Health care access, Canadian style

A Canadian friend –a PhD in immunology who runs a research institute at a major university– told me a tough tale yesterday. He severely twisted his knee and could barely stand up and move around. He called to get an appointment with a specialist, and even when he described the severity of his symptoms was told the first available slot wasn’t for two weeks. When he said he didn’t think he could wait that long, he was told, “Go to the emergency room.” For good reasons, he’d rather not do that.

I guess that’s the kind of treatment they’re used to in Canada, with socialized medicine, rationing and all that.

Except this Canadian lives in a major US city.

PS — Just spoke to my friend, who managed to pull some strings through professional connections to get in to see an orthopod. I guess that’s what it takes to be seen: working in a senior role at a university with a major medical center.

June 19, 2007

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