Correspondence from Dr. Cal Ennis, a former Canadian.
Canada has a government run system i.e. single payer; I call it a SPUN-single payer universal system. But also as we all know, there is ALWAYS only one payer, the taxpayer. Canada’s SPUN started in 1970. I lasted until 1978, then I got out of town (along with 25% of all Canadian doctors).
Over the years the system became terribly underfunded Dah. Should happen when you give every one a credit card that has no limits Attempts at funding: ceilings on doctors salaries (didn’t work), increased state and local taxes (didn’t work) and about 20 years ago a national tax of SEVEN % over everything else. Still didn’t work. When the cost of the SPUN began to consume about 60% of the provincial budget of Ontario (biggest province) then came rationing –closure of hospitals, and operating rooms with wait times for elective procedures and then the ultimate-cancellation of services i.e. outpatient expensive imaging etc. This still didn’t help so the province has now allowed some doctors to accept cash under certain circumstances at free standing imaging centers, some independent diagnostic facilities that must use there own equipment. About 10 years ago the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny care to those who want to pay cash. And after that a few private hospitals opened in Western Canada a few owned by doctors (those awful greedy bastards). Those hospital costs are far less than the government run hospitals
So yes in the past few years a small percentage of the population can get some cash care but its only by default because the state run system is broke. There are only 3 countries in the world where the private practice of medicine is officially illegal- North Korea, Cuba and Canada. And so are insurance companies. Private insurance can’t be bought. The government knows all and treats all i.e. Brave New World. Is it coming here? I think the brain trust around Obama wants it and plans it and is hoping that the public will say a pox on all your houses in this complicated multitier system called Obamacare and will welcome a SPUN as a default position.
The public of course, as you know because you are a free market guy, thinks it free. But what amazes me is the number of doctors who want a SPUN ,These are the same doctors who insist that you and I practice on the basis of evidence and chastize us when we don’t .But when I give them the evidence of a 40 year retrospective trial in Canada that has cost the citizens 20% more in taxes yet delivers worse mortality and morbidity rates than the USA they, the pro SPUN doctors, refuse to heed the evidence of this massive 40 year study They become deaf. Try that out on academicians and see for yourself. Big government moguls often get confused by facts
So keep fighting so we can stop this terrible, terrible social experiment that hasn’t worked anywhere else on the planet.