Friday, June 9, 2017

Canada's Universal Health Care Has Poorer Serious Illness Outcomes And Longer Wait Times For Medical Procedures Than US Health System: US Medicare Coverage Is More Comprehensive Than Canada’s Medicare

From Wharton, Knowledge@Wharton, "Is Canada the Right Model for a Better U.S. Health Care System?":
Still, “there are some things we can learn” by studying the Canadian system, [Mark] Pauly [Wharton professor of health care management] argues. “Number one, although in many ways the system looks like ours, the system has a much greater emphasis on primary care and less emphasis on specialist care and hospitalization, and on complex and costly procedures. And that probably contributes a lot to the lower spending [in Canada], because while primary care can be good for you, expensive procedures such as for cancer may add only a few months of life but cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Pauly adds, “Ordinary people in Canada are healthier than in the U.S., but outcomes for cancer and very serious illnesses are less good there. It’s a great place to live as long as you don’t get too sick, as one critic put it.”

Another fact that might dissuade Americans from duplicating the Canadian model, Pauly adds, is that “Canadians have a longer waiting list for things like joint replacement, so if your hips are killing you in Canada, you may wait months for that [surgery] to happen. In the U.S., the orthopedic surgeons are calling you every day, wondering when you are going to come in for your joint replacement procedure. We probably do too many; they probably do too few. But the safety valve for Canada is that they can always come across the border, and have a procedure done here.”’
[Michael] Decter [a former deputy minister of health for Ontario] says. “Medicare [in the U.S.], which clicks in at 65, is more comprehensive than Canadian Medicare; it pays for a lot of services that we don’t pay for.


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