something bigger have to be done you have to pay it.

  9. Long lines? Well, not getting care is much longer. I had a heart problem and needed a cardiac ablation but did not get it for years and years until I became eligible for Medicare. I went to the emergency room at Kaiser many times to treat my racing heart temporarily but I could not afford to fix my condition. I have not been to the emergency room for my heart since I got the ablation I needed. Canada, if not perfect is waaay better than our expensive and ineffective system. Maybe Vanada needs more help immediately but my Kaiser coverage also keeps me waiting to see specialists and if I have an emergency I still wait four and five hour often to finally see the doctor. And Kaiser does not even attempt to treat some of my health problems at all, like hearing aids and dental care. I pay $20/month for coverage for those things and eyeglasses that I cannot afford even with the coverage they supply as weak as it is. Please give me Medicare for All and better Medicare for the elderly.

  10. As someone who is well versed and uses our healthcare system frequently I can say unequivocally that the Canadian results of the surveys cited here are incorrect. Same-day access to a GP has never been an issue for me, and on non-peak emergency room hours/days I have been served within the hour. Also more intensive exams/test/scans such as MRI/CT or Ultrasounds/Blood work are easily scheduled and are based on need. Specialists are available within the month, or sooner based on need. I do understand that there is a large disconnect with access to service between urban and rural populations, but I image that is the same in the US.

  11. My dad had a recent health scare. We went to the hospital four times he had his troponin’s checked he had an ECG and EEG an angiogram a stress test then he went home and had tons of outpatient tests. He went to see an internal medicine doctor a heart doctor A respiratory doctor. And a neurologist just to mention a few. All of this was covered under our health care. We are so blessed to live in Canada and be taken care of in this country. For every life is considered as equal as everybody else’s and each life is considered Saving!! Best country in the world with the best health care. The US is so backwards!!! Ur health there is worth the money u have in ur pocket. So sad!!

  12. My dad needed surgery when he lived in the Yukon but it could not be done there so he was put on an airplane and flown 2 hours to Vancouver B.C. that day and operated on the next day and he did not see a si gle bill for anything. Even the medications were covered. Ill take the Canadian system anyday over the USA. That situation would have put him and my mum in bankruptcy in the USA.

  13. spain have best health-care system in the world
    but it come to the people too cuz people in canada do not take care about there health & then u end up with a lot of problems second most people do not take care of them self
    why not tax more the smokers & fat people for health-care???

  14. Ask Madeliene Richard about the Canadian system. Oh wait, you can’t, SHE’S DEAD: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/st-boniface-emergency-room-patient-dies-1.5179640

  15. Even though German Health Care costs are higher but it is lower in Pharma Care, Vision Care, Dental Care because the German system is a system of insurance companies. It is not a single payer system.

  16. Canada's health care system is excellent and we could improve it even more…we need a public dental care program…if our system is socialist than I'll take it any day over the craziness in the USA.

  17. Here in Australia we have free health care which is called Medicare. You can get private cover but its not nessessary. I've had 4 c-sections and paid $0 . I have had several ops and all zero! We get sick its free to see most drs and our prescriptions are much cheaper and lower income gets even cheaper medication. Of course here in Australia we have 24 million people compared to over 300 million in the US.

  18. "The average Canadian household paid nearly $40,000 in taxes last year, more than the combined cost of clothing, food and shelter, according to a new report." – The Globe & Mail

  19. I'm 62 years old I've had 17 major eye surgeries have never paid a penny for it. have been to emerge in my entire life probably five or six times and with a sprained ankle I had no problem waiting 2 hours that the people ahead of me who had lacerations contusions and horrible horrible injuries all of us a go-ahead we don't need to be served first. the shortage of doctors in Canada is profound. the man that was just speaking it does work here I've never waited six months or three months or 2 months for any surgery elective or not and everyone in Canada grows up knowing if you feel sick you contact your GP immediately and if you have to wait in a non severe situation a week or two to get your appointment . every Canadian is patient whether they're a patient or not. And every single Canadian all almost 36 million of us would never ever ever want the system that you Americans have had shoved down your throats.3cheers from Canada

  20. Canadian healthcare is equal care even though delayed.
    American healthcare is unequal care due to providers choosing good insurances over bad ones.
    American healthcare is good only for those who have good insurances while the rest rot.
    American politicians who take donations from lobbyists are the most dishonest people in this world.

