Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our Third World Health Care

I am happy to hear that Brock Lesnar is alive and well after surviving what he calls our "3rd world health care system". Brock is a self acclaimed conservative Republican and he was taking the opportunity to utilize his own experiences to refute Obama/Pelosi Health Care reform. What experience is he talking about? He was sleeping in a remote cabin in the Canadian wilderness where he enjoys hunting. He woke up in the middle of the night in crisis because an advanced previously undiagnosed digestive disease reached the next stage. His wife rushed him 3 hours to the nearest facility where they were unable to immediately stop his intestines from perforating. After a very brief stay, his wife sped him down to the American border where he was eventually treated at the MAYO clinic.

Personally I have nothing but positive experiences with the Canadian system, though from what I hear in the stories of others there are serious shortcomings in the treatment of more serious afflictions. I do not believe that the public component increases the efficiency or speed of care, and yet I support people being provided with necessary treatment for serious conditions even if they cannot afford it. Call it a Nash Equilibrium, that if you have a perforated intestine, it doesn't matter if you pump gas or are the UFC Champion, you will be treated. The problem is that an entirely public system lacks efficiency, and you need a private component to help drive technological growth and innovation, two things I really want in my health care infrastructure. There needs to be a healthy balance between public and private, a Nash Equilibrium, where prevalence is a non singular event. And where each passing day the baby boomers require more and more medical attention, and our upside down population demographic pyramid means that the Canadian government in 2020 is going to have a mighty albatross of a problem to deal with.

Personally I really liked Tony Clement as Minister of Health...


  1. In a rationed system, you are not a valued "customer;" you are a liabity consuming scarse resources and are treated as such. That simple.

  2. Rationing may be a symptom of the public system, but it is not the basis for it. It is less efficient and that is why fewer people have timely access to service. There is just less service available. To present the notion that a public system is all about death panels and killing people is hyperbole.

  3. Brock won't say where he received his third world care, though he was within driving distance of North Dakota. It is not clear whether he went to an outpost or to a major hospital.

    A remote medical outpost is unlikely to be able to stop your intestine from dissolving. They are mostly designed for emergency response and relaying patients to the nearest treatable facility; which is a side effect of living in such a massive country with such sparse population densities throughout most of it.

  4. There is nothing government can administer that can't be better provided by the private sector.
    Animals get better care in Canada than do the citizens because they have a private system and that's a fact.
    We at least had enough doctors before the government got involved, we also had better equipped hospitals by comparison for the age in our smaller towns.
    Stupid socialist experiment with the predictable outcome of a constant funding crisis and ever lessening treatment. Patriotism is blind in the case of our so called health-care system, created by the way by a eugenicist, Tommy the Commie Douglas and used to sterilize and kill right up to the 1980's in some Provinces.
    They still use it to justify their draconian policies on "healthy living", it's tyranny because it is forced on us against our will and used to control our lives.
    I'm not proud of it, I spit on it for the atrocity it is.

  5. Lesnar is full of shit. Firstly, he claims he had diverticulosis. That refers to intestinal outpouching, and has nothing to do with the stomach. Assuming he's a goon and doesn't know the difference between his intestines and his stomach, it still doesn't make sense because only *diverticulitis* would cause the pain he claims to have experienced; that's inflammation of those outpouchings, which can lead to perforation. He doesn't fit the profile of those who get diverticulitis either; he's far too young, and this disease usually affects those over 50+ years of age.

    But his claims of being a carnivore are almost too funny in showing his ignorance; this is a disease that usually is attributed to a lack of fiber in the diet, so if he did have it then it is his diet that is responsible. Furthermore, there is no way a doctor would suspect mononucleosis with his clinical history and findings from a physical exam.

    In short, he's a liar and he was probably sick with something else and probably went to Canada to hide it from the American system/media. I hope he gets his ignorant cretin ass knocked out next fight. As if I needed a reason to hate this clown more.

  6. This is not a good example of comparing quality of care. Canada is less populated than the US, so neither the public nor private sector will ever have specialized care in remote locations. If she had driven him to any major Canadian city, the care would probably have been as good as Mayo.

  7. My partner and I have often talked of wishing we had the choice to ALSO pay private insurance for basic health care. As in, we are willing to have some of our taxes go into the public system but would at least like the choice to pay extra if we wanted to or were able to. The ORs and scanning devices, etc are not booked every day, all day long, yet people are waiting months for important tests. Why is that? If you need an MRI and are told 6 months wait, it's not because there are so many people in line, every machine is fully booked for 6 months, but that's the impression it gives. I know some radiologists in my city and some days they hardly have any bookings and spend their time doing paperwork and sitting around. That is so wasteful to the public system because they get paid by shift and if no one is there, they still get paid. Why not allow everyone the choice to purchase private insurance that would cover things like that? My coworker waited 7 months for a heart ultrasound last year, after her family doctor heard a 'murmur'. Just a half year earlier, I only waited a week or two. It made no sense to me.

    My friend had breast cancer 3 years ago and went for her routine mammogram and a lesion was discovered near the previous cancer site. She had to wait 15 days for an MRI. Maybe 15 days doesn't seem too long, but when you are scared you may have cancer again, it feels like forever with a ticking time bomb sitting in your chest. Her doc is the head of the oncology ward at her hospital, but even she could not get the scan bumped up. It was not because everything was booked, it was because of how many procedures they were allowed to book each month (decided by a beaurocrat somewhere). That's very distressing.

    I would like the option to pay a little extra, like I already pay in my province for extended health care. I can normally get into my dentist in a day or two TOPS but I can't get into my own family doctor for weeks at a time, unless I try to get into his walkin clinic. It's very frustrating.

    We had excellent care from NICU nurses when our son was born 7 weeks early in 2008. They were fantastic and we were very pleased - but the hospital sent him home only 15 days later because he was 'doing well'.... but he only weighed 3lbs 9oz. Talk about freaking us out! Even the car seat said minimum 5lbs and we weren't sure what to do. The nurses told us that it costs at least $1500 a day to keep our son in there, so if the hospital thinks he is doing well enough to go home, they will release him. We were extremely nervous and did not take him out of the house for 6 weeks (I had major cabin fever) because he was so small, we were terrified. The care was great until he was not considered an emergency case, so even though he was underweight and could easily get very ill due to his size and age, he was sent home to save $$$. That didn't sit well with us. If we were able to have private insurance, it's possible he could have stayed another week or so to be sure he was going to be alright. But we do not have that option in this country.

    Just something to think about.

  8. "That is so wasteful to the public system because they get paid by shift and if no one is there, they still get paid."

    They should perhaps be paid more for delivery of care and patients treated? me thinks.

    The public system should be complemented with a private system.
    Canada needs it. It needs the balance.

    Privatization doesn't outright mean profitization.
    Profits shouldn't be placed over patients.
    Profit isn't a bad word or thing but care shouldn't revolve around making big bucks like how it can be in the U.S.

    I will say though, in the U.S., for those who have the cash more often than not get the best care in the world.

    After all, shows like House don't exactly take place in Canada or under public systems of care. Come to think of it, one of the writers is from Canada, I believe... not in the mood to fact-check that.