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“Canada’s The Best Country In The World”

2011/10/10

It’s Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada. Me and mine have much to be thankful for today, having narrowly avoided a serious health crisis among one of our own. So this Thanksgiving I am grateful for the blessing of good health, and I can even appreciate the reminder not to take it for granted. I am also extremely appreciative of our Canadian health care system; while no one can accuse it of being perfect,  most of the time it does what it needs to, and often it does it very well. The care that was given in our situation from every one of the nurses and physicians was outstanding, so this is my shout out to them – THANK YOU!!  And let’s not forget while most Canadians are sitting around a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends, there are countless healthcare workers who are spending today in a hospital or care facility looking after those who aren’t able to look after themselves.

If I haven’t said it here recently, I will say it now: I love Canada, it is a wonderful country to live in. And our universal  health care system is amazing!  As none other than (Canadian) Justin Bieber said in an interview this year with Rolling Stone Magazine, when asked about becoming an American citizen:

“You guys are evil. Canada’s the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard’s baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby’s premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home.”

So I will be toasting those (mostly unsung) heroes of our healthcare system today, as I tuck into my turkey and dressing. I hope each of you, too, will find something to be truly thankful for today, whether or not you are officially celebrating Thanksgiving!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 2011/10/10 10:00 am

    A Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine.

  2. Keith Elliott permalink
    2011/10/10 10:01 am

    Well said Christine. But can we leave Bieber out of it?

    Our health care professionals out this way are an exemplary group of people as well. By strange coincidence I was chatting to one at the pharmacy a few days ago.

    It seems that, due to a shortage of equipment locally, he and his partner had to travel all the way down to Victoria for a replacement. He was tired from the extra work time, but not complaining in any way. Good guy…I was happy to wish him well.

    It goes without saying that Canada is the best place on earth to live…we all know that!

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/10/10 3:39 pm

      LOL – I take it you’re not a Bieber fan, Keith. However, I love the quote because he’s a huge hit on both sides of the border, and misinformed Americans often bash our healthcare system.

      Hope you enjoy your West Coast Thanksgiving!

  3. bill permalink
    2011/11/15 12:18 pm

    I am lucky enough to have experienced health care on both sides of the border. Although the Canadian system doesn’t present you with a bill when you are at the hospital or doctor you pay for it in everything else you do. But the wait times can be so long you wonder what you get for the money they earn. In the USA you buy insurance, then pay deductibles but the system gives you immediate access to the best equipment and treatments in the world. Residents of each country could never understand the system in the other. If you don’t work and don’t contribute at all the Canadian health system is very attractive. Most parts of the whole country are. Many give their time, are heavily taxed and those that don’t just receive. Because there is no bill there is no sense of accountability. In the USA those that work pay, get immediate access and treatment, and there is competitive services. But since you pay for health care you pay less for everything else. Again it would be hard to understand the other country’s system. But to think that people who are poor don’t have access to the USA health system have never seen it at work. Many people without insurance are treated everyday without wait times and never see a bill.

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/11/15 12:44 pm

      Hi Bill – are you speaking as a Canadian who accessed the U.S. system, or an American on the north side of the border? Obviously, there are wide differences of opinion, but Canadians consistently rank preserving our healthcare system as extremely important to them. And for good reason – I’m thinking about the nearly 50 million Americans who are uninsured, not according to my experience with the U.S. system (I have none, being a well-insured Canadian) but from U.S. studies/reports:
      Contrary to popular belief, most of the uninsured are working families. They tend to be poorer and in worse health than those with insurance, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

      “About 70 percent are from families with one or more full-time workers,” Kaiser says in a report on the uninsured issued late last year.
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111651742
      And being a former R.N, I look at the whole picture of health, not just numbers of uninsured. For example, many people without adequate insurance (not necessarily none at all) fail to visit a healthcare practitioner until they are in crisis, because of the cost. Therefore the cost to the entire system is much higher than if preventative care was more accessible, because people are sicker when they enter the system. As well, we have had personal experience with friends living in the U.S. who had the unfortunate and tragic experience of having a child born with a debilitating childhood disease. The husband, whose job provided the healthcare insurance, was forced to continue working full-time while his pregnant wife stayed with their acutely ill child 4 hours drive away over the months that the child was hospitalized. Eventually the child passed away, and precious time was lost because of the need to depend on the health care insurance from the father’s job. Tragic and sad, and it wouldn’t have happened in Canada.

      I repeat, our system is far from perfect but given the options, I’m very very happy to have access to it.

  4. Thebruins permalink
    2012/07/02 12:51 am

    You can’t say for sure canadian health care is the best; some other countries have universal coverage as well, some with even higher life expectancies. And keith, canada is technically the fourth best place to live, in terms of hdi index

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