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Old 07-11-2009, 09:11 AM
 
57 posts, read 726,201 times
Reputation: 49

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I am considering moving from the US to BC or Southern Ontario to attend school and work, in recent months I've experienced a few health issues, making me wonder how good / or bad is the health care system is in these 2 provinces.

I am not asking about the health system in Canada at large, I only want to know which is better the system in British Columbia (Vic or Vancouver) or Southern Ontario (Windsor, Leamington, London, Waterloo) or Toronto?

Can somebody offer some insight towards the differences between BC and Ontario's health system, waiting times, satisfaction levels, proficiency, etc?
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:48 PM
 
57 posts, read 726,201 times
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Anyone?
My question was inspired by the news from ON where a lady called Shona Holmes is blaming the medical system for not providing prompt assistance so she went to the US.. Now this story has some inconsistencies and I don't want this discussion to be about that story.

I am curious if the health system between these 2 provinces (BC vs. Ontario) is different, is it?

What are the differences between BC and Ontario's health system's:
waiting times
satisfaction levels
efficiency
?

Are there stats online I could look at?

Thanks in advance. Looking fwd to your feedback.

Last edited by ethanre; 07-15-2009 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
33,136 posts, read 34,599,685 times
Reputation: 13570
Here ya go...I live in BC, and have found the heath care excellent, but it's not entirely free. My premium is $54 per month.

MSP - Eligibility and Enrollment

http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/cpa/mediasite/waittimes.html (broken link)

Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) - Ministry Programs - Public Information - MOHLTC
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
1,049 posts, read 6,172,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanre View Post
Anyone?
Your challenge is trying to find a Canadian on a website that provides stats on American (not Canadian) cities (and a website that caters predominantly to an American audience) who has lived in both BC and Ontario long enough to provide such a comparison, but on top of that, has spent enough time in doctors offices, hospitals, etc. - using the medical system enough in each province, who has enough experience and knowledge of it to make an educated and thoughtful analysis. You're going to get slim pickings on this site!

With no disrespect to City-Data, I'd probably ask your questions on a few Canadian websites or Canadian forums to get more responses.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
33,136 posts, read 34,599,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robynator View Post
Your challenge is trying to find a Canadian on a website that provides stats on American (not Canadian) cities (and a website that caters predominantly to an American audience) who has lived in both BC and Ontario long enough to provide such a comparison, but on top of that, has spent enough time in doctors offices, hospitals, etc. - using the medical system enough in each province, who has enough experience and knowledge of it to make an educated and thoughtful analysis. You're going to get slim pickings on this site!

With no disrespect to City-Data, I'd probably ask your questions on a few Canadian websites or Canadian forums to get more responses.
Actually I have had a very bad two years health wise, and have been hospitalized four times. Ten days with pancreatitis. Following that I had my gall bldder removed ( gall stones had blocked a duct and caused the pancreas problem)

Last April I had a heart attack caused by a blood clot in a narrowed artery. They had a stent installed in less than two hours from the time I dialed 911. I have regular followups on this ( angio grams etc.) ..Recently I developed a very large and painful cyst on my pancreas, and again it was treated promptly...So unfortunately I am speaking from experience.

I've had no problem with wait times, either for the procedures or seeing the various specialists.

I did live in Ontario before I moved to BC, but had no heath problems while there.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:21 PM
 
355 posts, read 2,285,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robynator View Post

With no disrespect to City-Data, I'd probably ask your questions on a few Canadian websites or Canadian forums to get more responses.
Could you mention a couple? Or, in case they are not allowed in the forum (because of competition), could you PM me a few?
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:27 PM
 
355 posts, read 2,285,073 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanre View Post
Anyone?
My question was inspired by the news from ON where a lady called Shona Holmes is blaming the medical system for not providing prompt assistance so she went to the US.. Now this story has some inconsistencies and I don't want this discussion to be about that story.
Actually, there is a political ad they are running on TV in the US about a woman in Canada who claims she was told she had to wait 6 months to be treated for cancer, and she would have died before that. So she says she came to the US, was treated right away, and that saved her life. I don't remember her name though. The whole ad is geared towards making the public reject the notion of a state-sponsored health system in the US.
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:55 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgpg_99 View Post
Actually, there is a political ad they are running on TV in the US about a woman in Canada who claims she was told she had to wait 6 months to be treated for cancer, and she would have died before that. So she says she came to the US, was treated right away, and that saved her life. I don't remember her name though. The whole ad is geared towards making the public reject the notion of a state-sponsored health system in the US.
I'd like to say something about health care generally. Like most Canadians, I am very happy we have universal health care and I no more mind paying higher taxes for that than I resent paying school taxes for children I don't have. But to think that no one - ever - will slip through the cracks, or be misdiagnosed is to misunderstand health care. To think that all people will be satisfied all of the time is to misunderstand not just health care but the world, since I'm sure that goes whether you have to pay for your medical care out of pocket or whether it is covered by government, as in Canada.

