Canadian Health Care We So Envy Lies In Ruins, Its Architect Admits

As this presidential campaign continues, the candidates’ comments about health care will continue to include stories of their own experiences and anecdotes of people across the country: the uninsured woman in Ohio, the diabetic in Detroit, the overworked doctor in Orlando, to name a few.

But no one will mention Claude Castonguay – perhaps not surprising because this statesman isn’t an American and hasn’t held office in over three decades.

Castonguay’s evolving view of Canadian health care, however, should weigh heavily on how the candidates think about the issue in this country.

Back in the 1960s, Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec – then the largest and most affluent in the country – adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.

In America, these ideas may not sound shocking. But in Canada, where the private sector has been shunned for decades, these are extraordinary views, especially coming from Castonguay. It’s as if John Maynard Keynes, resting on his British death bed in 1946, had declared that his faith in government interventionism was misplaced.

What would drive a man like Castonguay to reconsider his long-held beliefs? Try a health care system so overburdened that hundreds of thousands in need of medical attention wait for care, any care; a system where people in towns like Norwalk, Ontario, participate in lotteries to win appointments with the local family doctor.

Years ago, Canadians touted their health care system as the best in the world; today, Canadian health care stands in ruinous shape.

Sick with ovarian cancer, Sylvia de Vires, an Ontario woman afflicted with a 13-inch, fluid-filled tumor weighing 40 pounds, was unable to get timely care in Canada. She crossed the American border to Pontiac, Mich., where a surgeon removed the tumor, estimating she could not have lived longer than a few weeks more.

The Canadian government pays for U.S. medical care in some circumstances, but it declined to do so in de Vires’ case for a bureaucratically perfect, but inhumane, reason: She hadn’t properly filled out a form. At death’s door, de Vires should have done her paperwork better.

De Vires is far from unusual in seeking medical treatment in the U.S. Even Canadian government officials send patients across the border, increasingly looking to American medicine to deal with their overload of patients and chronic shortage of care.

Since the spring of 2006, Ontario’s government has sent at least 164 patients to New York and Michigan for neurosurgery emergencies – defined by the Globe and Mail newspaper as “broken necks, burst aneurysms and other types of bleeding in or around the brain.” Other provinces have followed Ontario’s example.

Canada isn’t the only country facing a government health care crisis. Britain’s system, once the postwar inspiration for many Western countries, is similarly plagued. Both countries trail the U.S. in five-year cancer survival rates, transplantation outcomes and other measures.

The problem is that government bureaucrats simply can’t centrally plan their way to better health care.

A typical example: The Ministry of Health declared that British patients should get ER care within four hours. The result? At some hospitals, seriously ill patients are kept in ambulances for hours so as not to run afoul of the regulation; at other hospitals, patients are admitted to inappropriate wards.

Declarations can’t solve staffing shortages and the other rationing of care that occurs in government-run systems.

Polls show Americans are desperately unhappy with their system and a government solution grows in popularity. Neither Sen. Obama nor Sen. McCain is explicitly pushing for single-payer health care, as the Canadian system is known in America.

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care program,” Obama said back in the 1990s. Last year, Obama told the New Yorker that “if you’re starting from scratch, then a single-payer system probably makes sense.”

As for the Republicans, simply criticizing Democratic health care proposals will not suffice – it’s not 1994 anymore. And, while McCain’s health care proposals hold promise of putting families in charge of their health care and perhaps even taming costs, McCain, at least so far, doesn’t seem terribly interested in discussing health care on the campaign trail.

However the candidates choose to proceed, Americans should know that one of the founding fathers of Canada’s government-run health care system has turned against his own creation. If Claude Castonguay is abandoning ship, why should Americans bother climbing on board?

Gratzer is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a physician licensed in both the U.S. and Canada, where he received his medical training. His newest book, “The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care,” is now available in paperback.

How Diets can Help Your Baby

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, that should give you extra of a cause to lose weight. Whereas simply being chubby carries health problems, there are additionally problems for the infant when you find yourself overweight. When you are attempting to get pregnant, you need to observe diets, corresponding to Weight Watchers Online or Jenny Craig to be able to lose weight. However, if you are already pregnant, you should talk to your doctor as a result of losing weight may additionally hurt the baby.While your weight might be putting issues in your bones, muscular tissues and veins, you must also think about what the additional weight shall be doing to your unborn baby.

The primary problem is that you will be prone to further problems throughout the pregnancy, particularly in the course of the later stages. There are also dangers of needing a c-section relatively than having the ability to have the newborn naturally, which has issues in itself; there is a cause why doctors desire the natural birth.It can be very tough to see whether or not the baby is rising healthily while you are carrying it since the ultrasounds could not be capable to see clearly through the fat. You can miss out on finding out about pure birth defects or whether there are any risks of your child being born with a disability. That is typically an important part of the being pregnant to search out out whether the child may have the perfect chance of survival and a high quality of life.

There can even be more danger of your developing infections when you are carrying the newborn and when you are giving birth. Your immune system will be much decrease and your physique might be affected by the surplus weight already; it’ll all be weakened by carrying a baby.You’ll acquire weight while you are going by means of your being pregnant and that is healthy for a lot of women. Nevertheless, in case you are already chubby, you should not gain as a lot as you’ll when you were at a healthy weight degree to begin with. In fact, in case you are overweight, you must refrain from gaining greater than 10 pounds.

While you should not go on a weight loss program while you’re pregnant, it doesn’t imply that you can eat no matter you want. You need to look into eating healthy options and sticking to meals which are low in fats and high in protein. Yes, there will be cravings however it is very important crave them. You may very well find that the primary three months shall be whenever you drop pounds and eat less, simply due to the morning sickness. You do run the risk of dropping needed vitamins so it is best to preserve eating fish, excessive protein meals and also fruit and vegetables.