First the English,now Canadians far healthier than Americans

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Lilith
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First the English,now Canadians far healthier than Americans

Post by Lilith » Tue May 30, 2006 7:41 pm

Study: Canadians healthier than Americans By MIKE STOBBE, Associated Press Writer
51 minutes ago



ATLANTA - You can add Canadians to the list of foreigners who are healthier than Americans. Americans are 42 percent more likely than Canadians to have diabetes, 32 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and 12 percent more likely to have arthritis, Harvard Medical School researchers found. That is according to a survey in which American and Canadian adults were asked over the telephone about their health.

The study comes less than a month after other researchers reported that middle-aged, white Americans are much sicker than their counterparts in England.
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What is going on here? We spend far more per person on health care.
Contrary to Corlyss' constant posts, could it be that someone else does it better?

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Post by John Bleau » Tue May 30, 2006 8:08 pm

In his memoirs, the great Soviet chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik described his friends' kibbitzing as he was, at the age of 12, beating World Champion José Raoul Capablanca in a simultaneous exhibition: "In spite of my friends' help, I managed to win the game."

The sickliness of Americans is in spite of the fact that they consume as much prescription medicine as the rest of the world combined.

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Re: First the English,now Canadians far healthier than Ameri

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed May 31, 2006 12:51 am

Lilith wrote: What is going on here? We spend far more per person on health care. Contrary to Corlyss' constant posts, could it be that someone else does it better?
Well, it is all they have to do with their confiscatory taxes. If we had nothing better to do than tinker with our social programs and congratulate ourselves on our moral superiority for having disarmed unilaterally because somebody else will defend us, we might be healthier too.

Besides, if the Canadians want medical treatment for anything more exotic than a broken leg, they come to the US if they can afford it. So as usual the well off get treatment (in the US) while the poor settle for what the system will do for them if they don't die waiting.
Canadian Governments Urged to Pick up the Pace in Reducing Wait Times

Additional Funds Needed to Reduce Wait Times

An alliance of Canadian medical organizations says an additional $3 billion over 5 years is needed from the federal and provincial governments to reduce wait times for key health care procedures in Canada. In its final report released in August 2005, the Wait Time Alliance for Timely Access to Health Care says the money is needed to address the need for health care professionals and to improve portability of health care so patients can get treatment outside their own region, province or outside Canada if necessary.

Priority Areas for Reduction of Wait Times

Long wait times for access to certain surgeries and diagnostic procedures have been a growing problem of the Canadian health care system. n the 2004 "10-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care," the federal and provincial governments in Canada agreed to develop benchmarks for wait times in five priority areas by the end of 2005 and to achieve significant reductions in wait times by March 31, 2007. The five priority areas are
# cancer
# heart
# diagnostic imaging
# joint replacements
# sight restoration

Wait Time Alliance Recommendations

The Wait Time Alliance has provided a set of principles on the management of wait times and proposed benchmarks for wait times in the five priority areas identified by the federal and provincial governments. The Wait Time Alliance also says the government deadline of 2007 is too late, and it should be moved up a year to 2006.

The Wait Time Alliance wants Canadian governments to put more money into adding doctors and nurses to the Canadian health care system and to reimburse patients for costs when they must get health services out of the province or country.

The Wait Time Alliance is a group of national Canadian medical organizations including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.

Provincial Health Care Wait Times
While governments, health care professionals and Canadians struggle with the problem of wait times, many provinces are making efforts to make more data on provincial wait times available to the public to use in making informed decisions on their health care.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Wed May 31, 2006 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RebLem
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Post by RebLem » Wed May 31, 2006 5:37 am

Nowhere, Corlyss, does it say what the wait times are. I "talk" with Canadians and Aussies and Brits all the time in various chat rooms and health care is a frequent topic of conversation. One Canadian said his teenage son had to wait about a week for some MRI and other tests to detect a suspected cancer, but that he began his course of treatment in Ontario the day after he was diagnosed.

Yes, there are waiting times for non-critical procedures. If what you want is an operation to correct a hernia, you may have to wait a few months. But critical procedures are taken care of on a rather prompt basis, according to my Canadian, UK, Australian, and NZ correspondents. And however many complaints they may have about their health care systems, and in Britain especially, they are legion, as you can tell if you watch Question Time at all regularly, if you ask them, "Would you prefer a US style health care system?" the universal answer is a resounding, horrified, NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

That is why the Liberal Party in Canada tried to persuade voters last year and this that the Conservatives, if elected, would seek to return Canada to a US style system, and that is why the Conservative Party responded with a quick, and definitive denial of the accusation and accused the Liberal Party in turn of using unwarranted scare tactics.

