Canada attracts many immigrants every year. One of the reasons why immigrants choose Canada is the public funded health care system. Thanks to the health care system, not only Canadian citizens, but also permanent residents, international students and other residents in Canada enjoys medical care at an extremely low cost, most seniors and people with low income even have it for free. It is no wonder that Tommy Douglas, the father of health care system in Canada, voted as the Greatest Canadian in history. The Canadian health care system has been regarded as a model for medical service, but even the best system has the drawbacks of its unsatisfactory. The significant high cost of health care is forcing the government to cut the funding towards it, and I believe that the public funded health care system should be cancelled.
According to statistics, the total expenditure on health care in Canada was as high as 7% of GDP in 1975, and the percentage has been rising to 9.6% in 2002, which is the 15th highest in the world. In 2009, the spending in health care in Canada is over 180 billion, which took as much as 11.9% of GDP, and made the expenditure per person raised to $5452 per year. This enormous rise has 3 reasons: the aging of baby boomers, the excessive usage by citizens, and the sharp rise of immigration.
Within the 20 years after the World War II, over 400’000 babies were born every year. As time goes by, these baby boomers have become the aging population in the country. Population 65 years and older has risen from 8% in 1971 to 14.4% in 2011, and it’s expected to rise to 16.5% in 2021. The health care expenditure on seniors that’s 65 years and older has already taken 45% of the total expenditure in 2004, and the cost will rise even faster with the growing elder population.
On the other hand, even for younger population, Canada’s health care system prompted Canadians to excessive use of its superior health care system. Many people make a fuss although they are actually fine while some real patients have difficulty looking for proper medical care. This not only cause a sharp rise in the cost of medical expense, but the long wait time also extend the tension of doctor-patient relationship.
The last but not least, the sharp rise of immigration also caused this problem. The majority of immigrants have changed from UK and Europe (1980s) to Philippines, China and India (2010). However, more and more Asian immigrants arrived and consider Canada as a good place to retire instead of earning money and making a living. At least 30% of the primary applicants brought their parents to Canada, yet most of the primary applicants make their living by earning lowest wage and also enjoys free health care. There is no doubt that the growing immigration wave will also increase the burden of Canadian health care system.
There may be many other reasons, such as the ebb of medical equipment, lack of long-term development plans, tight funding and the high cost of new technology, etc. The solution to the root problem is to cancel this public funded health care system. Although it has benefited the population for 40 years, while facing this severe challenge, it is time for a change.
photo by Truthout.org
SEO: I included time because it is highly searched on-line, it also conforms the picture I choose. Health and care is also attract highly on-line attention.