The Canadian healthcare system is often disparaged by Americans who do not believe in universal health care. They cite wait times and the inability to shop around for the best as reasons why adopting our system is wrong. There is some truth to the criticism, yet I feel they miss the things we can rightly praise.
If a patient’s concern is elective (optional and not life-threatening), then waiting may be necessary. Why? Because patients who require immediate assistance are given priority. The Octogenarian is a high risk patient. She gets what my local hospital calls “red zoned” when she arrives at ER. [Let me make it clear that we do not use ER like a clinic. When we go to ER the situation is dire.]
Decisions are not based on health care coverage, or the willingness to pay a premium, in our system care decisions are based on how life-threatening the problem is. That is a good thing.