Canada’s socialized health care is driving more than 63,000 Canadians out of the country for medical assistance — largely to the U.S.
A new report from the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank, estimates that more than 63,459 Canadians traveled to find the health care that is often unavailable in Canada, usually due to long wait times for operations. That number is a 40 percent increase from the previous year, CTV News reports.
Based on research with physicians across Canada, the report says that nearly 9,500 patients did not rely on Canadian medicare for general surgeries, 6,400 for urology treatments and just over 5,000 for procedures such as colonoscopies and angiographies (examinations of veins and arteries).
“If that many Canadians are willing to pay out-of-pocket to get faster access to the treatment they need, that means they are dissatisfied with the quality of care,” Yanick Labrie, a senior Fraser Institute fellow and co-author of the report, said in a statement.
The report notes that the principle reasons for patients leaving the country to seek alternate health care are the long wait times in Canada and because some procedures are not available in Canada but are in other medical jurisdictions.
That confirms the experience of an Ontario mayor who went all the way to Germany to seek a canber treatment that wasn’t available in Canada. Treat Hills Mayor Hector Macmillan called the Fraser Institiute findings “damning.”
Macmillian went abroad because of pancreatic cancer and because the Ontario medicare plan would not allow him to claim for the procedure in the U.S.
“Our health care system is certainly broken, there is no doubt about that,” Macmillan told CTV News. “I think it’s time for a total overhaul.”