From the Cheap Seats: Oh Canada, How Could You?

July 12, 2012
Air Canada A320 C-FNVV
More than 46,000 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, driven out by long wait timescaribb / Foter

Oh, Canada, how could you? Really, how could you?

We refer to your peculiar habit of sending your subjects (and yes, we mean that literally. Have you noticed the whole monarchy thing?) south to “The Colonies” for medical care?

The Fraser Institute released a study on Wednesday, and it seems that some Canucks aren’t as socialist as we’ve been led to believe.

What drove the folks from the frigid north wasn’t physicians’ cold hands. Although it’s not as though those hands have been all that busy.

Yep, more than 46,000 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, driven out by long wait times. Canucks have seen the time between when they are referred to specialists and when are seen by the specialists is up 104 percent from 1993 to 19 weeks. The surveyed specialists were from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Geography majors will note that one of the provinces not mentioned is Alberta, the same province that is supplying the United States with vast amounts of crude oil.

Canada, in fact, is the United States’ largest supplier of crude oil, not Saudi Arabia. Alberta is the source of Canada’s crude oil tar sands. So while Alberta is sending down oil, it’s taking care of  the people who work there.

Might there be a connection?

We’re just guessing here, but it stands to reason that Albertans are working and they can’t afford to wait around on specialists. Specialists, meanwhile, know that they can’t afford to wait around either.

There’s something about entrepreneurial approaches, they seem to be contagious and it’s about the only thing that the Canadian health system seems able to cure.

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