Health care in Canada: Different, but not necessarily better

By Alastair S.E. Younger, MD, FRCS(S)

As the 2008 election season gets underway, the American healthcare system is the focus of much attention. Many voters are concerned about the more than 40 million Americans who lack health insurance coverage, as well as about the perceived and real shortcomings in the American healthcare system compared to other countries, as portrayed in Michael Moore’s “SiCKO.” No doubt, 2008 Presidential aspirants will soon propose their “solutions” for the troubled American system.

The Canadian-type healthcare system has been proposed as a possible solution to America’s problems. Because few orthopaedic surgeons understand how such a system may affect us, as well as our patients, I have asked Alastair S.E. Younger, MD, FRCS(S), an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon from Vancouver, British Columbia, to provide us with a closer look at the Canadian healthcare system from the perspective of an orthopaedic surgeon and to discuss its advantages and drawbacks with regard to access to orthopaedic care “North of the Border.”

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