I’m in Montreal this week, so have a chance to catch up on Canadian topics.
Not so socialist?
The Canadian government pays about 70% of health care costs, which is lower than other Western countries including UK (83%), Germany (78%), and France (76%). The US number is getting close to 50%, so it’s not as though the systems are as different as people think. The Canadian number is relatively low because consumers bear a high proportion of drug costs. The government virtually monopolizes hospital and physician services, though. The US acts as a relief valve. (From the National Post)
Cross-province capacity balancing
The Canadian Medical Association is calling for provinces to pool resources to reduce patient wait times. Some provinces have excess capacity, others are short. The proposal is to allow patients from a constrained province to travel to another province for treatment and have the government pay the bill. The article doesn’t mention it but it’s likely that the excess-capacity provinces might like to hold on to some of that capacity to prevent waiting lists from building up for their own residents. (From Canwest News Service)
September 30, 2005