Healthcare in Canada is a vital subject for anyone moving to or residing in Canada. The Federal Government does provide some funding from the taxpayer for the health system, however, each Province is individually responsible for its own Healthcare system. There is a basic free system (Alberta, BC and Ontario charge the residents a healthcare tax or premium to pay for this!) that every legal resident and citizen of Canada is entitled to which includes access to a family doctor and most hospital treatment (definitely emergency care). This is governed by the Canada Health Act (1984) which lays down the basic entitlements of free coverage. Prescription drugs and supplies are provided in the hospitals in most cases as long as you remain an in patient. The costs start to mount up for prescription drugs and medical supplies when you are not in hospital. Drugs are bought from the pharmacy at the standard cost which for specialist drugs can run into hundreds of dollars for one course of treatment. Other medical services will probably not be covered such as Physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment and massage therapy. Custom made medical supplies such as knee braces or orthotics can cost over a thousand dollars to purchase in some instances. The amount of coverage and standard of Healthcare in Canada is described in detail on the main Government site but does vary between Provinces however. Each Province also has its own regulations for the practitioner’s qualifications and even nurses will have to recertify if they move between Provinces. This does cause confusion to new migrants to Canada as most foreign qualifications just may not be enough and will most likely result in some level of retraining. Dental treatment is normally NOT included in the healthcare system and you will have to pay for treatment. Many Canadian employers offer fairly comprehensive benefits packages that include coverage for Prescription drugs and other services such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment though this is most often only up to 80% of the cost. As each Province has different rules for qualifying times to gain access for the free service ensure you thoroughly research your Province of choice via the links above. If your employment doesn’t come with coverage or you wish to improve it you will need to take out a private policy If you require short term coverage for when you first arrive in Canada, make sure you have a proper policy (travel insurance may not be sufficient) and CHECK you are covered.
Is Canada a good model for health care here in the United States? You be the judge. Even in Canada Health care costs have reached the “tipping point”. Recent research indicates the cold , hard economic reality that even in Canada with its informal subsidizes of defense costs by the good old USA is having trouble to fund its sc called all inclusive health care system that many liberal Americans beg to copy without full and thorough investigation. Up in our “Neighbor to the North” Canadians are reaching the limit of both what taxpayers can afford to pay as well as reduced access to health care and ever longer waiting times. Of course there is only so much money in the pot and other essential social services are seeing funding cuts. It is generally not appreciated that Canadians have almost had an emergency escape valve of the option of “Going South “if things get rough or too slow in their medical treatments. The humorous part according to Las Vegas based health care analyst M. Labovitch is that the people with the power and influence in Canada don’t publicize or push for changes when things are hard as they have automatically used this southern option which what they consider is both higher quality and speedier medical treatment. Indeed Labovitch notes from Vegas that the situation is so apparent and flagrant that when high profile Canadian leaders and politicians and their families have serious illnesses that need treatment the news reports always seem to be from prominent American hospitals. Canadians it seems don’t notice this two state solution or are immune and shell shocked already. To support this data a prominent Canadian think tank “The Fraser Institute” corroborated this information with a recent study. Using actual Canadian government Statistics Canada data in its current report The Fraser Institute report notes that data on the most recent five year trends that public health care spending in every one of the ten Canadian provinces continues to grow faster on average, than total revenues from all sources – including the large Canadian federal government transfers of funds from the wealthy provinces of Ontario in the industrial heartland , British Columbia (B.C.) with its mineral and forestry industries and Alberta with its oil wealth . These Canadian Federal Government fund transfers serve to transfer funds from the wealthier “Have” provinces to the less fortunate “Have Not” provinces in the hope of standardizing living standards and health care service levels across the country. Health care in Canada is taking an ever increasing share of all revenues over time, leaving proportionately less money for everything else. Public health care spending in six of the ten provinces is on pace to consume more than half of total revenues by the year 2020 , two thirds by the year 2035 and all of the provincial revenues by 2050. And even this analysis’s the Institute notes is being generous with assumptions. Projections of future revenue growth are actually overestimated because in many of the provinces recent growth revenue is a result of increasing tax burdens.
In recent years, provincial governments across Canada have recognized that the increase in obesity rates is causing a financial strain on Canada’s healthcare system. A report from Statistics Canada on adult body mass index revealed that in 2008, “17.2% of Canadians aged 18 or older, roughly 4.2 million adults, reported height and weight that classified them as obese.” Now, a number of governments are realizing that weight loss surgery is a beneficial method to reducing the strain. More Canadians are now turning to weight loss surgery as an effective method to treating obesity long term. The result is more provincial governments are covering the surgery costs when patients undergo the procedure by a recognized and accredited weight loss surgery facility. Most provinces consider the surgical treatment of morbid obesity as an insured service under the publicly funded Medicare Act. Right now, Lap Band Surgery and Gastric Bypass Surgery are the only two weight loss procedures covered by insurance in Canada. As well, there are a few provinces that will only cover gastric bypass. Not every province covers the cost of lap band surgery and some provinces that do cover it will not cover the cost of the actual gastric band. As well, there are a few extended health insurance plans that may pay for part of the procedure with the other part being refunded as a tax deductible medical procedure. It is important to note that there are variations of what is covered in each province so it is important to check your home provincial health authority to find out coverage they provide. When Medicare pays for weight loss surgery, the wait time can be quite long, sometimes several years or more. It normal to have a wait period of about 5-7 years for weight loss surgery in publicly funded hospitals across Canada. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care of Ontario (through OHIP) will pay for gastric bypass surgery for Ontario patients at specific approved private weight loss facilities. Once approved by OHIP, patients can have the surgery within about 4 to 6 weeks. Although all provincial health insurance programs cover the costs of gastric bypass surgery, it is not always available in every province. Demand for the procedure is high in the public health system, so more private accredited weight loss clinics are being chosen. Today, the obesity rates are increasing in Canada. When choosing weight loss surgery, expect to lose a lot of weight and keep it off. You will see your health and appearance drastically improve. Because of their success and minimal risks, more obese people in Canada are now choosing weight loss surgery when traditional diets and exercise programs have failed. When considering weight loss surgery it is important to discuss the benefits and risks with your physician and find out if you are a potential weight loss surgery candidate. It is also important to contact your provincial health authority and insurance provider to find out what coverage is provided if you elect to have the procedure.