People can only offer their own experiences and generalizations and universal health care works for the majority of Canadians the majority of the time. My husband has heart issues, among other things, and has had a quadruple bypass. There was no waiting. A few years before that, we went to emergency where he promptly had an MRI and it was discovered that he had a spinal tumor. He was operated on promptly in both situations. We have never had to wait for hours in any waiting room.

When some people say we here in Canada can't choose our own doctors, that is not quite true in the way it is said. All that means is that most specialists require a referral by a family doctor as opposed to you just picking up the phone and making the call yourself.

You can choose any doctor you like as your family doctor, provided that doctor is accepting new patients. If you are referred to a specialist, such as a neurosurgeon, it is your GP who refers you. If, for some reason, you have a problem with the person you are referred to, the GP will certainly attempt to accommodate you and refer you to another specialist. My sister's kids have allergies and she didn't like the specialist she was originally referred to, and all she did was tell her family doctor that and he referred her to someone else.

I heard a bit about the story about the lady in the ads against national health care, and without looking it up specifically, hers was a rare type of brain tumor or cancer. As I understood the news story as it was reported, she did some research on her own and came up with a doctor who was doing experimental work. (I could be wrong and by all means Google her and find out what her story is exactly). She is currently suing OHP hoping to be reimbursed for her treatment, which is something that provincial health departments do from time to time if a patient goes for treatment out-of-country, that was not available here.

I don't think that is much different than it is in the States, where in cases of rare illnesses, a person would do some research and hope to get treatment elsewhere, even experimental treatment.

Take Farrah Fawcett who went to Germany for experimental treatments. A lot of people will try anything if they are told there is no hope. Farrah going to Germany was not an indictment of US health care.

In the case of the lady in the ad, her situation seems to have worked out but that does not invalidate universal health care.

In the last couple of years, we have had three friends diagnosed with terminal cancers. One was German born to begin with, and after being told the bad news here, under the universal health care, he - since he had the money - went to the Mayo Clinic, hoping they would have a different slant. They did not. Still hoping to get a more positive diagnosis or another treatment option, he then went to Germany. He died last summer and I don't blame him for taking advantage of the financial freedom he had to look for and receive the top care in the world but the end result was the same.

Ditto for the other friends who had diagnosis confirmed at the Mayo Clinic.

Maybe some of the misunderstanding comes from the idea that the moment someone (a patient) wants something, that is the very moment it should be done. And maybe Americans have that idea more than Canadians because if I had to pay out of pocket, I feel like a consumer and I might feel then too that if I'm paying him, then I want something done now. But there are differences between needs and wants, and things that have to be done immediately to preserve life and things that can wait.

I have not known anyone who was in a life-threatening situation where they were not taken care of immediately. Certain health issues that are not life-threatening but are certainly uncomfortable, can have waiting lists. And just what those conditions are depends on the number of specialists practising in that field. It isn't possible for anyone in Ontario or BC to answer the OP since everything depends on what sort of medical problem the OP has.

I believe there is a shortage of doctors who do things like hip replacements. This is due to a doctor shortage, and also due to an aging baby boomer population.

Does our system have flaws? Certainly. If I needed a hip replacement and had to wait a couple of months, I would certainly see that as a flaw. Is it life-threatening? No. Will having such surgery, even if it is after waiting a few months bankrupt you here? No. And with a longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality rates here, overall, it appears from the statistics comparing our countries, that for the vast majority of Canadians, our health care system works.

Which doesn't mean individuals can't have bad experiences. But that can happen anywhere.


Quote:
What are the differences between BC and Ontario's health system's:
waiting times
satisfaction levels
efficiency
In other words, no one can answer your question because no one knows what your medical issue is, and even if they did, you could be that individual who slips through the cracks.
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