Real Canadians…

Talking About Real Healthcare

Various Canadians discuss some of the realities of our “socialist” healthcare system (as opposed to the lies and distortions being propagated by the American right-wing proponents of for-profit healthcare).

Unfortunately, the filmmaker seems to have missed interviewing any Bloggin’ Tories who would have happily shared all their dreadful, horrific experiences with Canadian medicare, perhaps relating stories of their fictional aunt or “some guy they know” who had to wait two years for heart surgery or had their leg mistakenly amputated, etc.


25 Replies to “Real Canadians…”

  1. …braised, served on top of a tangy, raspberry coulis, accompanied by a fine Argentinian Malbec.

    For her type, she is high class, after all.

  2. Great flick. Love the ‘are you a real canadian’ question !

    Although i have to be the fly in the ointment:

    Canada is in serious need of a private option.

  3. TDA.. I don’t know if we’re in need of a “private option”, but, we are in need of dialogue as opposed to “ideologues”.

    The rampant psycho-right in the U.S. is on a tear that we’re dying in the streets in Canada, while at home, we’re whistling through the graveyard to a tune of “We’ve Got No Problems”.

    When health care crashes, I have enough income that I can fly south for treatment.. but the lower-middle class in particular (as in the U.S.) are going to get roasted if we don’t shore up a struggling Canadian system.

  4. Rob H.,

    I still think we need a private option (we’re the only western democracy without one…..), but i’m in complete agreement that the same type of political wagon circling going on in the US right now is what happens up here every time we try and discuss our healthcare model.

    But like so many other problems, we’ll probably have to wait until we’re in absolute crisis mode before dialogue will be permitted.

  5. KEv — Yeah, I read that underwhelming disclosure this morning.

    So according to Raffles, he was deceitful about his online identity because of a falling out with a “Neo Nazi” crackpot who agreed with his racist screeds up until the point at which the Unambiguously Dexterous One became uncomfortable with the association and attempted to put some distance between the two of them by “publicly rebuking” the guy. Pretty funny actually.

    Well geez, I’ve received many threats of violence (only a few actual death threats though) over the years, starting with “Republican Vet” (remember that poor fellow in Colorado?) and I have (had) a family too, but that never seemed to be an adequate excuse for writing under a pseudonym for the wingnuts. Oh no… They demanded that I be outed because I was… you know, mean and snarky to them. See, a whole different kettle of fish there and not at all a hypocritical double-standard.

    But you know, it’s perfectly understandable that Raffles would want to protect his family and all. And the fact that he frequently posted pictures of them online shouldn’t undermine the credibility of that valiant sentiment in any way at all.


    Bottom line is the guy is a deceitful twatwaffle, a pompous blowhard, and an inveterate racist.

    We can now resume ignoring him completely.

  6. The rampant psycho-right in the U.S. is on a tear that we’re dying in the streets in Canada, while at home, we’re whistling through the graveyard to a tune of “We’ve Got No Problems”.

    No one is saying “we’ve got no problems.”

    This is the worst time to be talking about reform to our health care system when the media is flooded with right wing lunacy, when most Canadians don’t have a good idea of what is working and what isn’t, and when our own government can’t be bothered to defend it from foreign attacks.

    Take a (government-supplied) Valium, Rob and relax.

  7. “I’ve received many threats of violence”

    including a few veiled threats from “ralphie”, himself.

    “We can now resume ignoring him completely.”

    well, maybe not entirely… 😉


  8. TDA — I think part of the reaction to reform here in Canada is in no small way influenced by our proximity to the USA and the fear of having our system rapidly devolve into something similar.

    Discussing the subject is generally considered the “third rail” of Canadian politics, much the same way that pensions are in the U.S. In both case there are reforms and changes that need to be undertaken, but it’s politically hazardous to do so.

    So should we blame the politicians… or the people who react this way whenever the subject is raised?

  9. Two other issues:

    1. The private health care lobby has been flooding North America with propaganda and disinformation about public health care and that has to stop…by law if need be.

    2. The private for-profit health care industry is eyeing our private not-for-profit health care delivery agencies as a potentially lucrative area into which it can co-opt and expand its influence. The last thing we need are these vultures looking for new ways to gouge us.

    Until these issues are addressed, I won’t be discussing health care reform other than the efficiencies that can be achieved through process re-engineering.

  10. Red T,

    I understand the political danger of the topic, and would say by the time Obama’s reform of healthcare in the US is finished, you won’t need to compare the political danger of healthcare reform in Canada to the danger of pension reform in the US; the political danger of American healthcare reform will be a worthy example on its own. I can’t say for sure, but i think this will end badly for the uninsured American citizen and for Obama.

    Although i can empathize with the Canadian reluctance to discuss healthcare reform (mostly cuz i’m Canadian and see that overall our system is a good one), i don’t find the intensity of Canadian voter reluctance to discussing healthcare reform any less ridiculous than what i’m seeing in the States right now.

    Well, that’s not true. Nothing really trumps American Conservative bravado, does it?(insert favorite brown- pants-death-squad reference here) But that aside, the chicken little act is about the same, just at a Canadian volume.

    Oh, and I certainly don’t blame the politicians for their radio silence on the issue.

    I mean this without malice: politicians govern with the maturity level of an 18 year old.

    Some 18 year olds have had parents that set very firm boundaries and have been fair but consistent when those kids have stepped outside those boundaries. At the same time, they’ve richly rewarded initiative and acheivement beyond expectation. Those kids tend to reach for the sky even if they only hit the ceiling half the time, and understand that trying to pull a fast one on your folks really ain’t worth the pain.

