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wabbit

Canadian Health System

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wabbit

Report says most ER visits not emergencies

CTV.ca News Staff

The majority of patients who visit Canadian emergency rooms do not require urgent medical attention, says a new report released Wednesday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The report says that 57 per cent of patient visits to selected Canadian ERs were for less-urgent or non-urgent conditions, including sore throats, mild abdominal pain and earaches.

Only 0.5 per cent of patients in emergency departments were considered severely ill, meaning they needed life-saving intervention.

"Where alternatives are available, this raises questions about whether a portion of these types of patients can be appropriately treated in non-emergency department settings, such as primary health care clinics," said Jennifer Zelmer, CIHI vice-president of research.

The survey by the CIHI is based on data collected between 2003-2004 -- mainly from visits to Ontario emergency departments. Data was also collected from a handful of emergency rooms in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

This report -- entitled "Understanding Emergency Department Wait Times: Who Is Using Emergency Departments and How Long Are They Waiting" -- is the first of three from CIHI.

This first survey says that Canadians report going to emergency rooms more frequently than people in other countries.

A 2004 international survey found that 38 per cent of Canadians reported being to an ER in the previous two years. That is in comparison to 34 per cent of those surveyed in the United States, and 30 per cent of those in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

...........

Read whole story here

=================================

Once again, I read yet another report and see no improvement in our Health System. If instead of wondering why Canadians turn to Emergency rooms, they would notice that the population has increased while the number of physicians and specialists have dwindled tremendously in the last decades, that would be the first step towards improving what is presently a failing system.

For example, since I have moved to where I live at now, almost 5 years ago, I have been frantically searching for a family doctor and am constantly told that they don't take new patients and some of them even go as far as saying that they don't even have waiting lists anymore.

Living on the Quebec (but 5 mins away from Ontario) I am told to seek a doctor in Ontario, and when I do, I am turned away from there and told that they are as equally saturated over there. angry.gif

If I know that my children have a minor ear infection or whatever other minor ailment, I show up at *walk-in* (no appointments necessary) clinics only to be told that the waiting time is 4-5 hours or that I have to show up at such-and-such a time to put my name on a waiting list - isn't that making an "appointment", I say??? wacko.gifblink.gif

Then, after seeing a doctor, I am sent to the Emergency department anyway, because clinics don't do blood work/x-rays and other specific tests needed to diagnose some illnesses..

When I read or hear on the news that the Canadian Health System is the best by far in comparison to most Countries, I usually shake my head in dismay thinking "If only these people knew what they were talking about!!!!"... rolleyes.gif

Ok, rant over...

Anyone else want to add something?

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Baldwin

My friends father was getting treated for an earache a few months ago and dropped down in a stroke one day...It was followed by massive brain damage resulting in death...My friend was only fifteen and his father forty-two...My grandfather was getting treated for acid reflux and dropped down with severe pain a month later and had an aneurism ready to burst at any moment in his adominal region...Other doctors said both these things could have been easily avoided if the doctors before gave thorough examinations and came up with the right diagnosis...I can go on and on with stories like this. In my area the doctors are hired straight out of med school with no experience from foreign countries and stay here until qualified enough to go onto the mainland where you need more experience...It's sad how my provence is the most underprivileged and gets screwed over more than any other...And confederation was suppose to be to our benefit they say...

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Fluffybunny

It is a trade off...

Here in the US if you have great insurance it is wonderful. Some people have ten dollar copays and then have everything else payed for, and maybe have to pay ten dollars for prescriptions...

Most people are not that lucky. Many people have no insurance at all, and if they get sick will foot the entire bill which can be thousands of dollars just for a relatively simple thing like a broken bone. Cancer or something as horrible can break entire families as the bills get up into the hundreds of thousands in short order.

I have fair to poor insurance. My wife and I pay 300 a month for the insurance. It only covers emergencies and serious sicknesses. If I have a cold or flu and need medication, I have to pay the 125 dollars to see the doctor and also pay for the prescription. My wife and I have a couple of prescriptions we take on a normal basis which cost us about 800 dollars a month...

I can however get a doctor to see me without a problem.

It seems that you can be broke with medical care or save money and not be able to get into see a doctor.

