View Full Version : In This Thread, I ask for Canadian's to enter...but this is a real thread ya'll

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Nov 18th, 2002, 09:53 PM
Recently Al Gore (whom I suppose most of you know) has come out and made it an issue that he supports a universal health care system similar to that of Canada's.

Al had opposed this in 2000, but he said now it seems to be the only viable alternative to the current health care crisis now (which I am affected by....my premiums are OUTRAGEOUS for such little coverage).

SO, my question is to you, what exactly does the Canadian plan entail? How much does each person pay? Do you like it? How long has it been in place?

PLEASE, no debates in here (unless I say so ;) ) so I just want an honest discussion about the facts and opinions of Canadian's on their health care system.


VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Nov 18th, 2002, 11:17 PM
pff.....no canadians online?

Nov 18th, 2002, 11:42 PM
the cost of medicare, and the services offered, varies from province to province.

In BC cost is about C$ 50. per month per person. (US 30.)
which covers doctors, hospitals and most prescription drugs (but not all)

Nov 19th, 2002, 01:51 AM
In Ontario we don't pay anything as individuals. All companies with 50 employees or more pay a Fair Share Health Tax. The rest of the cost comes out of general government revenues. There is little doubt that individuals and companies would have to pay much, much more if they had to arrange private coverage.

In Ontario, services of family doctors, medical specialists, and most hospital services are covered. Prescription drugs are covered ONLY while in the hospital.

Seniors and people with disabilities get many, but not all, prescription drugs covered.

Chiropractors, psychologists, dentists, etc. are not covered.
Psychiatrists are covered ONLY if through a hospital.

If you've broken your leg and need a crutch to just to leave emergency, you'll find it isn't covered.

That's an overview.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 19th, 2002, 02:39 AM
My father is a teacher, which means that I've always had very good health care coverage, based on his plan.

However, in a year I go off of that, when I turn 21 (wow, more like 5 months) - so I should look into the details of this myself :o

I'm pretty sure that included with what denise already said - so we not get an eye exam ever couple years that is covered? I mix things up between the canadian or provincial plans, and my fathers benefits.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 19th, 2002, 02:40 AM
I guess that fits into medical specialists? My bad ;)

Nov 19th, 2002, 02:43 AM
If you don't mind, how does the tax structure work in Canada, and in your province?? I think this is relevent to the health care question...

Also you hear a fair amount about waiting for surgery, etc. Is that a problem? Only in certain provinces?

Thanks ahead of time...

Crazy Canuck
Nov 19th, 2002, 02:49 AM
hmmmm I know in my home town, that waiting for certain surgeries, and procedues, takes for bloody ever.

But my hometown doesn't have a hospital sufficient for a city of 70 000 and the surrounding area that also depends on it's facilities.

I imagine in Toronto it isn't as bad - Denise can shed some light on that.

I don't know a lot about the city I attend school in, because everything medical for me is covered through the school medical services.

Although they did have to send me for an ultra sound on my heart, and I only had to wait a week to get it.

But that isn't exactly surgery.

Nov 19th, 2002, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by evadafan
If you don't mind, how does the tax structure work in Canada, and in your province?? I think this is relevent to the health care question...

Also you hear a fair amount about waiting for surgery, etc. Is that a problem? Only in certain provinces?

Thanks ahead of time...

oh it's very simple.

The CCRA (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) sends you a form with only two lines.

How much money did you earn last year?

send it.

Nov 19th, 2002, 05:05 AM
Waiting lists

Rebecca, yes, I think you're correct that eye exams by optometrists are now covered only every two years.
(It used to be annually.)

Waiting lists? It varies depending what you need. Some one can correct me on details, but I believe it was recently stated by the doctors' association that some waiting times for tests were too long, based on when ---- if it turns out treatment is necessary ---- the treatment should have been started. Some tests take so long they are past that date when the results are known. That, it seems to me, should be a huge alarm bell ringing. I'm surprised there wasn't more outcry.

Also, another factor is that the length of waiting time may present other risks.

