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Changes in Canadian Health Care? It’s Time

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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.

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7 Comments

  1. Ruth Jeyamanoharan says:

    The Canadian health care has allowed those who are landed immigrants, refugees and other people who enter Canada and becoming citizens will allow them to receive health care in which they need. Yes, the funds for health care is from the public, but do you think people in Canada want to be like those in the United States and have to pay thousands of dollars just to give birth, get stitches or whatever they need to see the doctor for? I agree that the baby boomers of after World War II will become the aging population, but in the end, health care allows everyone to receive the attention they need.

  2. walkerkt says:

    I like your use of statistics and facts to back up your premise, but ultimately I do have to disagree with your argument. The public system is in desperate need of a revisal, but it should not be tossed out. Focus on preventative medicine is also shown to have a significant impact on a program like ours, as doing rehabilitative work for your knee with a therapist is cheaper than having to do a knee replacement down the line, and would help to prevent additional health issues that could arise from the slow degration of the knee (back issues etc). Furthermore, many of the prices being associated with certain surgeries are outdated. Procedures that once took an hour now take 3 minutes, but the same astronomical charge is being applied. I would argue that abandoning the program for a private system would fail all Canadian citizens and cause many issues for us in the future- instead I would propose an audit and revisal of the current system. For us to abandon our health care system would be for us to abandon what it means to be Canadian.

  3. Good blog post but I have to disagree. I am someone who has a few medical conditions that require me to have daily medications for the rest of my life. Being a low income student, the PharmaCare program allows me free medical care, 70% off all prescriptions and many other benefits. Without this my medication would cost me hundreds of dollars a month compared to about $10 a month I spend with the program. Not only that, without the medical care we have, surgery would not be free. Family members of mine have needed emergency surgeries and our system allows for this.
    I don’t mind have long wait times in an emergency room, or long wait lists to see specialists but it seems like a minimal issue for the care we recieve

  4. aimeefauteux says:

    If Canada’s Universal health care suddenly disappeared so would our tax money. At least we know where our money is being spent, as opposed to seeing our tax funds go toward miscellaneous governmental projects or simply disappearing. I’m sure the Canadian government makes a ton of money from allowing genetically modified products to be sold and pesticides used in order to prolong a product’s shelf life, unlike places in Europe; and now many Canadian citizens are developing all sorts of different types of cancers from these poisonous products. Therefore, it seems to be fair that Canada offers its citizens some type of health care compensation. If there’s no universal health care the 1% of Canada’s population will be the only ones who are healthy…who will do the dirty work if everyone’s sick?

  5. SamHale says:

    I’ll admit that the current health care system in Canada is starting to crack but I don’t think abandoning ship is the answer. As bad as it may seem in Canada (honestly, it isn’t even that bad) things are even worse in the United States. Compare the two countries’ health care systems. At least we (Canadians) have health care when we need it. Canada probably has the best health care in North America (that’s probably not saying much), although the government certainly needs to take the necessary steps to ensure that the system does not fall apart.

  6. omarfaruqi says:

    Hey Stephen, interesting blog. I like the pacing of the blog at the beginning but the conclusion left me a little confused as it seemed too harsh and sudden to a problem that extends beyond healthcare. The reasoning to shut it down because of an increase in seniors and immigrants seeking to retire in Canada rather then work here, seems like a good way to shoot Canadian citizens in the foot.

  7. Jess' Blog. says:

    I have to completely disagree with your argument. As a low-income student, the public health care system allows for me to get prescriptions at a low cost. Without this system, I would have to pay hundreds of dollars, something I cannot afford to do. While the system, does need to be revised, I think that diminishing public health care will have an adverse affect on Canada’s population.

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