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Re: Question for Canadians » Abby

Posted by tina on June 5, 2000, at 9:51:01

In reply to Question for Canadians, posted by Abby on June 5, 2000, at 9:30:39

Hi abby--All I know is that some years back, my husbands grandmother had to come to Canada for cataract surgery because they wouldn't do it for her in the U.K. She was covered under her family's insurance over here. My own Nannie needs insurance to get any medications that she needs and the hospital always sends her home before she's ready because they say she can't afford a stay, her insurance isn't enough. I have this feeling that the system works much as the american system does but with more free clinic type places. I think Nikki is the best person to answer this question, not us canadians. I think our health care system is the best in the world.
We do have times when we have to pay for things ourselves though. Elective surgery is personally paid for like cosmetic surgery and unnecessary surgeries like varicose vein extraction etc. Psychiatrists aren't free either unless you see one affiliated with a hospital. Marriage councelling and some drug rehab programs are not government funded either. It's not like everything is completely free, our taxes are enormous in order to pay for all this medical care but I personally don't mind. The fact that I can walk into a hospital and stay there for an undetermined amount of time and not wonder where I'm going to get the money to pay for it is worth it to me. My husband does have a huge insurance policy through work that allows him a private room and extra days if a hospital stay is needed but that's about it. The policy is mostly for his out of the country trips in case he's injured while away. I'm not saying that there arent problems with the system, I just think it's a pretty good one in comparison with other countries in the world. Cam will probably have a more articulate and accurate response for you when he can get back here for a minute.

Nikki's posts have gotten me thinking about Britain's NHS, and I had a couple of questions about Canada's health care financing.
> My understanding is that in Canada, medical care is private but publicly funded. So, instead of being on salary, the doctors bill their time but are paid by the government.
> I know, however, that some Canadians buy catastrophic insurance so that if they have a major illness they can be treated in the U.S. (Interestingly, there was a shortage of spaces for treating cancer in Quebec, so the provincial authority was paying to have people treated in Maine. They did it on an outpatient basis by getting people to act as hosts. Lewiston has a large French-speaking population, but I digress. My question is: does there exist a 'private' system the way there is one in the UK. Are there medical services which people have to pay for themselves?
> Are there any provisions for prescription drug benefits? It's allover the news in the U.S. about how much lower drug prices are in Canada, but I bet that some are still pretty steep. In the UK everything costs 5 pounds, unless you're a child or 16-18 in full-time education.
> Thanks,
> Abby




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