  21. I live in Canada, it's not perfect. Hell, we are behind Cuba as far as world wide ratings and the states isnt far. I wish I could pick my own insurance and not have money taken away from me. That way I can make the decision about my life. My uncle traveled to USA for knee surgery since in canada the waiting list was 2 years. I dont think he will make it for another 2 years. I paid 170$ for the ambulance to take my wife when she fainted and took doctors 1 month to get back after she had a second one. I would suggest to my fellow neighbors to look elsewhere, like Singapore or France for better system, Canada is the wrong place to compare it. It's not as good as they make it.

  22. This is very misleading, in Canada we have a triage system for healthcare. If you NEED a doctor you get one right away. The ones complaining about long wait times are people getting treatment that isn’t absolutely necessary.

  23. I live in Ottawa and I have my Ontario's Health Card. I rarely get sick, but knowing that if something happens, the hospital will take care of me, is priceless! I love Canada. HealthCare is a right, not a luxury.

  24. In Canada, I book an appointment to see me doctor, I show my health card when I arrive, see my doctor and I go home. Sure our ER lines can take a few hours depending how busy the Hospital is but American politicians act like Canadians are dying in the lobby waiting for treatment which is far from the truth. I'm certain 100% of Canadians rather wait an hour or two for treatment than wonder how they will be able to afford it or not go at all.

  25. We don't have universal health care in Canada. We have universal doctor's visits. If you can't afford the medication they prescribe, then sorry, you're our of luck.

  26. Nobody waits months to see a doctor in Canada if it's in any way life threatening. That statement is intended to be misleading. Also, provinces have different health systems, so it's hard to make blanket statements about Canada's single payer system.
    I never think twice about seeing a doctor. Cost is no barrier. I can almost always see my NP the same day or next. If it's an emergency go to the ER. No copay, no deductible. Our taxes already covered it.

  27. One more comment about Canada, a place I love and these days NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED:
    Taking care of each other as a way of life, making small sacrifices for everyone to be treated right, and holding onto our sovereignty by sticking up for the Canadian way, not giving in to superpowers who bully, that's why we are able to stay a peaceful country with good things to say about our selves. If we just liked saying we are better in some way than someone else because of our egos is one thing. But personally, I see our pride in our successes comes from knowing we do what is right for everyone, and sharing how our good things work when asked is not bragging, it's answering and showing other places a way that might help them see our way can help them, if they were so inclined to admit that there are better ways of doing things.
    The security of knowing our way is for all of us is what brings peace of mind about many things, so we can focus on a good life beyond survival.
    In Canada, if someone like Trump bullied his way into becoming Prime Minister somehow (would not happen), Canadians would not tolerate him beyond his first ignorant declaration.
    We wouldn't accept it .
    No way.
    Democracy can be destroyed and distorted.
    Americans need to stand up and stop eating the Poison trump (small letter t always) keeps feeding them when they are trying to find hope.
    I've never seen anything like it.
    MSNBC, TYT, David Pakman, are some good trthful sources of news right now if you want to know what is really going on right now in American politics but you feel disillusioned by Mainstream American Media, as so many people are. MSNBC has taken the neutral gloves off lately in the information fight surrounding Trump. They echo the sentiments of Americans who are hurt and struggling because they are targetted for damage by Trumps policies and the lies and misinformation while providing proof of facts that can't be denied.

  28. I mean I wait two hours for urgent care in the US all the time. And I spend well over $2600/year out of my paycheck for this. It cost me $1500 for wisdom teeth surgery too.

