If you are eager to add more government to healthcare, please Google Shona Holmes. Read what she writes about the Canadian healthcare system.
She claims that that bureaucratic system performed a miracle. It transformed her from a human into a number. And nearly killed her in the process.
Shona needed diagnosis urgently. She was losing her sight. The bureaucrats stood her at the end of the line. Four to six months to see specialists.
She was forced to fly to Phoenix to see American specialists.
They told her she needed surgery urgently. To remove a brain tumor that threatened her sight. The Canadian bureaucrats refused. Told her to stand in line.
She returned to the States, got the surgery and now sees. One thing she sees is something too many Americans are blind to. She sees tragic shortcomings in government-run healthcare. She sees that our system works better.
ďI sincerely hope that Americans wonít destroy a system that is the envy of the world by placing it under the yoke of big government bureaucracy.Ē And yet this is exactly what many of our leaders want to do.
Government-run systems have the same problems the world over. Shortages. They are always short of specialists. They are short of equipment. They are short of nurses. And so the patients must wait for diagnosis and treatment.
The shortages are not because of lack of money. Governments pour billions into healthcare.
The reason they run short is a simple one. Bureaucrats are not connected to the market. They donít respond to markets the way non-government folks do.
In private medicine, when there are shortages of specialists hospitals will pay more for them. And so more students specialize in the areas that need them.
In government medicine the bureaucrats donít want to pay some specialists more than others. Just as education bureaucrats are against paying one teacher more than another. Such thinking ignores the market. Ignore the market and the market will punish you. The punishment in medicine is shortages.
Shona now works to reform Canadaís government-run system. She claims ď... 800,000 Canadians currently are in long holding patterns for operations that would be done in the U.S. in a few weeks, after the initial diagnosis. Sadly, many will die before they make it to the head of the line.Ē
We have about ten times as many people as Canada. We all know we have problems and challenges with our healthcare. But can you imagine 8 million Americans on long holding patterns for operations?
New Zealand has government-run healthcare. If you make similar calculations with their waiting lists you would have nearly 7 million Americans in line. Waiting lists are so bad that one-third of New Zealanders purchase private insurance. After paying big taxes to fund the government system. They pay the money for a government system that lets them down. And feel they are forced to buy the insurance for any serious problems.
The UK is notorious for the same problems. Millions of Brits sit on waiting lists. As a result, they have the lowest cancer survival rates in Europe. Of 100,000 men diagnosed with cancer there, 21,500 will die in the UK who would have survived in the U.S.
And we want to bring more government into our healthcare? Those who do, deserve to see a doctor. The kind who has a couch.
From Tom ... as in Morgan.
For more columns and for Tomís radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.