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differences between Canadian vs U.S. healthcare support?

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Old 03-01-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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differences between Canadian vs U.S. healthcare support?

Looking to evaluate whether Canada or U.S. offers better govermental assistance for dementia. Anyone familiar with both systems?

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Old 03-02-2013, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: differences between Canadian vs U.S. healthcare support?

I live in Canada but I don't know a lot about the nursing home and etc. The hospice here is good and the nurse can come to the private home to offer support. There are public nursing homes but some are closed. Some have bad reputations. This part is similar to the states - some are good and some are bad.
However, in terms of general or elderly care, the medical care waiting time is terrible. We are short of GPs so we have to fight to get a GP or go to the walk-in clinic to wait. The ER wait can be 3 hours depending on how urgent it is.
A hip replacement surgery can take many months' wait or even years. I know 1 person who is waiting for a hip replacement and she is in pain now. Hers was postponed from March to July because of the flu season! (More people need the hospital beds!) Some elderly neighbor in my condo building died from C-diff. disease in the hospital last year in the age of 90s (he went for broken bones.)

In general, if you can stay in NY and have good medical care (private or public), you would get better and faster service. I don't think the states have this bad issue of waiting for a long time yet. Don't know about the future but for now, US care is better than Canada's horrible wait. If you have a short and minor illness, Canada medical care is good and free given a little wait. If it is serious, cannot say it helps. When I got cancer, Canada misdiagnosed mine and I got cured in Calif.

You get the picture. You can try to contact some Canadian agencies to ask about the long-term care but the short-term care doesn't sound good.

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-02-2013 at 11:38 AM.

Old 03-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: differences between Canadian vs U.S. healthcare support?

I just saw an investigative report on what the new Obama care will bring. The issue of wait time and lack of medical practitioners were both key downsides as to what is to come. Many doctors that are close to retirement plan to retire and others plan to follow other fields of endeavor which do not inclue seeing patients.

Flu and broken bones are simple protocol. When it comes to many diseases there is not a standard course of treatment and protocols are not one size fits all. Dementia is a symptom, not an illness and there is no standard course of treatment possible.... yet all cognitive issues seem to be lumped into one. That is like trying to treat all cancer cases alike. I know this causes a problem in both British and Canadian medicine. Dementia patients have psychological symptoms but they do not fit into the psych protocol because of the dementia. Other have problems with activities of daily living but no other medical problems until very late in the disease. We know the wide variances of symptoms this disease presents... it doesn't fit into a flow chart that you can put on paper.

In the US we have choices. If we do not agree with the first diagnosis we can get follow up opinions and find the best fit for us. We don't wait extended times for treatment. We don't have anybody telling us what we can and can not have. We can search out the best procedures available. In the case of Endomitriosis. Standard protocol in Canada is laparoscopic ablation and hormonal treatments which have major side effects. After several laparoscopic treatments in Canada they just want to do it again. Here in the US there is the option of an extensive excision surgery that has a much greater potential for success. It is not available in Canada. I do know somebody that is trying to come to the US for that surgery but has been refused coverage by the Canadian system. So she lives in pain. The extent of her Endomitriosis is extreme but treated with standard protocol. This does bother me.

In NC we do not have state institutions as in Medicaid facilities. A facility can have Medicaid patients but a portion of their facility has to be private pay as well. This was done to keep the standard of care elevated because they do have to attract those private pay patients. It went a long way in elevating the general care level in this state. I know that part of the cost of private pay is a supplement to the Medicaid payees. What the state pays is not sufficient.... and is being cut further. So what happens when everybody is on a similar system of single payee? Our health care system is expensive. Part of that is due to the due to the individualized care we receive. Part is due to litigation. Part is due to the low payments afforded by Medicare and Medicaid to the facilities. Look at any medical bill you have for someone over 65. Example... Mom had a hand X-ray. The charge for just the X-ray was $115. The "Medicare Approved" cost was only $31.02. Medicare paid $24.82. Mom's secondary insurance picked up the remaining $6.20. There is no way for the X-ray provide to recoup the other $83.98. If you are not on Medicare then your bill is $115 which includes the supplemental income needed to make up for those paying $31.02. So insurance and cost go up to cover the disparity of government coverage and cost... plus profit because every business has to make a profit to survive.

There is just so much about what is going on in our medical care here that is troublesome to me and I can't make it make sense.

Wish some from other countries would chime in..

love, deb

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