Health-care system inefficient, horribly expensive

Health care is a timely topic — controversial, a political football, the economics of it badly misunderstood, a terribly expensive service for Canadian citizens.

Health care is a timely topic — controversial, a political football, the economics of it badly misunderstood, a terribly expensive service for Canadian citizens.

But it’s free, isn’t it?

As a pundit once said, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free!” Or anyone might say, “I can visit my family doctor as often as I want, and I never receive a bill!”

So it must be free! Right?

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

In 2014, a typical Canadian family of two parents and two children will pay $ 11,786 for public health care. [Fraser Institute] That’s a lot of dough! Health care is the single largest expense of nearly every provincial government in Canada.

Along with this huge expense comes a system whose wait times for a specialist is some of the lengthiest is the developed world. Our wait times are a national disgrace. My recent personal experience is a typical case in point. On a recent visit with my family doctor, I was advised to see a specialist and would be contacted by his office. So far I have not been contacted by the specialist. That’s two months, never mind the additional six months I will likely have to wait for an actual appointment.

Further, a family friend living in Sylvan Lake was advised in January to try for a hip replacement. She is barely mobile. She was finally able to get an appointment for surgery in Camrose in October. A 10-month wait!

An advertising booklet entitled Options: your guide to private medicine was recently delivered to all Red Deer homes. It informed every reader that we have easy access to immediate private health care in Edmonton and Calgary, if we are fed up with wait times in the public system.

This was, indeed, a good news booklet!

Did you know that the approximate “cost of lost productivity during the work week by Canadian patients facing lengthy waits for medically necessary care is $ 1.1 billion annually.” [Fraser Institute]

Admittedly, our doctors and nurses and all health workers do a good job for us, but who in their right mind can possibly be proud of our public health-care system? It’s really just another socialist “freebie” that in its present state will eventually bankrupt every province in Canada.

Perhaps, as provinces near bankruptcy, the MLAs will have the political courage to change the system.

Jim Swan, Red Deer

Just Posted

Former Red Deer teacher going to trial on child porn charges

Charges were laid in January 2017 after a woman came forward

Red Deer agency reports more than 1,000 lives saved with naloxone

Turning Point distributes 5,855 naloxone kits

WATCH: Ponoka residents enjoy first skate on ice path

A community initiative helped create a skate path for families in Ponoka.

Canada, U.S. lead call for enforcement of sanctions against North Korea

VANCOUVER — Canada and the U.S. led calls Tuesday for the global… Continue reading

Donald Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by an immigrant to Canada

WASHINGTON — When the White House released the results of a test… Continue reading

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month