For example, a friend of my is about to have a total knee replacement. The waiting time for her hasn't been that bad, but certainly during that time the risk of her slipping, breaking a hip, or having some other complication, is higher. That's another reason for not having lengthy waiting times.

Waiting lists for various mental health services are bad.

Of course, a big problem is that though people know of waiting list problems, no statistics are kept, and the length of waiting lists is never considered as part evaluating the poor performance of any hospital. Last year I had a discussion with one of the accreditors who evaluates hospitals --- all hospitals must go through an accreditation process. On a personal level, he acknowledged waiting lists are a big problem. I'm sure others also agree. But as far as I know, it is still being ignored.

Now, admittedly, some waiting list problems are very hard to manage. It is difficult to manage which specialties student doctors find attractive and decide to go into. However, there is a definite problem in the way we allocate payment for doctors. In Ontario it is negotiated between the government and the doctors, so that in large part it depends upon which types of doctors have the most numbers and clout. If there are a lot of cardiologists, you can be fairly sure most cardiac medical procedures will be covered. On the other hand, a medical procedure that few doctors do, might not be covered. Or, as another example, as terrible as a wart on her face might be to a teen's social and psychological health, no doctors have any strong economic interest in such surgery, so it isn't covered.

And in my case, surgery that I will eventually need is not covered --- I'm told no rationale was ever given when Ontario de-listed it, though it is suspected it was a matter of prejudice. So I have to hope my liver stays healthy for a long time and that I don't have a stroke. Ironically, in one more year, the cumulative cost of my medication will have exceeded what the cost of surgery would have been!!!


I don't think I can give a better answer to that above!!!

But, anyway, the federal government collects taxes in various ways. There is income tax ---- complicated, but far less complicated than in the U.S. --- and a Goods & Services sales tax of 7%. The federal government also collects Employment Insurance Premiums --- far more than they pay out --- and Pension Plan Contributions. The federal government can also collect various license fees in areas of its jurisdiction, collects customs duties, excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco and gasoline, passport fees, and so on.

OK, legally only the federal government can collect income tax. But all the provinces have some sort of agreement with the federal government to collect income tax for them too. Most provinces also have a sales tax, and collect various license fees in their areas of jurisdiction, such as drivers' licenses, motor vehicle licenses, birth certificate fees, etc. etc. They also have specific taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline.

Cities and other municipal governments have no legal existence or validity except as "creatures of the provinces". Thus they have no tax powers whatsoever other than what the particular province allows them. They might have some sources of revenue such as parking license permits, weddling license fees, bus fares, water bills, etc. Often cities and muncipal governments have been given property tax powers, where the tax is based on an assessment of the probably market value of the building.

Often school boards have depended upon property tax powers too. So property tax would be a combination of the municipal rate and the school board rate. School boards actually do have some constitutional backing but the courts have not made much of that. In Ontario, the school boards' can no longer set property tax rates and the property taxes have been taken away and pooled by the province.

More than you really wanted to know? Right? :)

Although our tax burden is considered higher than in the U.S., I'm told that when you factor in what U.S. corporate employers have to contribute to employee health plans, that the comparison is favourable for Canada.

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Nov 19th, 2002, 01:17 PM
The plan sounds great.....as of right now, I am paying $120 monthly for myself and my plan isn't that great.....I only have a limited number of doctors I can go to and plus my insurance company is very picky about specialty doctors you need.

Regarding the waiting lists for surgeries and stuff, I am sure it is comparable down here to waiting to see if your insurance will actually APPROVE the procedure first.

Some health care plans down here are terrific -- especially those in government type jobs (military, education, etc.). Yet many are horrible...and the funny thing is, I work in health care!

I hope we can come to a resolution on this one day - and I know there will be much headbanging over this, but Canada, in addition to many northern European nations have this as well, and it works terrific for them. They don't have as many problems as the Americans seem to.

Thanks for the answers folks! :)

Nov 19th, 2002, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by Fingon

oh it's very simple.

The CCRA (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) sends you a form with only two lines.

How much money did you earn last year?

send it.

Actually, they have ameded it! After you send them every penny you have earned, they send you a bill for the balance!