This past weekend, I watched the latest Michael Moore documentary on the US health system. In it, he compares the US system to the Canadian and the French systems in particular, showing how much better these two are compared to the US. Are the facts presented in the movie accurate?
Being Canadian and established in Canada, I think I can give a fair assessment as to what is going on here in Canada. We always hear that our system is terrible. I know many Canadians complain about it too, unlike Moore’s film, which portrays everyone in Canada happy about it. Complaints are generally about the long waits and the poor service/care received. However, i’ve noticed that it really depends on the hospital in question…some are better than others, plain and simple. Same with doctors, and this I believe, is the same anywhere in the world. You’re always going to have some good, some bad.
Of course, health care in Canada, although seemingly “free” to outsiders, is nothing but! A large chunk of our high taxes is for health care, and by high taxes, I am not kidding! Any Canadian traveling in the US sees the difference when buying anything. Of course, with anything run by the government, alot of this money is wasted away, and never used at its full potential. What I mean is that our system could be MUCH better than it currently is, if it were to be run in a more efficient way, where performance and results matter, instead of the typical government red tape we usually deal with.
After watching the film, I must say, that I do feel terrible about my American counterparts who have to think about health costs, which are just astronomical. One thing in Canada, even though we pay alot of taxes, we do not have to think about the costs of operations or surgeries or doctor visits, and this becomes more and more important as you age and obviously, become more prone to health issues. It’s sickening to think that some people are forced into bankruptcy because they had a health issue. It should never be the case.
No one system is perfect. The US system has some positives of course (although not portrayed at all in the film!), and I think that by trying to come up with a newer system which accentuates the positives of various systems around the world, and minimizing the negatives, it would be the only logical thing to do. The Canadian system needs help too! All systems need help…evolution and improvement should be ongoing, there is no perfect end-all answer. As long as you evolve, you can’t be blamed to regress 😉