And about the statement that they can afford their health care systems because they spend next to nothing on their militaries. You just refuse to understand the main point, which can only be accomplished through a consistently obtuse, obstinate exercise of iron will. The fact is the US spends twice as much money on health care as most other countries (maybe a third more than the next most expensive country) and has worse outcomes than most of the rest of the developed world, in terms of the critical indices--average life spans, infant mortality rates, etc.
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Post by Lilith » Wed May 31, 2006 6:29 am

" So as usual the well off get treatment (in the US) while the poor settle for what the system will do for them if they don't die waiting." Corlyss

That is absolutely the opposite conclusion reached by these studies. The English and Canadians were more healthy across the board - rich and poor

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Post by mourningstar » Wed May 31, 2006 8:30 am

It's Simple. if they want shorter waitlist 1 Macdonald 1 BurgerKing 1 Kentucky FriedChicken at every state. close the others.

But then again. we think in economic statistics so un healthy people will perish eventually . :roll:
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed May 31, 2006 2:50 pm

RebLem wrote:Nowhere, Corlyss, does it say what the wait times are.


I guess you didn't look at the link I provided. And wait times are important because the well off in Canada don't have to put up with them. They come to the US for treatment and get the benefit of the American tort system if they have to sue for malpractice.
I "talk" with Canadians and Aussies and Brits all the time in various chat rooms and health care is a frequent topic of conversation. One Canadian said his teenage son had to wait about a week for some MRI and other tests to detect a suspected cancer, but that he began his course of treatment in Ontario the day after he was diagnosed.


You and Ralph! One story, or even two, don't make a statistic.
"Would you prefer a US style health care system?" the universal answer is a resounding, horrified, NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.
There's so much in the mix analyzing which system is better. As far as I know, the Harvard Study didn't look at all the constituent parts of the system, like who leads the world in medical research and advances in treatments and drug development. I know for a fact that the rest of the world skates on our backs as far as drug development, and if we ever submit to the urge to control the drug companies like some want, we and the rest of the world can kiss that distinction goodbye.
And about the statement that they can afford their health care systems because they spend next to nothing on their militaries. You just refuse to understand the main point, which can only be accomplished through a consistently obtuse, obstinate exercise of iron will.


No, it requires a little familiarity with the facts, an understanding of the differences between the two societies, and refusal to be stampeeded by seemingly unambiguous pronouncements like the headlines. Obviously there are unaccounted for factors influencing the results. 11 million illegal aliens in the US might have some impact; so might drug addiction among the poor.
The fact is the US spends twice as much money on health care as most other countries (maybe a third more than the next most expensive country) and has worse outcomes than most of the rest of the developed world, in terms of the critical indices--average life spans, infant mortality rates, etc.
Well, you're going to believe what you want to. Here's the part that Lilith left out of the report:
Canadians healthier than Americans: Harvard

May 31, 2006

BY MIKE STOBBE

ATLANTA -- You can add Canadians to the list of foreigners who are healthier than Americans.

Americans are 42 percent more likely than Canadians to have diabetes, 32 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and 12 percent more likely to have arthritis, Harvard Medical School researchers found.

The study comes less than a month after other researchers reported that middle-aged, white Americans are much sicker than their counterparts in England.

''We're really falling behind other nations,'' said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a co-author of the Harvard study, which was based on a telephone survey of U.S. and Canadian adults.

Uninsured hurt U.S. numbers

Canada's national health insurance program is at least part of the reason for the differences, because universal coverage makes it easier to get disease-preventing health services, Woolhander said.

James Smith, a RAND Corp. researcher who co-authored the U.S.-English study, disagreed. He found England's national health insurance did not explain a difference in disease rates; even Americans with insurance were in worse health.

Woolhandler said her findings were different: In the Harvard study, insured Americans and Canadians had about the same rates of disease. It was the uninsured Americans who made the overall U.S. figures worse, she said.


The study, to appear in the American Journal of Public Health, found that 6.7 percent of Americans and 4.7 percent of Canadians reported having diabetes; 18.3 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, reported having high blood pressure. About 21 percent of Americans said they were obese; for Canadians, it was 15 percent.

One plus for Americans: Fewer than 1 percent said they were unable to get needed care because of long waits, compared with 3.5 percent of Canadians.

AP

http://www.suntimes.com/output/health/c ... lth31.html
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Lilith
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Post by Lilith » Wed May 31, 2006 3:38 pm

What is your point? That it is the uninsured that drag our results down?

Well, they are Americans, aren't they? Or have we removed them from the equation because they don't have health insurance?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed May 31, 2006 8:29 pm

Lilith wrote:What is your point? That it is the uninsured that drag our results down?

