by Victoria Brewster, MSW
Healthcare for every American and Canadian is very important especially for those that are of lower income. Basics are covered here in Canada, but anything above? Everyone is entitled to a GP, but not everyone has one. Everyone is entitled to be referred to a specialist, but the wait can be a year. We have Medicare here in Canada or Universal Health Coverage, which is great overall and will cover routine GP visits and check-ups, many medications, surgery, tests, etc, but there might be a wait-list for any of the above. Overall, as a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada and one who has accessed and used both healthcare systems, Canada’s is better.
Where else can a woman get pregnant, be followed by a physician or Ob/Gyn, obtain any needed tests or exams, ultrasounds, give birth to a baby and there are no additional fees attached? Yes, if one is working is is required that we obtain additional or supplemental health insurance, through our employer, but it is for things not covered by Medicare like, Dental, private Physical Therapy, private Occupational Therapy, Osteopath, Therapeutic Massage, Acupuncture, tests not covered by Medicare, glasses, or expensive hearing aids that are above what Medicare deems as necessary. Plus some of us have access to a Health Spending Account through our supplemental health insurance to cover orthodontics and the like. We also pay close to 15% tax on everything to help pay for all this.
I used HMO style health insurance in the states and because I was young and healthy I did not use it much so the few times I did, it was great. I do not think that is the case today after reading the various material that is available on the web, LinkedIn and other social media sites, blogs and such.
*Initially posted on http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/
http://www.who.int/health_financing/universal_coverage_definition/en/index.html – Universal Coverage-a definition
*October 20, 2012