150+ Critically ill Canadian patients rushed to U.S.

Well, at least Canadians will oppose the US adopting an even larger role for government in our health care system:

More than 150 critically ill Canadians – many with life-threatening cerebral hemorrhages – have been rushed to the United States since the spring of 2006 because they could not obtain intensive-care beds here.

Before patients with bleeding in or outside the brain have been whisked through U.S. operating-room doors, some have languished for as long as eight hours in Canadian emergency wards while health-care workers scrambled to locate care.

The waits, in some instances, have had devastating consequences.

“There have been very serious health-care problems that have arisen in neurosurgical patients because of the lack of ability to attain timely transport to expert neurosurgical centres in Ontario,” said R. Loch Macdonald, chief of the division of neurosurgery at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Those problems, he said, include “brain injury or brain damage that could have been prevented by earlier treatment.”

Ontario has the worst problem, though it is not alone.



Anonymous Steve B said...

Gee whiz... I wonder why I have to read your blog to even hear about troubles with the Canadian healthcare system. (Sarcasm intended).

US voters need to hear this to awaken them to the dangers inherent in socialized medicine.

1/20/2008 7:17 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

What does it say about public education when enough Americans are clamoring for socialized medicine that all of the democrats and one of the republicans are campaigning on it?

1/20/2008 11:38 PM  
Anonymous GlassHouses said...

Those Canadian must be doing something right with their health care system. Canadians have a longer life expectancy than Americans:


And spend significantly less money on health care compared to the U.S.:


Americans are also being forced to go overseas to find affordable health care:


1/21/2008 1:24 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Glasshouse:

People's behavior (exercise, food intake, drug use, risky activities) effect people's life expectancy. Heath Ledger died at age 28, but it is hard to argue that it has anything to do with the health care system. If people drive more recklessly, that will also effect life expectancy. There are also big demographic differences, and much of that is due to behavioral differences. This isn't good or bad by itself. If someone wants to take drugs or engage in risky behavior generally, that is their choice, but it is wrong to put all these differences at the feet of medicine.

1/23/2008 1:46 AM  

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