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Old 02-02-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
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Default Canadian Premier Comes to U.S. for Surgery

But. but I thought the Canadian system was so much better.
Quote:
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.
CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 60, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week.
The premier's office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily a routine procedure.
http://cbc.qwapi.com/site?t=xncRD1Eb...2gtohw&sid=cbc

How will their health system survive if O-care passes?
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:56 AM   #2
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The American health care system certainly is great to visit of you have up to a million bucks to spare.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fiddlerdave View Post
The American health care system certainly is great to visit of you have up to a million bucks to spare.
And if you cant buy quality care for even a million bucks elsewhere.

Nice try Dave.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:14 PM   #4
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Much of Newfoundland's health care system is a mess. There's no money - no money for staff including specialist doctors when one is needed in timely fashion. Certainly not enough money for nurses & the wages offered are poor compared to cost of living.

This is the Premier of a province, (governor equivalent). He can't govern effectively if he's limited in daily activities while on a waiting list - assuming what he needs in terms of surgery is even available in Newfoundland. Few details are available save a hint that 'this is not necessarily routine surgery'. If that's the case & I had the money - damned right I'd buy the best health care I can afford.

The Premier isn't being a hypocrite. He'd love to improve the health care system for his citizens.

The money is flat out not there.

I live in the nation's richest province. We're facing more & more health care cutbacks because the cost is cirppling & we benefit from volume discounts due to central purchasing.

No matter what system is used - private or public - health care is damned expensive & patients increasingly present more complex conditions or combinations of conditions due to verious causes... many of them self inflicted.

No easy answers.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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Sue, from what I've read, his procedure is available in Canada, but NOT in Newfoundland. I agree, as well, that his job leaves him in a position where he may not be able to be effective in running a province while awaiting the necessary procedure. I'd also offer location, as that is a factor for us. It is much easier for me to drive across the bridge, and access procedures in Michigan, than it is to hop on a plane and fly to Toronto, 9 or so hours away. That's our choice, or for some things, a three hour drive to Sudbury, in horrific winter weather, with a highway that is often closed due to visibility. I'd rather pay, and be home that day or the next. Granted, I/we don't need heart surgery. But last time we had to do the Toronto thing, it cost us around $1300 to the Air Canada Bandit for two on a 45 minute return flight, and we stayed at a friend's place in Guelph, so you could figure in at least another $700 for a hotel, more for food and taxi, too.

He is apparently to comment, after his recovery, in SEVERAL weeks. It will be interesting to see what he had done, and HIS reasoning for going south.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:35 PM   #6
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And Canada takes one in the face.

I can see it not being available in Newfoundland but the surgery isn't available anywhere else in Canada?

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Old 02-03-2010, 02:50 PM   #7
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Yes, Pot, according to news reports it IS available in Canada, just not his province. There are so few people left out there, I'm surprised they even have a doctor...ok, that's bad, but they are a pretty sparsely populated province.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #8
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Do as I say not as I do.

Quote:
Williams — an outspoken proponent of public health care — went to the U.S. Monday morning for a heart procedure his office said couldn't be done in Newfoundland and Labrador.


http://www.torontosun.com/news/canad.../12722956.html

Williams didn't have to go to U.S. for surgery: experts

By QMI Agency

Last Updated: 3rd February 2010, 11:06am

The surgery Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams required may not be available in his home province, but chances are it's available in his home country, experts say.

Williams — an outspoken proponent of public health care — went to the U.S. Monday morning for a heart procedure his office said couldn't be done in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Williams' office has been tight-lipped about the situation, refusing to disclose what type of procedure he's undergoing, or where. Canadian medical experts insist that when it comes to heart procedures, there's nothing you can get in the U.S. that you can't get here. You just have to wait a bit longer, and the accommodations aren't as nice.

Dr. Arvind Koshal, a prominent Alberta cardiac surgeon, told the Globe and Mail Williams is sending the message that if you have money, you can forgo the hassles of public health care and pay for quicker service south of the border.

