Saturday, June 30, 2007

Canada not the health care paradise Michael Moore claims it is

I've been busy counting cicadas in my neighborhood, so I've been unable to find time to see Michael Moore's magnum opus, "SiCKO."

Canadian Brent Skinner has, and in an opinion piece for the Springfield State Journal-Register, he writes:

Consider Canada’s notorious waiting lists. In 1993, Canadians referred by their doctors to specialists waited an average of 9.3 weeks for treatment. By 2006, that time had nearly doubled to 17.8 weeks - almost twice what’s considered clinically reasonable.

In the words of Canada’s Supreme Court, "access to a waiting list is not the same thing as access to health care." The Court used that phrase when it struck down the single-payer system in one Canadian province in 2005.

Yet somehow Moore missed this, the biggest story in Canadian health policy in the last 40 years.


Canada’s cost advantage is also an illusion. True, Canada spends less per GDP on medical care than America - but so does Ethiopia. Such comparisons are meaningless without considering value for money.

Moore's movies fit a consistent pattern. Like a ticker-tape parade, there is a lot of ethereal excitement at the moment when it muscles through town, but shortly after, street sweepers come out to clear up the mess.

Or in Moore's case, truth-tellers like Brent Skinner.

Related posts:

Just Sicko: Rationing health care in Britain is a 'necessary evil'

Michael Moore & Me: Canadian filmmakers couldn't get Moore for an interview in their documentary about him

Pajamas Media's Glenn & Helen Show podcast: Working with capitalism to save American health care

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