Well, they are Americans, aren't they? Or have we removed them from the equation because they don't have health insurance?
:roll: The studies, or at least the reports on the studies, aren't comparing like with like. When they compare like with like, the results are scarcely noteworthy, never mind alarming.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed May 31, 2006 10:16 pm

Private concerns
Jun 16th 2005
From The Economist print edition


The Supreme Court puts pressure on Canada's publicly funded medicine


CANADIANS are not a famously passionate people, but watch out if you touch their health care. For all its troubles of underfunding and long waiting times, most Canadians continue to take enormous pride in their state-funded medical system, not just as a public service, but as a reflection of national values that helps distinguish them from their mighty neighbour to the south.

Under the federal and provincial rules that govern Canada's health service, so-called “medically necessary” care is paid for out of public funds. Several provinces, among them Quebec, have an outright ban on private health insurance to cover such services.

Until last week, that is. Overturning two lower-court decisions, Canada's Supreme Court ruled on June 9th that a patient awaiting a hip replacement in Quebec was entitled to private health insurance to pay for a speedier private operation. The patient, a 73-year-old Montreal salesman, argued that the wait under the public system was unreasonable, endangered his life and infringed his constitutional rights. The court agreed.

Its 4-3 ruling means that Quebec's residents should be able to pay privately for medical services even if these are covered by the public health-care system. But Quebec's government is asking for at least a six-month stay of execution. Further court challenges can now be expected in other provinces with similar bans. Defenders of Canada's public health system are aghast, fearing a slippery slope towards two-tier American-style medicine.

But reports of the death of Canadian “socialised” medicine are exaggerated. It already co-exists with private health care. Almost a third of Canada's C$130 billion ($100 billion) medical bill last year was paid for out of private pockets. Private clinics have been springing up, notably in Alberta and British Columbia, offering services still scarce in the public system, such as MRI scans, or catering to patients covered by employer-funded workmen's compensation plans. But private medical insurance is limited, even in the four provinces that lack a Quebec-style ban.

It is too soon to tell what the ruling's impact might be. As Michael Rachlis, a Toronto health-policy analyst, points out, there are plenty of other barriers to medical privatisation. Ontario, for example, bans doctors from charging private patients more than the publicly funded fee for the same service. This limits the appeal of private medicine for practitioners, since most patients will wish to remain under the public umbrella. “If people think this is going to open an easy way to private insurance, they are dreaming in technicolour,” Dr Rachlis says.

Roy Romanow, former head of the national Commission on the Future of Health Care, which three years ago drew up a blueprint for reform, believes that the Supreme Court decision could even help the public system by kicking federal and provincial governments into action. Last year, government officials agreed on a ten-year $41 billion health-reform package. But progress has been slow. It is hoped that the Supreme Court's ruling will now stimulate a more urgent response.

What makes the Canadian system attractive to Americans? Massive American ignorance about how the Canadian system operates. I can't wait for the US to legislate reimportation of drugs at cheaper, price-controlled prices! That will kill off both the Canadian system and the drug industry in this country. Then we can learn the lessons of medling with economic laws intractible to political posturing.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed May 31, 2006 11:32 pm

Getting the balance of public and private health cover right is very difficult. We've our own problems Down Under, but not on the scale of the USA or Canada it seems.

But when my mother developed life-threatening cancer, it wasn't private or public that mattered. What mattered was that my father was friends with the chief of medical staff at Melbourne University where the top specialist in the country worked. Dad has never used his contacts or influence for any personal or family purpose before, but she was listed as his patient within hours of the phone call. No insurance company or government aganecy could or would have saved her - particularly the gov as she is too old to warrant top priority for surgery, let alone expensive treatment afterwards.

The intricacies of which clinic is private, which public, which was covered by whom and what we had to pay for ourselves was just a real pain when our focus was on care and recovery. And we were mindful of how we got her on the mend and have been working to try to fix things so folk can get access to the care they need without calling in favours.

She is fine and doing well, although she will never speak properly again.

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Your Mother

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:48 am

Dear Brendan,

I am sorry to hear about your mother's illness. I hope she is
on the way to recovery.


Regards,
Agnes.
------------------

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:21 pm

Moving story, Brendan. I can just imagine how helpless you felt in the face of the bureaucratic system allegedly designed to provide care.

In case folks missed the point in Brendan's post, health care is rationed in these allegedly comprehensive health care systems in a way that up to now has been unacceptable to Americans generally.

I seem to recall that under Hillary's 1994 Health Care Scheme, there was a list of something like 750 common conditions that would be covered by the program, but if you had something not on the list, well, good luck and good bye. That makes a lot of sense, to have the most common conditions under a health plan. But it still results in rationing by bureaucrats, and we aren't comfortable with that.
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