Aboriginal health care Canada is just one of the ways by which people are helping these special communities. For their part, the government and some other concerned agencies are turning their attention to the wellbeing of these people. Aside from the medical supplies that are regularly being sent to these people, housing projects are being implemented so that they can live comfortably in concrete and safe. Additionally, other organizations are working hand in hand in providing electricity and potable water to aboriginal areas. To further enhance this drive to help these aborigines, the government is encouraging private individuals to put up their businesses within the vicinity so these aborigines can be exposed to the modern lifestyle and for them to start on some gainful employments. And quite recently, the government made education more accessible to the natives, which led the way to the ongoing construction of school buildings inside the communities. In terms of providing access to health services, more and more medical professionals are visiting the place and within the next few years, hospitals will be built – also funded by the government. These medical efforts resulted to the discovery that these aborigines are also suffering from the same diseases that outsiders are also experiencing. Due to bad eating habits, many of these people are suffering from diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. HIV infection is also common. Aboriginal health care Canada is being made to conform to the health needs of these people. For example, big supplies of catheters are sent for those suffering from diabetes, and for those suffering from heart diseases, exercise apparatus. Despite these growing efforts, there are other areas in the aboriginal life that still remain needing much attention. These people should be exposed to technology for them to become functional in mainstream society. Technological advances in communication as well as the primacy of the internet in today’s living must be incorporated to be part of their own lives. Another area worth looking into is the productivity of their ancestral land. They have to be taught how to properly cultivate fruits and vegetables and produce meat products for their own consumption. And they must also learn which products are good for their health. It is still a long way to go but it will be good if we can start teaching these people as early as now. Education is an imperative. It is this same concern on education that was recently voiced in the United Nations. It shows that this country is not alone in trying to improve the living conditions of these people. In the same United Nations meeting, it was decided that concerned countries should send their health and education professionals right where the aborigines are located. These highly-skilled individuals will have to live with the aborigines and teach them farming, livestock raising and other skills that they need in order for them to live a respectable kind of life. On the other hand, health professionals will be sent to guide these people on how to ensure proper health care among themselves. It is expected that this effort will help improve aboriginal health care Canada.
On June 15 of this year, President Barack Obama visited the American Medical Association to push his public health-care proposal. This is a controversial issue in America and one that desperately needs solved. According to the Daily Herald, “the United States has the most expensive health-care system in the world, at $6.719 per person annually as of 2006-twice as much as most other industrialized nations.” But, like any other “hot button” political issue, this one seems mired in endless propaganda. The Democrats lean toward some type of government interference, while the majority of Republicans lean the other way. Meanwhile, polls are showing that a majority of Americans favor a public plan. A recent survey even found that 60 percent of physicians favor some type of a public plan. What, really, are the advantages and the disadvantages of a government-run public-health insurance plan? According to Progressive States Network, an organization that gathers policy issues-including those concerning health insurance-at the state level, there are three main benefits of public health insurance: Affordability – Individual companies have long benefited from the strength of “numbers” in lowering the insurance costs for its workers. The more employees a company enrolls in its health insurance plan, the lower are its premiums. Imagine, then, the premium lowering power of billions of enrollees that the government could offer. Quality of Care – The choice of a public health-care insurance plan would significantly improve the quality of care. According to Progressive States Network, “three or fewer insurers control 65% of market share in 36 states.” Introducing a public-plan option would ensure a healthy amount of competition and would force insurance companies to compete on the basis of quality rather than on cost-saving measures. Guaranteed Insurance – Not only would a public plan option cover all those who want it, but also all those who need it. Many people lose their private health insurance through job loss, but this would not be an issue with a public plan. But not everyone thinks that public health insurance is a good idea. According to the Daily Herald, critics of the plan list these major disadvantages: It would negatively affect private insurance companies. Because private insurance companies may not be able to adequately compete with the premium-lowering ability of the government, they may be forced out of business. Delayed healthcare – Republican congressman Peter Roskam, member of the Ways and Means Committee, fears that the “red-tape” of a government run program could lead to delayed healthcare for those who desperately need it. Other Republicans (and Democrats) are looking at ways to lower healthcare costs and provide more coverage without creating a public health insurance plan. But no matter what side of the political fence they are on, most policy makers agree that something has to be done about Americas “healthcare” crisis-and so does the American Medical Association. Initially, the AMA had opposed any type of public health insurance plan but, after President Obama’s meeting with them, they have expressed a willingness to consider some of the healthcare bills that are, or will be, presented to Congress.
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