November 17, 2017

Bernie Sanders “in awe” of Canada’s “free” healthcare: Here’s what he missed

David MenziesMission Specialist

In late October, former U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders toured three Hogtown hospitals leaving the Senator “in awe” of our great Canadian healthcare system according to the Toronto Star.

Especially notable was the photo-op moment at Women’s College Hospital where Sanders observed a refugee diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes receiving “free” treatment for her ailment.

Yeah! Free healthcare for one and all! Whoo-hoo!

Fortunately, the 76-year-old Bernie didn’t fall ill on his trip otherwise he might have had to experience our health care system the way the common Canuck schmuck does.

After Bernie left, another healthcare story made headlines inspiring “awe” for all the wrong reasons — namely, a woman’s family doctor referred her to a neurologist for a brain scan and was told to check back in four and a half years, assuming she’s still alive!

Another scathing indictment of how broken our “free” healthcare system is despite the billions of tax dollars that feed this insatiable beast.

And it’s only getting worse according to the Fraser Institute. In 1993, the median wait time was 9.3 weeks but last year wait times hit 20 weeks, the longest ever recorded.

This despite Canada’s third-place rank among 28 universal healthcare systems in terms of the percentage of the economy spent on healthcare.

We know we have a problem, and it’s one that will worsen as the population ages so what do we do about it?

Nothing. Universal health care has sacred cow status meaning that even attempting to have an honest discussion, is an act of political suicide for any politician that dares raise the topic.

Progressive tourists like Bernie Sanders should know the great Canadian “free” healthcare system is no panacea for what ails Americans.

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commented 2017-11-21 01:47:34 -0500
Oh God Frank – try to accept reality… I can go back to my father dying in 1973 one week after NOT being admitted to the cardiac ward at Weston General but placed in the general ward after suffering a myocardial infarct… THE CANADIAN MEDICAL SYSTEM STINKS, HAS STUNK FOR YEARS, AND UNLESS YOU HAVECONNECTIONSYOU ARE JUST ’FODDER" FOR THE SYTEM
commented 2017-11-20 13:49:28 -0500
Andy Neimers,

Fair enough, but I think in this case – it’s a poorly run hospital problem as opposed to a Canadian healthcare problem.
commented 2017-11-20 01:02:54 -0500
You are assuming that all of us have a choice as to where we are sent Frank?
commented 2017-11-19 20:50:32 -0500
Andy Neimers,

Well there you go – Sunnybrook is a terribly run hospital and I make sure that my doctor never sends me there.
commented 2017-11-19 17:10:09 -0500
commented 2017-11-19 16:48:05 -0500
Andy Neimers,

What hospital was that?
commented 2017-11-19 03:04:02 -0500
You silly, silly little man Frank Hohimer… Try taking your 94 year old mother to a well known Toronto hospital to supposedly have her pacemaker implanted, wait seven hours in the waiting room without being admitted, get sent home with some pain killers instead, and have her die two weeks later… You want chapter and verse Bunkey?… Because I can provide it for you in vivid, still all too vivid, detail…
commented 2017-11-18 22:28:56 -0500
Drew Wakariuk,

Well I have yet to have had a reason to complain in over 25 years, so I am more than happy to pay more in taxes for the excellent healthcare and treatment that I have received.
commented 2017-11-18 16:29:48 -0500
Frank Hohimer mine is awesome as well, but it he could not speed things up this time around.
commented 2017-11-18 13:26:39 -0500
I hear of fairly often in the news the problem of people being lined up in the hospital hallways. I think Bernie needs to experience that personally to fully appreciate our health care system. I also people need to get that the budget to maintain the health care system is probably why our military lacks adequate resources. I also would love to know how many people are actually using our health care system and how many aren’t. I am often reminded there are quite a few people without a family doctor and I have to wonder if everyone who is entitled to was if our system could handle costs.
commented 2017-11-18 12:55:28 -0500
There is a good reason we pay nothing directly for our health care and that is because, in most cases, that is what it is worth. Sneaky how they did this too taking the money from businesses so they can hide the exorbitant costs for a failing system. Send Bernie to the VA hospitals in the USA and see how he likes them…they are superior to ours, I hear.
commented 2017-11-18 10:01:37 -0500
Oops, typo in my post to Stephen E, sorry.
Should read, I think that’s a great summary of Bernie!
commented 2017-11-18 08:49:22 -0500
Stephen E said in part, “Bernie is your not-all-there uncle who has solutions for everything in the world but never really thought things out.”

I think that’s a great summary Bernie!

You may have a great deal of difficulty finding a GP in Ontario, it really depends on where you are moving to. I wish you every success with this.
commented 2017-11-18 08:46:52 -0500
Jack, yes, a month most of the time. So, I think you should count yourself very lucky to be able to access your doctor so quickly. Sounds like you do already.

The ER visit I referred to earlier, was after trying to get through to the clinic that am for 3.5 hrs – the phone system was acting screwy… the call would be transferred to my clinic location (25 minutes away via Highway) and a message advising we cannot answer your call, no opportunity to leave a message. I was hoping to urgently request a squeeze-in appointment as I was concerned about cellulitis developing in and around the wound. My doctor has patients at a few clinics and the hospital. That day, she would not be at my clinic during the afternoon. She has a huge patient load, like most rural doctors. She is frequently called out to the hospital to deliver babies day & night. Over the years, I have attended the clinic for a scheduled appointment & the receptionists have told me she was called out to the hospital, and the doctor will see me at her office/exam room in the Maternity Department. So, I turn around; drive back & head to the hospital to see her there. There have only been a few times the receptionist has called me to let me know beforehand, the hospital is 10 minutes away vs 25 minutes one way to the clinic.
One time, there was an older gentleman right behind me at the clinic, he was waiting to check-in, I heard him say, “The Maternity Ward, I don’t know where that is”. I suggested he follow me, I waited for him at the entrance of the hospital and showed him the way.