  29. If America wants good health care, simply COPY Canada's health care system 100%, and make it so that people can also keep their private health insurance too if they want it, but they have to pay into the public health insurance system no matter what. And here is how the health care system works in Canada: Takes 2 to 4 months just to get to see your family doctor because he is so backed up with patients. Takes 6 to 8 hours of waiting in an emergency department at the hospital to see a doctor because for the 30 people who are waiting, there is only 3 nurses and one doctor in the emergency department, and for the other 100 people in the hospital there are only 3 nurses to attend to everyone, so lots of sick people and almost no medical professionals anywhere to be found. Hey, if you live long enough to get around to see the doctor, you just might survive. But hey, you won't lose ALL you've ever worked for just because you get sick, so I really do LOVE our Canadian health care system, even if you have to wait forever just to see a professional. I would not trade it for the American system no matter what.

  30. Glad Australia has the PBS or public benefits scheme. I am on disability and pay around $6 per prescription, if not I'd be paying around $40 for some of my meds. Since I am on Disability as is my wife, once we reach the annual amount we hit a safety net annd the rest of the prescriptions for the calendar year are free.

  31. In the U.S. system of profit-driven medicine, more unnecessary tests, procedures and drugs lead to high cost and higher rates of mortality.

  32. What long waits are they talking
    about? I Went to to the ER recently with my daughter who had a fever and a very bad cough I saw doctor very quickly it was definitely no where near the 48 hrs lol get your facts right looool

  33. If you go to the emergency because you stuck your finger in the door you wait forever. But if you are at risk of it's say, losing an eye like I was 5 years ago, you go right away. I gladly play my taxes because I know the system works.

  34. These Americans don't know that there is no waiting for urgent medical issue in Canada. I once had to wait for 8 hrs in a Canadian hospital because my condition was not urgent, while watching other patients got treated before me. I was not happy, but I will be even less happy if someone die because of me.

  35. Show me how all the negatives pointed out in those bar graphs about the Canadian Medicare system show that the US was worse. But pay close attention who's number one consistently? It's Sweden and what kind of Healthcare System do they have over there, I wonder? I guess this was a good video but it just bolsters the point that socialized medicine is the way to go in with Bernie Sanders plan it would not only cover more but also cover vision and dental while you can still buy supplemental insurance if you'd like. It is stupid and evil for someone to go bankrupt or even die because they can't get access to healthcare.

  36. Silly. Much easier for us to manage a system with only such a small population. Our health care system is not free. We pay for it through our taxes. Both systems have there Merritt's. People fly from all over the world for mostly US system. Although we do have some great hospital's. The best doctors are in the US. Our best doctors go to the U.S. just like our best hockey player etc…money is a great motivator.

  37. Canada … where the tax's are so high you need 3 jobs to raise a family. Why, because the healthcare tax's which are embedded in every ta, including income tax, sales , tax etc. etc. You might as well pay an insurer and get more bang for your buck. Canadians live longer because America has a lot of black people who keep killing each other.

  38. I'm Canadian and what they doesn't say in the video about the waiting time is the moment you check in at the hospital you are assigned a priority. If you have something like a stupid cold (cause some people still go to the hospital for that) then make sure your cell phone is fully charged cause you're in for a long wait. All other superior priorities will go first. It's not first come first serve.

  39. Canada, Germany, UK, Schweden they all have way better medical care then the US. The US is better spend their money to sensless wars all around the world…………..

  40. Trust me I'm from Canada and I'm here to tell you that it doesn't work all that good you have to take the service the government gives you our lineups are four and five hours long I would gladly pay for my own Medical Services the average Canadian pays around $15,000 a year for medical services it's nothing's free people it's buried in your taxes

  41. Canada's health care system has led Canadians who have an American spouse to move to the US for health care. I know of these people. Anyone with a serious health issue cannot live under Canada's equitable system. They need what the US offers. These comparisons of the two countries, with the US coming out inferior, are apples and oranges. Of course the US has higher health care costs and worse outcomes – look at the difference in the two populations. Canadians are predominantly European in origin and does not have the crime and murder of the US. The difference is in the people. No wonder the US has worse health outcomes – a lot of homicide victims which Canada doesn't have. It also has a large illegal immigrant population, many of whom are ill and in need of US health care which is costly. Naturally, our yearly costs are higher! These people won't go to Canada, where they won't benefit as they want to. Americans are more diverse and more likely to be ill or crime victims.

