‘Free’ Health Care Brings Long Waits, Pulling Own Teeth

The National Center for Policy Analysis points out that despite the huge amounts of money the Canadian government is throwing at socialized medicine, wait times are getting even LONGER:

– The average wait between being referred to a specialist and receiving an elective operation was 18.3 weeks in 2006, up from 17.8 the year previous.

– Ontario had the shortest average surgery wait time, 15 weeks while Saskatchewan had the longest, at 27 weeks.

– The time between being referred by a general practitioner and seeing a specialist grew to 9.2 weeks from 8.8 weeks in 2006, while the second stage of waiting — between seeing the specialist and getting the operation — edged up from nine to 9.1 weeks.

– Waits in the internal medicine specialty, gynecology, urology and radiation oncology were all up by varying amounts.

NCPA also points out an article from the UK Independent that asks “What is so wrong with NHS dentistry that people are pulling their own teeth?”

One in 10 – 500 people – said they did not have a dentist at all and almost one in five said they had gone without treatment because of the cost. A patient in Lancashire said he had removed 14 of his own teeth himself. One in Harrow said: “Because I could not afford the treatment cost, I had to extract my own tooth on one occasion.” Another in Wiltshire said: “I took most of my teeth out in the shed with pliers. I have one to go.”

NHS claims there are more doctors than ever before in the government system, but people still can’t get access to them. Those that can afford it go to a private dentist, but with British people paying a stunning amount of taxes to support their socialist system, not many can afford that. What’s the problem?

Dentists will often choose private because the pay is better. They also say the higher rates they can charge means that they can spend more time with patients and do better quality work, which is more satisfying.

Many who think “free” health care in the United States is a good idea need to look at other socialist countries and think long and hard about that. Our system is far from perfect, but do you really want to wait more than two months to see a specialist or 4.5 months for surgery? Or would you like to pull your own teeth?

Or should we instead look for some American-style free market solutions and get the government out of health care altogether?

One Response to “‘Free’ Health Care Brings Long Waits, Pulling Own Teeth”

  1. I’ve watched the decline of American medicine for several years and believe that the final leap into the fire of socialized medicine is inevitable. “Free” is just too appealing to the masses and, emotionally, health care for all feels like it ought to be a God-given right.

    Just like Canadians, most Americans will accept poor health care if it is perceived as free. What will slow the pace of this movement, however, are the lawyers. Suing doctors is a time-honored tradition that they will not relinquish readily, and government health care cannot function without immunity from law suits. This then will be the deal breaker when Hillary, et al get down to implementation of their ideas. I know what they will try to do. They will try to keep doctors liable as they are now (thus keeping trial lawyers happy), while forcing doctors to work in a system that guarantees missed diagnoses and inadequate treatments. The pool of physicians would be drained rapidly and Canada would suddenly have an influx of American doctors eager to escape the certain legal trap of the American system.