Fraser Institute of Canada reports that the median wait-time for a Canadian who
needs surgery or other therapies rose to 19.0 weeks in 2011, the longest since
the Institute first began tracking wait times in 1993. The wait time for a
patient referred by a general practitioner to a specialist rose from a
median of 8.9 weeks in 2010 to 9.5 weeks in 2011 (up 156 percent since 1993).
Patients can then expect to wait an additional 9.5 weeks before actually receiving treatment from the specialist, up from 9.3 weeks in 2010 (a 70 percent increase
Under the definition of “median
wait time” in the Fraser report, half of all patients get treatment
sooner than the median, while half must wait even longer.
has a “single payer” health care system, in which nearly all health care services are paid for by
the government, and the private practice (and purchase) of medical services is
significantly restricted. Under the pending “Obamacare” law in the United States, the
government would assume the cost for most medical treatment
through individual insurance subsidies, and private medicine would not be restricted.
Canadian system, bureaucrats and politicians are responsible for determining
the “global” budget of all health care services the government will pay for
during any given year. Under Obamacare, the amount of spending is theoretically
open-ended, but it's likely that future budget deficits will pressure
policymakers to impose various forms of direct or indirect rationing
to contain costs, as happens in Canada. Restricting the number of
providers — and so imposing longer wait times — is probably the most
common form of rationing used by government-run health care systems.
Mackinac Center has produced a series of videos, titled Oh Canada?, documenting the suffering and
inconvenience individual Canadians have endured because of excessive wait
times for treatment.
A Real Canadian Health Care Experience
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