How world-class health care works – or not

23 Nov

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Welcome to Canada!  – also known to our American neighbours to the south as “Commie Pinko Land of Socialized Medicine”.

My 0wn province of British Columbia here on Canada’s gorgeous west coast has what I – and many others far above my pay grade – consider to be a world-class universal health care system.  Over 80% of us, in fact, consistently rate this health care as “excellent” or “very good“. 

Still, as a career PR person, I usually approach awareness communications like this video with a certain skeptical disdain.  To my surprise, I found it made a lot of sense to me. 

As a heart attack survivor with ongoing cardiac issues who’s become a frequent flyer of this health care system, I have some of the same kinds of concerns expressed about growing demands on our system, as well as big gaps I’ve encountered that need to be filled.

Understanding how our health care system works gives us all a better perspective on the innovation that’s happening already – and also helps to inform what really needs to change in four key areas:

  • keeping us healthy
  • improving the care we get in our community
  • improving our hospitals
  • making things like lab tests, pharmaceutical care and ambulance services more efficient

Please watch this video for a unique overview of some pressing problems and some creative solutions. And learn more about our provincial Think Health BC program.

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9 Responses to “How world-class health care works – or not”

  1. Healthy Artists Media November 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    This video makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of people that are unaware of what goes into the healthcare system, and videos like this can really help people learn about it and understand what needs to be fixed.

    Like

    • Carolyn Thomas November 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      It makes sense to me, too. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love your website and the work that your group is doing!

      Like

  2. Andrew F. November 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Thx for this link/video. I think they did a decent job explaining a very complex subject. Not just a matter of throwing money at a system to improve it. Well done, British Columbia!

    Like

    • Carolyn Thomas November 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      You’re right Andrew – this IS a complex subject. No easy “fix” no matter how simple the solution (to cure or improve the system).

      Like

  3. Fillmap November 24, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you for this, Carolyn. I just can’t stand hearing anybody complain about their health care system in Canada. These people have no clue how good we have it here, it’s not perfect, but I have lived in the U.S. for the past 5 years and could tell you heart-breaking stories about how lives here have been RUINED by medical debt either from having no health insurance or at the hands of their U.S. for-profit health insurance industry. Canadians thank your lucky stars you live where you do.

    Like

    • Carolyn Thomas November 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      I always like hearing from those who have experienced health care on both sides of the U.S/Canada border. Unlike most people, you really get it…

      Like

  4. Vetia November 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi Carolyn

    Over the years I have really given a great deal of thought to becoming a Canadian, your system of health care may not be the best but it is far better then my own.

    I learned about Universal Health Care some time back and have wondered how long it would take for my country to get on the band wagon. They use scare tactics to make the uneducated believe that if we have it, they won’t get proper care; the bottom line is they aren’t getting care at all.

    It’s very easy to go into the rural areas of any country and talk about bad health care but from my home I can go two hours away and get the worse possible care in a country hospital. For the most part they would have to fly me home for a bad asthma attack, but I can say that it is bad because of insurance only because of where it is and the small amount of people using it. But that does not say that we have bad health here. I am an American.

    Robin

    Like

    • Carolyn Thomas November 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, Robin. The best part of universal health care is that it is just that – universal. So it doesn’t matter whether you are a very wealthy person or a poor college student waiting tables to make ends meet – neither will ever have to worry here about not being able to afford to see a doctor or pay for a hospital stay when needed. And I can speak from personal experience as a heart patient that I received world-class cardiac treatment that will never make me lose my home to pay for or declare medical bankruptcy as almost one million Americans do each year.

      You’re right about rural vs urban care, however – if I lived in the far north of our own province, I would have needed to wait for an air ambulance to medivac me to the closest city offering cardiothoracic surgery. That’s merely the price of living in a rural, under-served area, isn’t it?

      Like

      • Vetia November 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

        I was lucky that I was at a teaching hospital that takes everyone because I have been one of those that insurance company won’t insure, but keeping my medications going is a big struggle and I am far from out of the woods with my heart condition and I don’t know how long I will be able to work.
        R.

        Like

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