It all sucks.

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girty1600

I would have to agree with Fluffybunny; health care in the states is only better for some. From my experience I've seen that the best health care in the states goes to those with good insurance, which I have now but didn't always. My cousin, his girlfriend and their two children are on Medicaid ( which they don't pay for at all ) and receive pretty good health care as well. Like Fluffy said though, its a bit different because we can get into a see a physician if we need to. I guess no health care will ever be truly "free" no matter which way you look at it. sad.gif

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wabbit

while I agree with all the posts made in response to this, you have to take into account that our taxes in Canada are incredibly high. For example, a pack of smokes in Quebec is $9.50 (approximately) and gas is very very expensive (I can't make the conversion to an American gallon, but in my area, gas costs $1.30 a litre). Sure, Canadians usually don't pay for Health care, and I see your point of view on paying vs. paying through our taxes, but as a Canadian, I am appalled that waiting lists to see specialists are incredibly long, even for cancer patients and then, simple routine visits to a doctor's office usually results in having to take a whole day off's work because if you don't have a physician who has your medical record, you're bound to either show up at a clinic or at the Emergency...

gawd, Governments don't know how to fix things. All they do is just make reports after reports, thus spending tax payers' money and this for what? To make recommendations which have to be voted upon and are usually voted out because they claim to be yet in another "deficit" year.. angry.gif

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bathory

so its a choice of, crappy service for all, or great service for some, good service for more, and crappy service for a few?

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wabbit

basically, yes..

it's a lose-lose situation and having people complain day in and day out about the services not being provided isn't doing anything to improve it..

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girty1600
but as a Canadian, I am appalled that waiting lists to see specialists are incredibly long, even for cancer patients and then, simple routine visits to a doctor's office usually results in having to take a whole day off's work because if you don't have a physician who has your medical record, you're bound to either show up at a clinic or at the Emergency...

I would have to agree that waiting like that for any health care would be quite frustrating.

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Ha Ha

I don't think its our health care system that is so bad, but the things effecting it...such as Doctors shortages, people who abuse the system, cost of equipment and even the cost of an education to work in the health care system. Did you know that every MD that is "ON CALL" for city nursing homes and tele-health in the city you live in does so FREE OF CHARGE???? That means that after five pm right through to 8 am the Doc on call works for nothing. I once waited six hours to cast a broken ankle, and while waiting spoke with three STUPID women, one with a cold sore, one with a sore neck and one who "needed a pregnancy test right away" so she came to emerg! its unbelievable.... no.gif

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wabbit
I don't think its our health care system that is so bad, but the things effecting it...such as Doctors shortages, people who abuse the system, cost of equipment and even the cost of an education to work in the health care system. Did you know that every MD that is "ON CALL" for city nursing homes and tele-health in the city you live in does so FREE OF CHARGE???? That means that after five pm right through to 8 am the Doc on call works for nothing. I once waited six hours to cast a broken ankle, and while waiting spoke with three STUPID women, one with a cold sore, one with a sore neck and one who "needed a pregnancy test right away" so she came to emerg! its unbelievable.... no.gif

844823[/snapback]

I agree with you that some people do abuse the system and that it makes it worse for the ones who truly need medical help.. I have mentioned doctor shortage, so I also agree with you on that.

I had no idea that nursing homes doctors that were on call worked for free. Probably because I assumed that some doctors were paid yearly salary, but hadn't thought about overtime not being included in their pay.

I have a brother who works in the Health department (he's an pharmacist who specializes in oncology in a hospital) and he sees doctors and specialists who are worn out because of the inimaginably long hours they work and who simply choose to go work in other Countries. He also sees patients suffering from cancer and who pass away waiting to see said specialists - he says he sees way too much of those cases.

Prior to his specialty and still to this day, he sees people who take advantage of the system and it mortifies him that these people are using much needed hospital beds.

I, myself, have been hospitalized 4 times in the last year and half. I've dealt with overworked nurses and doctors and even though I was quite worried about my own self, I understood that others had more pressing emergencies and so, I tried to be patient.

