Who'd Have Thought? Scarce Resources Are Still Scarce Even (Especially) When They Are Free

Via Mark Perry, this chart from socialized Canadian medicine:

In his article Mark also has a letter to a woman telling her the wait for an appointment would be 4.5 years.



  1. Don Henderson:

    Back when Jeb Bush was gov of Florida he gave a speech in Ottawa, ON. I was sitting in the audience with a group of business folks from FL. One of them commented how lucky we were to have the health care system that we have in Canada. Perhaps more prescient than facetious, I replied that he might not continue to hold that opinion when our wait time for obstetrics reached 10 months.

  2. GoneWithTheWind:

    In one very important respect the Canadians are lucky. There is a large country just South of them where you can walk into a clinic or doctors office and be seen that day. You can get CT scans the same day, If you need a quadruple bypass you can get it within a week. Now what are Americans going to do if our government decides to gives us government/socialized health care. There will be no recourse.

  3. irandom419:

    It's not the doctors' offices that they go for, it is the hospitals and procedures performed there. That is why the media calls clinics along the border to ask about Canadians using their services for stories, since they won't find many.


  4. CC:

    In the US there is also a growing shortage of doctors because the government sets a quota. It happens at the stage of residencies, which are funded by grants from the feds. Completing med school does not make you a doctor --you need the residency. There is a fixed pool of doctors. Local governments also have things called Certificate of Need before you can set up a new specialist facility like CT scanner. The supposed reason is to reduce duplication but it really protects hospitals and keeps prices high. I would bet there is a restricted supply of doctors in Canada also.

  5. Northern Eye:

    Sad. I am recovering from a knee replacement which took place 7 days after a visit to the specialist (time determined by me, not a referral). In Canada that wait would have been 41 weeks!

  6. GoneWithTheWind:

    My wife's family is Canadian. They winter in Southern California and Arizona. They use this opportunity to seek medical, dental and other care that they cannot easily get in Canada. This trend does not just take place along the Northern border.

  7. joe:

    For those who remember HillaryCare - It was designed to emulate the Canadian system as best as possible. Since the Canadian system has shortcomings in the supplyside/delivery of services, canadian citizens and doctors do several things to circumvent those bottlenecks. One of several provisions in HillaryCare was to make it illegal to circumvent the anticipated problems. (Also included provisions making it difficult to obtain certain procedures, such as mamograms before age 50)

  8. Rick Kargaard:

    Canadians I know that winter in Southern California or Arizona go to mexico for inexpensive and fast care.

  9. Rick Kargaard:

    A Canadian has to be very wealthy to go south for care.
    As for wait times, I had bypass surgery in Canada 2 years ago. Took a week once the necessity was established. It was not an emergency situation and I did get bumped once in favor of an emergency. There are horror stories but generally our health care is very good. You can get diagnostic scans quickly if you are willing to pay a little more. A shortage of doctors is indeed a problem in some areas,

  10. Rick C:

    Tell a European you can get a non-emergency appointment for gall bladder removal in two days, and they'll call you a liar, even if that actually happened to someone you know, and you were there. (The surgeon's exact words, in an initial office visit, were "can you come back this afternoon?" I don't think she was joking.)

  11. Rick C:

    "Now what are Americans going to do if our government decides to gives us government/socialized health care. There will be no recourse."

    Someone should ask the Canadians that, too. (That is, those of them who haven't already been through the wringer. People who've faced those interminable delays and/or gone to the US to circumvent them already know.)