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RE: Workers Paradise. /Political rant.

snow <[email protected]> wrote:
> Actually, don't some wealthy Canucks come south of the border for
> certain treatments unavailable in the Great White North? 
Yes, some wealthy (and not so wealthy people) go south of the border for
treatment. Some go because the treatment is unavailable here, others go if they
chose not to wait for treatment here. The most common types of exported services
are usually high cost and/or experimental but their availability is most often
constrained by the low number of people who are qualified to render the service.
Many services unavailable in a patient's local area are still covered by
provincial health plans. This works when a patient has to travel from a remote
region, to another province or to the U.S., and can cover experimental
Some Canadian hospitals make use of U.S. care providers for services when a
backlog exists in Canada. For example, Windsor has used Detroit MRI services to
reduce waiting times.

There are also people who go the other way (U.S. to Canada), usually when they
have to pay their own bill. Detroit to Windsor is again not uncommon.
> Are the PRICES as high in Canada as here?
In general, prices are lower in Canada for the same level of care. I do not know
if the underlying costs are also lower in general.
Each province create a payment schedule for services that it reimburses.
Hospitals bill the province for services, but all capital cost items (e.g.
equipment, buildings) must be paid for from other sources (e.g. donation). Thus,
we tend to have fewer capital intensive treatment facilities since the ROI is
usually low.
The figures that I have seen indicate that the U.S. pays 40%-50% more than
Canada on overall health care services. Some of this is due to the rapid
availability of higher cost/experimental services. Some of this is due to the
higher cost of the administrative bureacracy. Due to the large difference in
total costs, I do not think that travel in either direction significantly
effects this number.
Check out www.spinex.com for more effective alternatives to MRI for diagnosing
spinal function at 1/20th of the cost. 
P.S. No, Canada is not perfect, and I don't know everything.