I just wish something could be done so that doctors who do have experience would have better incentives in staying in the Country and serving Canadians and also that costs to become doctors/specialists wouldn't be so incredibly high. These people are needed, especially with the growing numbers of senior citizens.

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Mekorig
so its a choice of, crappy service for all, or great service for some, good service for more, and crappy service for a few?

844788[/snapback]

Whit that expenses to get a "midle" service, i dont know if it is "a crappy service for a few". I think is for a little more people....

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Ha Ha

I think that misuse of the system is at the top of the list for problems in our health care field here. As terribly sad as it is, I too have seen deaths that could have been avoided if treatment had been available faster. Even at the nursing level, we have found patients in their chairs or beds who have been dead for a few hours, but because they didn't or couldn't ring for a nurse, they were not discovered until the nurses aides had time to check on them. Funding would be higher and more funding would be available, if we could stop other things from sucking up the money. One of the MD's I work with was audited by the MOH because they didn't feel he could possibly have seen as many patients in a year as he said he did. This man is the ONLY doctor for 300 nursing home residents, has a private practice in which he has another 3000+, and attends at a walk in clinic 2 nights a week. If he quit the nursing home, they simply wouldn't HAVE a Doctor, and there is no law that says he has to stay, he does so because he has the heart too. The average Canadian is probably aware of some problems in the health care system, but if you ask someone who works in it, (as Wabbit did!) you will get a horrible and frightening tale! hmm.gif

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jeceris

i was an overworked, totally stressed nurse, her in ontario, and yeah there were a few scary stories, but you really have to look at the big picture.

as fluffy said, he has to pay costs monthly and they only cover him to a certain extent. i wouldn't want that. it's good to be able to go to your local dr when you want, even if it is for something that turns out to be minor, this is especially important when you have kids.

and i have never seen anyone, who needs immediate medical attention turned away from the hospital, and they get GOOD care 99% of the time.

and the family clinic i go to, does draw blood for dx tests.

there are too few dr's and they are overworked. as a nurse, i was starting to get burnt out, but now found a job with the provincial government that doesn't quite make work so stressful.

this is not the best system, nor is the one in the u.s.

here, the government sits on a tax surplus, and blows money on sponsorship scandal's, instead of mri machines, and specialist clinics. THAT makes me sick.

but i still think it's the right of every person to have free health care, when they need it, and not only the rich affording the best medical care.

that is just morally wrong.

so wabbit, it doesn't matter how long you wait, first, that means it's not an emergency and you should be thankful for that, and secondly, there is always someone there to see you, and they don't care how much you make, or what type of insurance you have.

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Andy_R
but i still think it's the right of every person to have free health care, when they need it, and not only the rich affording the best medical care.

that is just morally wrong.

Rich people drive the best cars, live in the best houses, send their kids to the best schools, etc.

Why should health care be any different?

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Baldwin
but i still think it's the right of every person to have free health care, when they need it, and not only the rich affording the best medical care.

that is just morally wrong.

Rich people drive the best cars, live in the best houses, send their kids to the best schools, etc.

Why should health care be any different?

845332[/snapback]

Ummm, because healthcare could be a matter of life and death?...I dunno, maybe I'm just being crazy...

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jeceris
but i still think it's the right of every person to have free health care, when they need it, and not only the rich affording the best medical care.

that is just morally wrong.

Rich people drive the best cars, live in the best houses, send their kids to the best schools, etc.

Why should health care be any different?

845332[/snapback]

wow sad.gif

thats the kind of mentality that just blows me away as a health care professional.

it SHOULD be everyones right to a healthy life, and the right to have good health care if you are sick.

because the amount of money shouldn't be applicable to everything, your health being the most basic right.

but if you can't understand that philosophy, then you will always believe good health care should be for the rich only.

and that just ain't right.

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Celumnaz

health is a right?

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jeceris

it should be cel.

it really should be.

and so far, it is here in canada

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Andy_R
it SHOULD be everyones right to a healthy life, and the right to have good health care if you are sick.

That's the kind of mentality that blows me away. wacko.gif

Here is the biggest myth about "free" health care: It's not free! Everybody pays for it. It comes out of your taxes, which means you pay the same premium as that 300 lb. smoker who lives next door. That's fair.

