I'm interested in learning about the goverment run Health Care in Canada. Pros and cons.

Rose - posted on 09/03/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )




I'm interested in learning what you the people of Canada think about your Health Care System. The pros and cons of it. The good and the not so good? Such as what is and is not covered, like eye care, glasses, dentistry....ect. I'll be looking forward to your posts. Thank You.


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Sylvia - posted on 09/03/2011




Other people have said useful things.

Two really important things to understand are (a) that our health system is not run by the government, only funded by the government; and (b) that we don't have a single health system for the whole country, we have 13 separate (though roughly equivalent) ones, one for each province (10) or territory (3). So it's really, really hard to generalize accurately.

That said ... here's a probably incomplete list of things my family has not paid out of pocket for over the past 20 years:

- two major abdominal surgeries to remove ovarian tumours (me)
- a post-concussion MRI (DH)
- day surgery to correct congenital bilateral inguinal hernias (DD)
- between 10 and 15 Emergency visits (everyone)
- 6 months of chemotherapy (me)
- day surgery to remove some icky thing from a toe (DH)
- 1 hospital birth with 48-hour hospital stay, breastfeeding class and lactation consultants on call
- DH's late father's 6-month hospital stay while he waited for a nursing-home bed, including treatment for aspiration pneumonia and all his Parkinson's meds
- dozens of annual physicals, well-baby and well-child checkups, flu shots, vaccinations, doctor visits
- extensive workups at 2 different infertility clinics (we did have to pay for the IVF cycles, though)

You may wait longer here (though that hasn't been my experience -- I live in a very large city with a bazillion hospitals), and lots of things aren't covered by public insurance (dental and prescriptions being the two big ones), but I have no complaints.

Rose - posted on 09/03/2011




Thank you I appreiciate all of your comments and information, you have been very helpful.

[deleted account]

the good new is that if you are hurt you can get treatment without having to pay. most things are covered. you can also go to the doctor whenever you are sick and don't have to pay for that either. most immunizations are covered, as are screening tools like HIV testing and cancer testing. the bad part is that wait times are ridiculous, it's not uncommon for people to have to wait upwards of 10 hours in the ER (my brother once had to wait 21 hours) and if you need to see a specialist, you will have to wait months (sometimes years). i had a lump in my breast and had to wait 6 months for an appointment to do a mammogram. also, dental, vision, and prescription costs aren't covered and those things can add up. all in all though, i would rather live in a country that covers basic things than one that covers nothing. if you have private insurance through work though it's better. my mom works for a hospital and everything is covered. she pays nothing for vision, dental, or prescriptions.

Krista - posted on 09/03/2011




Our health care system has its flaws. However, the good thing about it is that nobody goes without vital or crucial treatment due to a fear of the cost. So no, eye care, and dentistry are not covered (unless it is emergency dentistry, such as due to a major blow to the mouth.)

However, so much other stuff is covered. When I had my baby, I walked out of the hospital without any bill. Not even for one dime. I cannot even fathom the idea of having a brand-new baby and having to deal with co-pays and a private insurer and all of their associated bullshit.

A lot of Canadians have private insurance, to cover the items that our public insurance does not cover, like eyeglasses, dentistry, and prescription drugs. Which is totally fine. But, I worked in the private insurance sector for a few years, and I can tell you that claims adjudicators are not looking for reasons to approve your claims. They are looking for reasons to deny them.

Private insurers are purely profit-driven, and the easiest way for them to make a profit is to pay out as little as possible in claims. Too many times have I heard of people in the US being dropped by their insurer. With our health care system, that cannot happen. My provincially-run health insurance is not allowed to drop me. Ever. It doesn't matter how much I cost them.

That, in and of itself, is a major advantage, and a major reason I would never move to the States.

Jenni - posted on 09/03/2011




Depends on whether or not you have basic health care or private insurance.

We have private insurance through my husband's work. Pretty much everything is covered. We pay $3-$5 for all prescriptions. Most dental and eye care is covered. I just had 3 wisdom teeth out yesterday and the full price was $1500 but we only pay $300.

Basic health care covers all doctor visits and emergency care I believe. I think you still pay full price for most prescriptions. Full price for dental and eye care. Maternity care is free.

However, if you're on social assistance everything is covered except dental, I believe. Unless it's an emergency procedure. I think they pay extra for prescriptions but not full price.

I have no complaints. We pretty much never have to pay out of pocket for anything other than $3-$5 for prescriptions and about 1/5 of dental and eye care/glasses.

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