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INTL: Market invisible hand forces Canadian death rate numbers public!

In a valiant effort to stop Canadians storming the borders and leaving their home health care system bereft of their health care dollars, the Canadian government has yielded. It’s made death rate numbers at Canadian hospitals public. The probably futile hope is that Canadian citizens will believe that the competition of transparency will lead to improvements in the current situation in some Canadian hospitals, such as the Scarborough Hospital mentioned in the article, which kills 124 out of every 100 patients admitted.

Now that the Canadian dollar is so strong, buying some 45,000 American Lire to the northern Peso, it’s cheaper for a Canadian to sneak across the border and pay cash for open heart surgery than it is to pay the tax on the Canadian cigarettes that caused the heart disease in the first place.

The combination of renowned treatment from private American hospitals that kill far fewer than 1 in every 1 patient (and sometimes less than that), and the strength of the Northern Peso have now resulted in the desperate situation of empty waiting rooms, and no queues for surgery in America’s northern neighbor.

The collectivist Marxists who run things in Canadian health care from their command center in the bunker of the UBC health care economics department have been horrified at this development. A spokesman who sounded a lot like Morris Barer was (or maybe wasn’t) overheard saying, “it’s our right as Canadian elitists to make the rest of our citizens wait forever for hospital care that will probably kill them if they don’t die waiting in line first. The overwhelming transparency and easily demonstrated quality of the now dirt cheap American health care system is not fair.”

Reports that the WTO was investigating were unconfirmed at time of writing.

Unrepentant free-marketeer Canadian exile David Gratzer was reportedly seen crowing, “See how Adam Smith has kicked those loonies in the ass! The market triumphs again!”

Now can I get a job in the Giuliani administration?

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8 replies »

  1. This is a beatiful blog.
    As an immigrant in Canada, I am appalled to see how this marxist health care regime kills Canadians.
    Here, you can have the best health care insurance for your pet but you have to wait 3 months to see Ear/Nose/Throat guy one year for an orthopedist, etc, etc.
    They detect your cancer and then they tell to wait for the treatment! And then they rationalize it. How disgusting!
    If the government is so good at providing services, why dont we go all the way to the toilet papers just like in Soviets.
    Right now, Canadians at the mercy of government operated or government SUPPORTED monopolies: cellphones, internet, car insurance, banking, etc. Canadians pay more receive less.
    However, as a Candian, I would not mind having such an incompetent government if they let the market forces to solve Canada’s health problem.
    Mike Giddons

  2. C’mon John. We know how resourceful those Canadian marxists are….they’re probably kidnapping the extra 24 out of the overcrowded emergency rooms in Buffalo!
    Thanks for the rather more serious correction.

  3. Hey man, I oppose Canadian-style, government monopoly medicine, but even I cannot believe the Scarborough hospital kills 124 of 100 patients admitted! Where do they find those extra 24 to kill? Do they kidnap them off the sidewalk?
    But seriously, despite your humorous attempt to caricature a Giuliani supporter (see my letter in the Seattle Times today), please allow me to point out that the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) is not the “Canadian government”. It’s a non-profit funded by lots of different grants that has access to data that others do not, so it’s quasi-“official”. The Canadian government would not have the data anyway, because there are ten different provincial government monopolies and CIHI has to gather data from each Health Ministry. I know from a personal meeting with CIHI executives that standardizing this information is quite challenging.

  4. I’m not sure how this scheme will work to the advantage of patients, but being done in the Canadian single-pay system it probably has a better chance there at equal ratings for hospitals than it would here. The reason I think this is there are not for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals in Canada. Hosptials can’t and don’t offload their sickest non-paying patients to the safety net hosptial down the road or, as we’ve seen here, the street. There is not the gettoization of healthcare as is here, so I’m thinking there will be a truer across the board mix of all income groups and health problem mixes to make this comparable. I don’t know how they’re going to evaluate hospitals getting a disproportionate number of sicker, closer to death patients, but it seems the hospitals are on board for this. We’ll see if number fudging will sink this. Meanwhile any signs of transparency here is just a distant spec on the horizon.

  5. I think your criticism of the Canadian Healthcare system is a little harsh and misleading. Since the 100 number represents the Canadian average, the 124/100 ratio is merely relative. So, of course, there will be Canadian hospitals that perform above and below the Canadian average.

  6. Ok, so someone will tell Canadians that hospitals who are better equipped and who handle more critical patients will have more deaths, right? Tell me it’s so!

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