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twpdyp
jeceris Posted Today, 12:33 PM

thats the kind of mentality that just blows me away as a health care professional.

it SHOULD be everyones right to a healthy life, and the right to have good health care if you are sick.

because the amount of money shouldn't be applicable to everything, your health being the most basic right.

but if you can't understand that philosophy, then you will always believe good health care should be for the rich only.

and that just ain't right.

Let me ask as a health care professional, how many over weight smokers have you treated? And how many of them were at or below the poverty level? My point is this if you know that you have limited means then what are you doing buying smokes, alcolhol, and Mac Donalds. I work hard to take care of myself not only so I can live a longer life for my children and save some money. I have a firm idea where I am at on the financial ladder and conduct my life accordingly. Your right to health care should also be weighed against how hard you have tried to maintain your health. A 300# smoker should have seen that his life style is going to put him at risk. Now this 300#smoker is cutting into my access to health care because he simply did not take care of himself.

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Celumnaz

Nobody should have to suffer or die. Nobody should be poor. Wild animals should never have attacked an indian. The weather should be nicer. There should never be war. There shouldn't be any disease. Everyone should be intelligent. Everyone should be fit. Everything should be perfect.

But the reality is what Andy R just said. If someone's sick, I take care of them as best as I'm able. Others think that I should care for their sick as well, While they Don't Lift a Finger but posture themselves as morally superior by Shifting the Responsibility. As a general rule, I think that's pure evil. On a personal level it's one of the most compassionate things a person can do.

http://www.libertarian.to/NewsDta/template....php?art=art432

"there was something that happened at the plant where I worked for twenty years The Twentieth Century Motor Company.

It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. ... They let us vote on it too, and everybody -- almost everybody -- voted for it ....

The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability, but would be paid according to his need. ... they made it sound like that anyone who'd oppose the plan was a child-killer at heart and less than a human being.

... Do you know how it worked, that plan, and what it did to people? Try pouring water into a tank where there is a pipe at the bottom draining it out faster than you pour it in and each bucket you bring breaks the pipe an inch wider, and the harder you work the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forty-eight, then fifty-six -- for your neighbor's supper -- for his wife's operation -- for his child's measles -- for his mother's wheelchair -- for his uncle's shirt -- for his nephew's schooling -- for the baby next door -- for the baby to be born -- for anyone anywhere around you -- it's theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures -- and yours to work, ... with nothing to show for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without hope, without end ...

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need ... It took just one meeting to discover that we had become beggars --rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, his work didn't belong to him, it belonged to "the family," and they owed him nothing in return, and the only claim he had on them was his "need" -- so he had to beg in public for relief from his needs, like any lousy moocher, listing all his troubles and miseries, down to his patched drawers and his wife's head colds, hoping that "the family" would throw him the alms. He had to claim miseries, because its miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm -- so it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need was worse than his brothers... what sort of men kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?

... What was it that they'd always told us about the vicious competition of the profit system, where men had to compete for who'd do a better job than his fellows? Vicious wasn't it? Well, they should have seen what it was like when we all had to compete with one another for who'd do the worst job possible. There is no surer way to destroy a man than to force him into a spot where he has to aim at not doing his best, where he has to struggle to do a bad job day after day.

... Amusement was the first thing they dropped. Aren't you always supposed to be ashamed to object when anybody asks you to give up anything, if it's something that gave you pleasure? ... There was a man who'd worked hard, all his life, because he'd always wanted to send his son through college. Well, the boy graduated from high school in the second year of the plan -- but "the family" wouldn't give the father any "allowance" for the college. They said his son couldn't go to college, until we had enough to send everybody's son to college -- and we first had to send everybody's children through high school, and we didn't even have enough for that. The father died the following year, in a knife fight with somebody in a saloon, a fight over nothing in particular -- such fights were beginning to happen among us all the time.

Then there was an old guy, a widower with no family, who had one hobby: phonograph records -- "personal luxury", they called it. But at that same meeting, Millie Bush, somebody's daughter, a mean ugly little eight-year-old, was voted a pair of gold braces for her buck teeth -- this was "medical need," because the staff psychologist had said that the poor girl would get an inferiority complex if her teeth weren't straightened out.