  42. So with all those savings in health care why is Canada's Dept to income ratio at 183 % and the US is 103 %, Free health care in the end Costs you down the line somewhere. You cant separate Free Health care from other economic factors.

  43. Aside from the long wait at non emergency situations, I’m very proud of our health care system here in Canada. Sure we will always have room to improve, I doubt even the best health care system in the world would not need improvements. We value life over proceeds. Now my only complaint is the parking space that charges by the mins.

  44. This is a true story. It involved my neighbors sister in law who is American. She was here in Ontario where I live. I got talking to her about health care in US vs Canada. So, Jan has mental health issues like many women and men do. The drug she was on was to help her with depression and it worked well but was also damaging her liver. She had no idea why she was feeling sick but went to our hospital in Brantford On. Doctor who saw her told her her depression meds were damaging her liver. So, I asked her, how much did it cost. Obviously she had to pay out of her own pocket being a non resident. She told me it cost her $25 000 CAD. I asked her how much it would have cost for same care in her home state of UTAH…..She told me it would have been about $200 000 US. I asked her if our health care is as good or inferior to US care. Her answer was our health is equal to US care. She said only difference was decor in US hospital would be a bit nicer in hospital rooms. Jan told me this story about 4 or 5 years ago.

  45. Free insurance doesn’t mean I should give up all my paycheck that’s the problem something is a tax they just want more we need give me

  46. Long Lines for what?? the Restroom? there are lines for Emergency Room because people go there for non emergency like having a cold or flu. You don't get a bill of any kind when you leave. Private Insurance?? Not many people have it, unless they know there are unhealthy? and or want specialized surgery??

  47. My wife was feeling ill took her to ER the triage nurse realized she was having a stroke, Immediately the Doctor examined her they quickly called for an ambulance to transport her to University Hospital since the small town hospital does not have the resources for a stroke patient. The Ambulance arrived 2 paramedics and a nurse accompanied my wife code 4 to the larger center.
    Cost $45 for Ambulance

    At University Hospital she had all the scans and tests that were needed including MRI.
    She stayed at the Hospital 3 days

    No cost

    Now she is recovering she has a speech therapist coming in, She had a physiotherapist coming to the house for a month, now she goes to an out patient clinic for physiotherapy.

    No cost.

    So like a person said some where below if you go to ER in Canada with a non life threatening illness you may wait a bit.

    But if its life threatening there is no waiting.

  48. Comparison of wait times means nothing when you know that a significant number of U.S. citizens cannot afford certain surgical procedures. My fiancé waited just under a year for a procedure to fix his deviated septum but his American counterpart may not have even put his name on the waiting list all because he can’t afford it.

  49. The whole idea is to eat healthy, live healthy, and think healthy…it is a huge issue with the medical admin system…doctors need to do tons of paper work for each patients…we should really focus on real issues!

  50. As a Canadian I am proud our country is not rich with oil. We would have been invaded long ago and we would have the same healthcare as Americans.

  51. There is polling data that shows that Canadians love their health care system. Not one politician in Canada advocates for either moving to a US type system or scaling back their existing system.
    Also saying that Canada has a lot of red tape is absolutely ridiculous. The US spends about 30% of health care dollars on red tape. No other country in the world comes anywhere near that.
    When I saw the video was made by CNBC I figured it would be corporate propaganda, but I thought I'd keep an open mind and see what they had to say.

  52. The man who brought Universal healthcare to Saskatchewan was Tommy Douglas. Under the Liberals, Lester Pearson brought it to the rest of the country. Tommy Douglas is very well thought of in Canada and is the grandfather of Kiefer Sutherland.

