Why you should have your heart attack in Canada

As much as I’ve tried so far to keep my nose out of the health care reform circus that’s happening with our dear neighbours to the south, I can’t resist sharing a wee dose of reality from Canada (also known to some Americans as “Commie Pinko Land of Socialized Medicine”).

A piece in the Washington Post reminded me this week that, in other democracies of the developed world, patients are somehow receiving medical care that is not only universal, it’s actually considered better and cheaper than care in America.

In fact, the World Health Organization now ranks the U.S. 37th in the world in terms of quality health care access. American infant mortality rates (an oft-quoted criterion for how well countries are caring for their citizens) are double those of most Western countries. Almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does.

The U.S. health care system forces over 700,000 Americans to declare bankruptcy every year.  In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero. Canada: zero. Yet I’ve actually read warnings from U.S. health reform opponents that reform will somehow mean a slippery slope towards the ‘horrors of Canadian medicine”. Seriously. Continue reading “Why you should have your heart attack in Canada”