The old guy who loved music, turned to drink instead.

... But the shiftless and the irresponsible had a field day of it. They bred babies, they got girls into trouble, they dragged in every worthless relative they had from all over the country, every unmarried pregnant sister, for an extra disability allowance, they got more sickness than any doctor could disprove, they ruined their clothing, their furniture, their homes -- what the hell, "the family" was paying for it!

They found more ways of getting in "need" than the rest of us could ever imagine -- they developed a special skill for it, which was the only ability they showed.... Yet this was the moral law that the professors and leaders and thinkers had wanted to establish all over the earth.

If this is what it did to a single town, where we all knew on another, do you care to think what it would do on a world scale? ...To work -- with no chance of an extra ration, till the Cambodians have been fed and the Patagonians have been sent to college. To work -- on a blank check held by every creature born, by men whom you'll never see, whose needs you will never know, whose ability or laziness or sloppiness or fraud you have no way to learn and no right to question -- just to work and work and work -- and leave it up to the Ivys and the Geralds of the world to decide whose stomach will consume the effort, the dreams and days of your life.

And this is the moral law to accept? This -- a moral ideal? ... Our agony took four years, from our first meeting to our last, and it ended the only way it could end: in bankruptcy.

Ivy Starnes made a short, nasty, snippy little speech in which she said that the plan failed because the rest of the country had not accepted it, that a single community could not succeed in the midst of a selfish, greedy world ..."

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

Health care is not a right. One reason for the shortage of Doctors in Canada is they are not paid as competively as other countries. Doctors should be paid more they attended more than a decade of school for it. Money is an incentive for all work. I have a HMO. Alot of people, hate them. I love it. I don't have as much choice but it is only 75 month through my work and I can always get into see the doctor. When I went to the hospital 2 years ago for a stomach problem, the HMO covered everything. HMOs are not perfect but for me and my family it has worked well.

Edited by ericraven2003

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Thanato

More and more Canadian doctors are returning home to Canada because of the better wages etc in Canada.

Sure theres long line ups and stuff and we know that sucks but its alot better then the american version of who ever has the most money wins. So if you have a big gash on your leg and 10 more people come in with more money and smaller cuts etc they will most likely be treated first because they have money, while leaving the poorer person to sit out there wiht the possability of infection.

Sure no health care system is perfict but i would rather be treated in Canada then the US.

~Thanato

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

When you go to the emergency room they don't see the people by who has the most money.lol. I used to be a nurse, it is rated by the nature of the emergency.

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jeceris

i expected as much,

as i say its a philosophy, an ideology that i have about free health care.

and, YEAH i know its not free, don't get all freaky about the semantics.

it's equal care for all.

and i will always feel that is a right, and most americans feel that it's something that has to amke money.

there are just some things that money should not play into.

analogy..of american mentality towards capatilism on all levels.

when the original live aid was organised, bob geldof went to wembly stadium and asked if he could have a concert there to raise money for african relief, he wanted the stadium for free, and the labour to vomuteer their time, so that he wouldn't have to pay to hold a concert, therefore raising more money for the cause.

the people at wembley seemed to understnad this and gave everything for free, because THEY understood that here was something you don't have to make money at, its about raising money.

when geldof called the people in philadelphia to propose the same thing, they told him the cost of renting the stadium, the labour costs, et al. he tried to explain that this was about giving and raising money, but they could not understand, to them nothing is for free.

anyway it went ahead, but geldof couldn't understand why the american mentality can not understand that you don't have to make money from everything.

a little off topic, but that is it in a nutshell.

as long as you beleive that you have to pay more for health care, then you will and it will continue to go through the roof, and your kids will have it worse.

it's not about socialism, or communism, or any of that crap.

it's about giving someone the best health care available, without making them meet some financial requirement to get it.

and there are organizations like dr's without borders, that do this internationally.

what i can't get, is that the majority see this principle as a bad thing, that is really disturbing, and i don't mean to take the moral high ground here, but most nurses and dr's i know feel the same, maybe you have to be in this profession to feel that way towards others.

i will not argue the point, i will not make you see that, nor will you change my thoughts.

but what i speak of, is NOT a bad thing.

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