  53. I am a Canadian we have all the same tiered treatment. The medical care is paid from our taxes. Additional, healthcare is added for allied healthcare like dentist etc.

  54. It's difficult to compare the two systems – Canada's population is about 11% of the US population is more homogeneous.

  55. You can pay for "Extended health care" in Canada which covers more things like chiropractor and physiotherapy. It's the difference between paying $40 CDN verses $75 CDN per month (approximate numbers). People who are elderly or who need ongoing special care would opt for this. Canada does need more long-term care beds but I know people who work in that industry. That is a growing business.

  56. Saw a Doctor on Friday, saw a cardiologist on Tuesday, Had a quintuple bypass on Monday– the personal cost to me–no bill yet and that was 6 years ago.

  57. "It would drive them nuts if "george" got better care than them" meanwhile americans are all under the impression that they're just a currently inconvenienced rich person whose gravyvtrain is just one lotto ticket away and then they'll get that sweet sweet rich people insurance. What crap have we sold our middle and lower classes. We could all have good insurance if we just banded together vs want to see ourselves to better than our neighbor.

  58. No one waits months to see a Dr. You wait months to see a specialist as a referral. But to see your regular family Dr. No. Maybe a few days because you have an unscheduled appointment but that’s it.

  59. This is great information!

    Now look up the Canadian federal and provincial tax rates. Good luck getting a split congress to vote this in.

  60. As a Canadian I am proud to say that I love our health care system. It really takes away the worry from not being able to pay the hospital bills. Bills we usually pay in the hospitals are parking and tim hortons coffee.

  61. This explains why Canadians come here for treatment and major surgeries… oh wait, this actually doesn’t explain why hahah 😂. US has the best QUALITY health care in the world.

  62. Lmfao being Canadian I can tell you the healthcare system is overrated compared to being billed as better than the US. Canada has the same issues with regards to rising out of pocket prescription drug and private insurance costs for mental, dental and vision care. The universal system does not cover prescription drugs for anyone under 65 outside immediate hospital/emergency room care. There are some piece-meal programs for the very poor but the rest pay a lot out of pocket or with higher Private insurance premiums, deductibles and co-payments. Add to that healthcare expenditures tend to be the largest line item in provincial budgets (like US state budgets). They are largely funded through higher provincial sales taxes (compared to US states) and Health transfer payments from the Federal Government. Those Federal Health Transfer Payments to provinces are largely financed by Canada's 5% Federal GST – a nationwide sales tax in addition to provincial ones and something the US has never had. Healthy and young Canadians pay an arm and leg through higher sales taxes on their everyday purchases for their universal health coverage. It is really only the sick and elderly Canadians who get the most service (Canadians over 65 get free drug coverage) that are getting the best deal because in the US they would likely be paying ridiculous health insurance premiums over pre-existing conditions that would greatly exceed any taxes they have paid in Canada. Notice how the countries with two-tier healthcare like Australia, Sweden, UK and the Netherlands perform much better than Canada in all the quality indicators – they maintain both a public and private healthcare system that helps move the wealthy off of billing the taxpayers for their healthcare in exchange for shorter wait times. Without this option all Canadians suffer with ridiculous wait times while the wealthy Canadians still spend their money on quality private healthcare just in the US (so money is leaving Canada).

  63. As a Canadian I can tell you this report is very slanted. I can go see a family doctor or general practitioner at a walk-in clinic on the same day 100% if I needed, even on a Sunday. Resources might be limited but if your condition is debilitating you will get care immediately. This report also neglects to highlight a major advantage of this system: nobody in Canada declares bankruptcy due to medical expenses even in the case of cancer. There are reasons why Canadians love our 1-payer healthcare system and being better than America's is very low on that list. Do better CNBC.

  64. Something is wrong about the medication system they are describing. Here is a detailed report by the Fraser Institute on each provinces coverage. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/provincial-drug-coverage-for-vulnerable-canadians

  65. We love being better than the US? Not only is that not true, it's also not a very hard thing to accomplish anymore. The US is no where near the top in so many categories.

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