    Then you’ve got “that” 18 year old who always does as much (or as little) as he possibly can without catching hell. That kid learns quickly how wide the sidelines have been set by his parents, and how setting Mom off against Dad (or vice versa) can push those sidelines even farther apart to his benefit. That kid figures out which deceptions aren’t consistently punished and uses them like tools to manufacture whatever existence he prefers.

    Maybe i’m an idealist (or for sure i am), but we’ve trained our politicians to govern exactly like they do. They’re no better or worse than we let them be.

    (PS: advice after reading all of the above: when you’re several blended scotches into your Friday night, best to just push the keyboard away until Saturday morn)

  11. Well I am VERY glad to see @Shoq ‘s video on your site! He is one of the biggest boosters of health care reform on Twitter and an American and he made this while on vacation up here. I thought it was great! (I assume you follow him on twitter, if you aren’t, you should, he’s a great source of info and links and blog fodder)

    As far as health care reform in Canada, surprisingly, it’s not about money so much as it is about reorganizing the system. For example, a few years ago there were waits, sometimes long waits for non-emergency cardiac care in Ontario, because each doctor kept his own individual wait list in his office of procedures. Emergencies would come in and play havoc with those lists, with no recognition of who was sicker than who and who should get treatment first.

    They decided to centralize it and develop a system where each area on Ontario would have a few appointment per day kept open for emergency procedures, and there were designated Docs who were “On call” that day. They did their other procedures on other days. The list was also centralized, so if one doc was on vacation or ill, his patients could easily see another Doc without going through hassles, and if one Doc had fewer patients, he would take some from another with more patients, if the patients were okay with it.

    They also contracted out some procedures to closer jurisdictions, like Windsor and Sarnia emergency angioplasties were sent to US hospitals across the border, because the volume of work was too small and too infrequent to justify having an angio team on call. And it was to far and too dangerous to drive them to London.

    And the whole list disappeared. Three nurse managers and administrators take care of the whole thing in a building in T.O.

    We live in a vast country in lots of big cities with a smattering of small towns in between and a sprinkling of people in rural areas and the north. We are also the most diverse nation on earth in terms of immigrants who bring language and other issues to the table. Most of our problems stem from how to cover those rural areas and how to deal with our increasingly diverse population.

    It’s not just about money. Really.

  12. With respect to Canadian politician’s failing to help educate American’s on our health care system; I think we can all agree that it would make us feel better and more Canadian (wrapping ourselves around our flag).

    I’ve lived in the US and American’s have a real low tolerance for foreigners telling them how to run their country. Add to that the issues of credibility. Republican talking heads, democrat talking heads, pharma talking heads, Canadian political talking heads, etc.

    It would make us feel good, but I’m not sure we would be very effective. If we wish to lecture our American cousins, and some Canadian’s love doing that, than be warned.

    I think the video is excellent and would provide food for thought at the real people level.

  13. It bugs me our Minister of Health questions whether it is the federal government’s responsibility to provide (relatively cheap) soap during a mild pandemic (yes, duh). Our Minister of Science is a creationist (about the only portfolio this is a slur). We have an illiterate Senator who thought PMs were goals and J.Ogrodnick was a 1st liner…..

    CPC prohibition platform and cancelled Court Challenges programme have compromized my mental health (and research productivity) by rich Canadians who think Insurance, Banking and Oil sands industries (that’s the $$ favourites of Flaherty whether or not he realizes it), can singularly serve Canadian quality-of-living now and in the future.

    Andrew Coyne has remarked CPC needs to rebuild from small government roots (the opposite of how West was built up economically). Brilliant way to address looming $80B annual deficit (larger if exist public soap funding is cut). On the bright side it will be nice to be an $8/hr casual labourer in an indoor hospital environment free from asbestos and falls.

  14. …the bank CEO who killed the $180M/yr free bank account plan killed my chance to use Harper’s savings accounts to by cheap stocks. Volt, 1/2 a staffing company, was only $5/share this summer. Imagine temp labourers actually building wealth.
    Same CEO was part of Harper’s $800B bank insurance credit line welfare. If they were to pay for it it would cost them about $40B/yr. Just paying off the interest would be $30B/yr in finance (most profitable sector in Canada) welfare. How this is relevant is that Laurentian Bank and probably all don’t lend to any IR postal code, even the ones who don’t pay outrageous administrative salaries (paltry compared to exec compensation), even not resource rich ones….these are considered bad credit rating charity cases. Just 1% of this to lend to IRs based on some P.Martin African poverty best-practises formula would make a huge difference, at worst highlight some First Nations practises that need to be junked.
    The Canadian establishment destroys social fabric building programmes like potential daycare without looking at the quality-of-living of rich people in third world countries. Fuck you.

  15. I’m jealous Joe Clark figured out there was a mandatory sharp Q-tip CPC member kit almost a decade before me. I didn’t know until ’07. A lot of my political revelations are probably already known to people privately; educating the public isn’t a career imperative for most I guess.

  16. Once you said “right wing” its pretty clear that you’re completely misguided. If you can somehow explain that the lower survival rates for cancer, faster treatments for diabetes, and the lower number of MRI facilities than in the USA, is why Canada’s system is better than ours(meaning that their system lowers supply because they simply just don’t PAY FOR IT), or that its the reason that they have a higher life expectancy than we have, then you are using erroneous reasoning to come to that conclusion. When you compare what the life expectancy in Canada would be without universal health care, with a higher supply of it, it would be higher in Canada than it is now. Apples to Apples. Not Apples to Orange comparisons.

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