Sweet Sixteen Wolfpack economist, Craig Newmark, links to a story that buttresses the title of this post--a statement uttered by an Ontario man as he was paying the Mayo Clinic $50,000 to operate on his father for stomach cancer (who would have still been on a waiting list for tests in his native Ontario):
TORONTO - A letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: "If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."
The patient wasn't dead, according to the doctor who showed the letter to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. But there are many Canadians who claim the long wait for the test and the frigid formality of the letter are indicative of a health system badly in need of emergency care.
Americans who flock to Canada for cheap flu shots often come away impressed at the free and first-class medical care available to Canadians, rich or poor. But tell that to hospital administrators constantly having to cut staff for lack of funds, or to the mother whose teenager was advised she would have to wait up to three years for surgery to repair a torn knee ligament.
.... the average wait for surgical or specialist treatment is nearly 18 weeks, up from 9.3 weeks in 1993, according to the Fraser Institute, a right-wing public policy think tank in Vancouver. A Fraser study last year said the average wait for an orthopedic surgeon was more than nine months.
....An estimated 4 million of Canada's 33 million people don't have family physicians and more than 1 million are on waiting lists for treatment, according to the Canadian Medical Association.