Be Wary of Government Control of Health Care


In Canada, some patients have to travel to the United States for life-saving medical treatment. Patients are also denied to right to pay for their own treatment in Canada, as was the case of a 57-year old man denied a hip replacement operation by the government.

The Wall Street Journal article “Too Old” for Hip Surgery: As we inch towards nationalized health care, important lessons from north of the border reports on these and other cases of how health care is rationed in Canada. “The experiences of these Canadians — along with the untold stories of the 750,794 citizens waiting a median of 17.3 weeks from mandatory general-practitioner referrals to treatment in 2008 — show how miserable things can get when government is put in charge of managing health insurance.”


2 responses to “Be Wary of Government Control of Health Care”

  1. James

    A 69-year-old Japanese man injured in a traffic accident died after paramedics spent more than an hour negotiating with 14 hospitals before finding one to admit him, a fire department official said Wednesday.

    The man, whose bicycle collided with a motorcycle in the western city of Itami, waited at the scene in an ambulance because the hospitals said they could not accept him, citing a lack of specialists, equipment, beds and staff, according to Mitsuhisa Ikemoto.

    It was the latest in a string of recent cases in Japan in which patients were denied treatment, underscoring the country’s health care woes that include a shortage of doctors.

    The man, who suffered head and back injuries, initially showed stable vital signs, but his condition gradually deteriorated. He died from hemorrhagic shock about an hour and half after arriving at the hospital, Ikemoto said.

    Ikemoto said the victim might have survived if a hospital would have accepted him more quickly. “I wish hospitals are more willing to take patients, but they have their own reasons, too,” he said.

    The death prompted the city to issue a directive ordering paramedics to better coordinate with an emergency call center so patients can find a hospital within 15 minutes.

    The motorcyclist involved in the Jan. 20 accident was hurt too and was also denied medical care by two hospitals before one accepted him, Ikemoto said. He was recovering from his injuries.

    More than 14,000 emergency patients were rejected at least three times by Japanese hospitals before getting treatment in 2007, according to the latest government survey. In the worst case, a woman in her 70s with a breathing problem was rejected 49 times in Tokyo.

    Japan ranked in the top 10 in WHO rankings. The US was 37.

    I think I’ll stick with 37.

  2. Todd

    The federal government has clearly failed in administering our mandatory retirement savings policy (Social Security). Why would we want to allow them to administer other benefits like health care?

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