Canadians say they have a harder time getting healthcare than Americans

By Arjun Singh

Canadians are far less confident they can access healthcare through their publicly-run system than Americans are with largely private care, per a new poll released on Wednesday.

The poll, conducted by the Angus Reid Institute showed that just 37% of Canadians were confident that they could access healthcare when needed, while 61% said they weren’t confident. By comparison, 70% of Americans said they were confident they could access healthcare, while 25%said they were not.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has said that healthcare is a human right and that the U.S. must join every major country on Earth in creating a single-payer system, per his website.

Moreover, 41% of Canadians within the last six months said they have had a “difficult time” accessing or were unable to access one of five critical types of care – including emergency services, surgery, and specialist appointments, per the poll.

Within these categories, Canadians reported that specialist appointments were the most difficult to access, with 58% saying it was either “very difficult” or “impossible” to obtain them. This was followed by emergency care and surgery, with 51% reporting such difficulty.

The problem was most pronounced among young people (ages 18 to 34), with 70% reporting difficulties.

By contrast, most Americans reported ease of access to these facilities; merely 27% reported difficulty accessing a specialist, with the figures for emergency care and surgery being 20% and 25%, respectively. Among young people, 50% between the ages of 18 and 34 reported difficulty accessing care.

Run by individual provinces, and funded nearly entirely by taxes, Canadians have faced record wait times to access essential services, a problem that has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Hallway healthcare” is a term that has emerged, describing situations where patients cannot get hospital beds and must be treated in hospital hallways.

“We’re very concerned and our members are very concerned. Our health care system on any given day is in crisis,” Adriane Gear of the British Columbia Nurses Union, which represents nurses in Canada’s third-largest province, to Chek News. In Saskatchewan, a Western province, some hospitals have been over “200% plus over capacity,” per Tracy Zambory, who heads that province’s nursing union, to CBC News.

Alecs Chochinov, a doctor in Winnipeg, Manitoba, told the National Post that the “system is not viable in the longer-term at this rate of decline.”

Numerous American politicians have often pointed to Canada’s public healthcare system as a model for proposals for a “Medicare-for-all” system – i.e., a federally-run public health insurance system across the United States, replacing private insurance plans.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has said that healthcare is a human right and that the U.S. must join every major country on Earth in creating a single-payer system, per his website.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted the poll in August, receiving responses from 2,279 Canadians and 1,209 Americans. The Canadian findings had a margin of error of plus or minus 2%, while the U.S. results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

Neither the Canadian Medical Association nor Sanders’s office has responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Image courtesy of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

3 thoughts on “Canadians say they have a harder time getting healthcare than Americans

  1. One of the answers ( temporarily at least ) is to sign up for a boutique doctor ( if you can find one where you are ) and can afford the monthly fee ( usually around $150). Not a perfect solution, but at least your insurance will still pay for your care, and you will have fast access to generally a better doctor. Some of my family members have done that successfully. You can even do it if you are on medicare.

  2. sanders is a nut. All you need to do is figure out the real cost over a lifetime of medicare, and its clear America cannot afford it. I would guess its at least $6,000 per person, per year.

  3. That the Canadians don’t have access (soon enough) to good health and dental care is a decades old problem. I recall hearing about this as a teenager.. and that was a long time ago now.
    NH makes a whole lot of money treating Canadians that have the money to do better.. but what about the ones that don’t have the money to do this?
    This right here is why people that understand what Socialized medicine is all about don’t want that to ever happen here in the US.
    Yet here we are.
    WE are now waiting months to see specialists and also being forced to drive all over the state to see them.. because the local hospitals don’t have these specialists on staff.
    So again, what about the people that can’t wait or can’t drive for hours and lose a whole day off of work to go to the doctors office?
    WHY we don’t learn the lessons from the clear failures all around us is quite sad and unnecessary.
    Not only that, it kills people. It really does.
    Unless of course “success” is not really the goal.

    Further, being a doctor today really sucks..
    This is why there are now shortages and Americans are now being treated by foreign doctors that we cannot even understand. Those that created this crisis- both here and in Canada should be fired and in some cases, put in jail.
    This does not have to be this way at all.
    How about we vote in people that actually want to fix all of this instead of making it worse?
    And no, Socialism is not the answer.

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