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Friday, February 16, 2018


JC Leahy

Bernie Sanders has apparently been asserting that Canadians do not wait long times for needed health care.  I can only say that my wife's relatives in Canada are very pleased with their Canadian health care system. In fact, a certain E.C. and his wife visited us here in Silver Spring, Maryland a while back and mentioned that he had recently had cardiac bypass surgery. He said he only had to wait 7 days and his total cost was only $7. Wow! I was impressed, and I told him so. I said that I had read that there was a BIG business in the US providing cardiac surgery for Canadians who couldn't get timely surgery in Canada. So I was really impressed to hear about E's short wait time.
E said, "Well, I went standby."
"Standby?? What do you mean 'stand
by'?" I asked.
"You have to know the system,” said E with a sly look. “ I was lucky that my doctor knew the system well. It's like flying standby on an airline. You sign up to take a surgical slot in case someone else cancels."
I was amazed, and asked, "Sooo....somebody else cancelled, and you got to take his spot, and you only had to wait 7 days for this to happen?"
"Well, why did he cancel?"
"Oh, he died."
"How long was he waiting?"
"Oh, he was waiting for a long time."
 "So he died waiting for a long time for cardiac surgery, and you snapped up his spot in line, and you only had to wait 7 days?  Do you see anything wrong with that picture, E ?"
 "No. I only had to wait 7 days. It worked out for me."

 Footnote: to get medical treatment on a "standby" basis, you pretty much have to be in the immediate vicinity of Toronto or one of the other big cities. If you live elsewhere, this administrative trick won't work for you because you have to be at the hospital STAT when your standby slot “opens.”. Although I’m happy that my relative E got his cardiac surgery so quickly in Toronto, the system strikes me as unfair to the guy who had to die waiting, as well as for those who don’t live in Toronto or some other big city.

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