Like I said in my earlier post, I have a fantastic doctor; given the circumstances, we exercise patience when it comes to getting appointments.
commented 2017-11-18 01:40:30 -0500
Bernie is your not-all-there uncle who has solutions for everything in the world but never really thought things out.

I’ve been lucky, I guess. I call my doctor and if it isn’t urgent I get an appointment within a week. If urgent I get squeezed later that day or the next day. More urgent its go to the hospital.

At the end of August I had an incredible pain in my back. I considered calling my doctor but then decided not to wait for his office to open so I called for an ambulance. I figured a kidney stone. The ambulance techs thought it was a kidney stone. ER at first thought it was a kidney stone. X-ray showed sever pneumonia in my right lung. Massive infection in the middle lobe, the weight of which collapsed the lower lobe. First thing was Fentanyl for the blinding pain. Ten days later I left the hospital. If I had not gotten to the hospital and taken in immediately I would have been dead in two hours.

The care and after care was incredible! Called back for blood tests, X-rays and CAT scan, and called in for all sorts of other tests. Finally I was declared fully cured last week.

It all depends upon where you are located. I’m moving in the near future to Ontario and from what I’ve heard it may be impossible to find a GP.
commented 2017-11-18 01:22:43 -0500
me notyou That’s an excellent comment..thanks for the perspective…he gets the best health care in the world because of his position…! We suffer the socialist mess…
commented 2017-11-18 00:35:17 -0500
Drew Wakariuk,

I have a great family doctor that I have had many years, so since he does the referrals – perhaps he gets things sped up for me.
commented 2017-11-18 00:25:06 -0500
Frank Hohimer for other types the wait is over 6 months, that is not acceptable for the most populated city in Canada.
commented 2017-11-18 00:16:46 -0500

That’s why I said that I personally can’t complain – that Canada’s healthcare system has been amazing for me and my family, but I do know that’s not the case for everyone.
commented 2017-11-17 22:55:34 -0500
Bully for you Frank that you have a family physician but MANY DON’T, many wait months and some even years to be accepted as a patient because of the severe doctor shortage. Our health system is bad and getting worse, mind you if we were faux refugees or illegal immigrants we’d all get priority.
commented 2017-11-17 22:37:33 -0500
Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt,

Wow – a month to get an appointment? I can call my doctor on a Friday and get a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday appointment the following week.

I guess what I said is indeed true. It depends on where you live in Canada.
commented 2017-11-17 22:35:03 -0500
Drew Wakariuk,

I have had surgery. Done in 4 weeks.
commented 2017-11-17 22:20:45 -0500
Bernie has the best health care. As a US senator, he received treatment on demand from the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He can walk in, announce who he is, and receive treatment that’s second to none and at no cost because the taxpayers pay for it. Of course, Bernie isn’t really a taxpayer. Though he submits returns to the IRS, they are committee approved, so we have no idea what he really makes because Bernie is his own oversight. And Bernie can go to any hospital in the US, but preferably he heads to Johns Hopkins or Mt. Sinai. He doesn’t go to state hospitals.
commented 2017-11-17 21:57:05 -0500
Bernie’s grasp of economic realities and hard numbers is at best delusional. I hold his opinion on our health care SYSTEMS (yes there are 10 of them because they are run by provinces Bernie) is even more deeply delusional – Bernie look up “cognitive bias” and see if this applies to your utopian ideas about our non-sustainable public health system.
commented 2017-11-17 21:53:51 -0500
I have a fantastic doctor, it takes a month or more to get an appointment… the health issue tends to get worse in the time it takes waiting for my appointment date.If it’s a full physical, well, four to six months from now is what I’m looking at.
I recently had to go to ER for a cut on my leg which became pretty infected despite all of my efforts. I packed snacks, water and a good book, I was examined about five hours later and given a prescription for topical antibiotic ointment to be used three times a day. I was instructed to treat it for a week and if no improvements, come back for oral antibiotics.
commented 2017-11-17 21:22:55 -0500
Frank Hohimer wait until you need surgery. Then we can talk. And your doctor is a private entity, nothing to do with the actual government. Here in Alberta diagnostics got better and faster when contracted out to a private provider.
commented 2017-11-17 21:14:47 -0500
Canada’s free health care?????? I have to pay for a shingles vaccine while people with mental health issues get sex reassignment surgery covered by my taxes, something wrong with this picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
commented 2017-11-17 20:59:46 -0500
Canada’s healthcare has been great for me and my family. I have no reason to complain. Recently I had to get an MRI and it was done 2 weeks later. My family doctor is fantastic.

It seems to depend on where you live in Canada. Very little wait time in some areas. Horrible wait times in others, so in that regard – things need to be consistent across the country.
commented 2017-11-17 20:33:52 -0500
A lot of people here are missing the real expense for hospitals . Hydro and heating . Thanks to the government of Gontario and green energy poverty . Next for Windsor the mega hospital . With mega debt . Then there are all the illegals walking in . I’m sure demanding free everything also . So even a child could see that this will not work out very well . But we can always demonise the doctors and nurses .
The bureaucrats are way over paid but someone has to get greased to support this house of card . Health cards that is .