NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH POLICY/ CANADIAN HEALTH SYSTEM VS. U.S. HEALTH SYSTEM

CANADA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS MORE LIKE YOURS THAN YOU THINK
“Socialized medicine is a misnomer,” says Dr. Alan Goldbloom, CEO of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, who practiced in Toronto for many years before coming to Minneapolis in 2003. “Canada has socialized health insurance, but most Canadian doctors do not work for the government.” In addition, Canadians have free choice of doctors and hospitals. Neither the governments nor the insurers dictate choices or require “prior approvals” as in the U.S. “Health bureaucracy in the U.S. is an industry itself, its…regulatory complexity is hundreds of time greater than anything in Canada,” swears Dr. Goldbloom.
The U.S. spends $7,290 per capita on health care vs. $3,895 in Canada. Both countries ration care, but the U.S. does it on the basis of economic status or insurability whereas in Canada it is strictly on the urgency of medical need. “The great joy of practicing in Canada,” says Goldbloom, “is I never had to even consider whether any family could afford the care I was recommending.” Much as Canadians demand improvements in their system, “they would never give up universal health insurance.” It’s a fundamental right of Canadian citizenship.

Commentary from Dave Durenberger
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