Food for Thought: The Canadian Health Care System VS The American Health Care System. #health


Health Care.

Being a Canadian in Ontario, I admittedly have complained about hospital wait times and sometimes not experiencing the best service at the hospitals too. While waiting hours to get treatment and dealing with nurses who seem to be fed up with their jobs can be frustrating, I never take what we have for granted.

I also understand why nurses are frustrated. They are overworked, understaffed and often times under-appreciated. Does it excuse poor behavior? No, but there’s always a reason. I, myself, work in health care and while I provide the utmost best care that I can, I am still a slave to the clock.

In the US, it is much more difficult to get the medication or treatment you need. This is especially true if you don’t have affordable health insurance, some citizens turn to companies like Health Net to help them take charge of their health. Now, with the Affordable Care Act put into place, prescription medication may be more readily available to US citizens. 

Take charge!

The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. According to the law, “a new ‘Patient’s Bill of Rights’ gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health. This will help children with pre-existing conditions, keep young adults covered and generally provides the patient with more rights than they were given in the past.”

I don’t know if Canadians know how great we have it or if they’ve simply forgotten. While there are many shortcomings and politics within our health care system, our government and tax dollars are able to provide health care for every citizen.  If you compare both systems, you’ll find that both submit the patient for wait times. While in the Canadian system, the patient is assessed by services available and the necessity of the patient. In the US, the wait time is based on the patient’s access to funding to pay for treatment and by the availability of services in the area and by willingness of the provider to deliver service at the price set by the insurer.

I am grateful because when my kids need prescription medicine, it is readily available and most time covered through OHIP. My dad, who suffers from heart disease is able to get treatment, tests and procedures to ensure that his health remains stable. When I needed treatment for my pulmonary embolisms or INR monitoring, it was covered through OHIP. Not to mention, eye exams, check-ups and most vaccinations are covered.

One thing is for sure, health care opinions are relative and based on the individual. Some people are completely satisfied with it, while others think their region is lacking. Personally, I am happy with it and am grateful to be able to get medical attention when I need it.

If you are a US or Canadian citizen, how do you think your healthcare system fares?

Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!


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  1. Even though it can be frustrating at time I am grateful for our Canadian Health Care System. I have several health issues and can't even imagine dealing with them in the US.

  2. I was shocked when I moved to Canada ie Alberta that the charge for an ambulance wasn't covered by the health care. I now have an extra insurance since I don't get any health benefits from working. I do find that the main problems of health care are however covered. I would hate to live in the States and perhaps die because I couldn't afford to pay for an operation or treatment for someone in my family. I think that is crazy and shows a two tier system of health care – the rich have no need to worry whereas the poor definitely do. Things have improved with the new bill but still aren't as good as they could be.

  3. I appreciate what we have. Yes we can have long waits, but at least we will be seen, and we don't have to pay out of pocket or have to worry about our private extended health benefits.

  4. No we don`t have a perfect system, but I am pretty thankful for it. I have quite a few American friends and I have often heard issues of not being able to afford doctor`s visits with just their co-pay to pay for. I cringe when I hear them not being able to afford their deductibles, or their prescriptions. Having to take out a loan even with insurance to have a baby. I have lived in B.C,, SK, and now MB, and seen our health care in each province, all have differences, and benefits. My husband had a critical, illness an acute form of leukemia (AML), where he was hospitalized for 4 1/2 months, received a stem cell transplant, and continuing care and follow up.. His care was absolutely the best, with every and all specialist needed, when needed, with medications that were very costly, if so required. I didn't have to worry about if he would receive care, if they would provide needed medications, if my insurance would cover a cost, how we would cope with the medical costs. I had a friend in the US tell me, that if it would have happened to some of those she knows, they would have been put into palliative care instead. Now I have seen the US system work for some of my friends, but they have been the ones in good paying jobs that cover the insurance costs well. This topic is close to my heart, can you tell by the book I just wrote!

    1. WOW Lori, what a story and thanks for sharing. We are very lucky to have the care readily available. I cannot believe palliative care would be there next and only option. That is so incredibly sad. Yes, I could not imagine having to take out a loan to have a baby or if there is complications!

  5. I lived in the states for 10 years and for 8 of those, without coverage. What gets me is their testing is soo expensive there but 1/4 of the fraction here.

    A kidney stone my daughter had.. or didn't.. cost us over $6,000… I heard those were pretty, all I was thinking was pass the damn thing already so I can get necklace or something made from it.. for 6 grand I wanted a keepsake.

    I wouldn't trade what we have here for what's there for nothing. Especially now having been on both sides of that fence.

    1. WOW, Darlene, that is incredible. It is a harsh reality so many people face, that is for sure. PS did you get that necklace? 😀

      1. pff no.. I even put a strainer in the bathroom and told her.. I don't care how awkward she feels, I want that stone!!

        Yeah, according to the $3,000+ scan she had, it was large enough that she would have no issues seeing it. I dunno what happened, but it never did pass….she pee'd away 6 grand LOL!!!

  6. we have it so good here, yes the wait times can be long but we know we will get care , not sent hme because we can't afford it

  7. I'm so grateful to live in Canada, and can't believe how underappreciated our social safety net is by some people.

  8. The Affordable Heath Care Act… Is not so affordable for many! Our rates almost tripled, and we went from an FSA and paying reasonable co-pays and having prescription coverage – to having a $10,000 deductible, and no prescription coverage. I've had to give up several prescriptions because they now cost way over a thousand dollars a month. And all because my husband is employed and pays for our insurance through his company. People still don't realize that the Affordable Care Act is a LAW that requires EVERYONE to purchase medical insurance and that if they don't – they will be fined. Although we were PROMISED that our rates would not go up and that we would not have to change policies, unless we wanted to, this was far far far from the truth. People are losing their insurance right and left – because the cost has risen so high and so rapidly. For those who don't work, or earn a low wage, it's been very very difficult to log into the governments system.

    1. I am so sorry that it is so hard for you and so many. That is why I said we Canadians are lucky. I hope it gets better. 🙁

  9. We in Canada are blessed to have the Health care system that we do,it may not be perfect but its so much better than a lot out there

  10. I guess it's natural to always want things better, faster and less expensive. But every once in a while we need to stop and realize how fortunate we are. Thank you for reminding me again, of how blessed we are, here in Canada.

  11. People complain all the time but it is what it is and waiting is part of the process…..i just the other day waited for 7 1/2 hours with my Mom and you are so correct the Nurses are working many un-thankful hours…they can only see so many people at a time

  12. I have MS and spend alot of time at with Health care and honestly i can’t complain i get great care !

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