Monday, January 20, 2014

Canadian Surgeons and Patients End Runs Outside The System

The Calgary Herald reports, "Have scalpel, will travel: Alberta surgeons operate abroad to bypass wait times".

More Canadian doctors are practicing outside the country's borders (e.g., in the Caribbean) to provide patients with faster, better service.

In this case, a Canadian woman chose to have her knee surgery by a Canadian doctor in the Caribbean with only a 2-week wait (rather than a 7 month wait in the government socialized system).

This was after she got a private MRI scan (rather than waiting 8 months for a government-approved MRI scan.)

The article notes it's not merely the "super rich" exercising this option, but also many ordinary people who don't wish to wait.  In the case, the patient was totally reliant on her husband to get around, requiring pain medications that made her woozy.  For her, spending money to receive faster medical care made perfect sense.

This two-tiered system may be the future of American health care in a few years.