Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Medical Bribery in Canada and Japan

Under the system of medical rationing in Canada, some patients are resorting to very desperate measures:
A Quebec woman who claims that she paid a doctor $2,000 to expedite surgery for her cancer-stricken mother is raising questions about whether bribery is being practiced in the province's health-care system.

Vivian Green said she was doing what she had to in an effort to save her elderly mother, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after she developed a pain in her side.

"When you're desperate you don't care who you bump and how sick they are," Green told CTV News. "I was desperate."
(Read the full text of "Quebec woman claims she bribed doctor for treatment".)

Basically, the Canadian medical system puts decent people in an impossible situation where they must choose between following the rules vs. saving their own lives.

Nor is this limited to Canada. In Japan, those willing to pay appropriately large "gifts" to doctors and hospital administrators get bumped to the head of the waiting lists.

Under such socialized medicine, those who are able to "grease" the system through money or political influence will always do well. In contrast, ordinary people will lose out.

(Link via Zip and K.V.)

Update: More details at the Montreal Gazette, "Want fast care? Slip an MD some cash":
Minimum $2,000 to guarantee that a woman's doctor will be there for the birth. "And it can go up to $10,000," he added.

For general surgery, the cost runs between $5,000 to $7,000 to jump the wait list into the operating room, he said.

For Green and Marcus, the $2,000 got their mother's operation bumped up -- but not the surgeon they wanted.
(Via @debbywitt and Mark Perry.)