“The optics are very poor, especially for people who are proponents of the Canadian health-care system,” said Koshal.

Dr. Wilbert Keon, a heart surgery pioneer in Ottawa and a Conservative senator, told the Globe there is “no question” Williams could have chosen to remain in Canada.

Meanwhile, U.S. opponents of President Barack Obama's proposed health-care reform have made Williams their poster child. Obama aims to extend health care to the country's uninsured — a move critics say will extend wait times, turning America's health-care system into the Canadian model.

Patients First, an American organization against Obama's health-care reform plan, cited Williams' decision as proof the Canadian system is flawed.

“For the last nine months, we’ve fought against a government takeover of our health care not only because of its high cost but also its debilitating effect on the quality and accessibility of care to patients. Yesterday, we were given a reminder from ... Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams that this is the case in Canada,” reads the group's website.

“When the equivalent of a governor can’t get a specific procedure, what chance does the average Canadian have?” wrote one blogger at the right-wing site BigGovernment.com.

Williams, 60, is expected to publicly comment on the issue when he recovers, which could take anywhere from three to 12 weeks.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #9
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It would have been more fun if he was Liberal or NDP but he is Progressive Conservative.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:14 PM   #10
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaSue
This is the Premier of a province, (governor equivalent). He can't govern effectively if he's limited in daily activities while on a waiting list
Well, good. He's a government functionary; a bureaucrat with a title. He produces nothing. The less "effective" he is, the better.

I can see the argument if he were someone that mattered, like say, a CEO—or a housewife. Otherwise, it's just "some animals are more equal than others".

Being flat on his back with a nitroglycerin spray would probably be a good thing, instructive to both himself and others re the wonders of socialized medicine.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glockd View Post
And if you cant buy quality care for even a million bucks elsewhere.

Nice try Dave.
The USA is premier at gold-plated healthcare. I have been doing some work at a San Francisco hospital new building that is over 60% very, very nice private rooms! No working person's health insurance pays for a private room, much less a luxurious one. These hospital rooms cost a patient high 4 figures per DAY (just the ROOM, nothing else)!

You can get good quality care all over Canada, its harder to get super-premium doctors and care and conditions there, but to date NO ONE has proposed the Canadian system,which discourages private care, for the USA, EVER.

Nice try, Glock. Your premise is absurd.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:39 PM   #13
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***You can get good quality care all over Canada***

How would you define good quality care?

Because by my definition, you don't get it in my city far too often to be acceptable. I'v spent a fair bit of time these last several days visiting a friend in ICU & observing. ICU - top notch stuff in most areas...

True, the nurse/patient ratio was decent. 1 staff & 4 patients where she was - more potentially critical than acutely critical. She was on 24 hour monitoring & when we were there, nurses were in & visibly checking often. Patient in the next bed - suspected aspiration pneumonia & pretty gorked out. An aide came in with a tray & tried to feed him. There was a current NPO order, (doctor had been in an hour previously) & he was only semi-conscious. I was just about to stop her when the nurse coincidently happened by.

The room was filthy - dirt on the floor & the bathroom was 'tavern level'... in ICU. The ward it led into, (no separation of space), was closed to visitors because for a stubborn norovirus, MRSA AND VRE.

The general ward she was transferred to was even worse. We phoned the ward to ask if she was coming home today & were told she was being discharged. We politely asked them to make sure she didn't go anywhere until we got there, (she's more than a bit confused after a hypertensive crisis & emds change) but when we got to the hospital... she was walking out, planning to take the bus. No d/c papers, no Rx, no d/c instructions. We dragged her back upstairs & underwent 45 minutes of confusion trying to get some answers. Still had to call back the hospital because of a medication confusion.

Goos quality care doesn't consist of coming out of OR, being checked over ONCE, then barring signs of imminent crisis being ignoreed by staff save for shift change when they wander in to see if you're still there & breathing. That has been my experience - twice. It's been the experience of many of my aquaintances.

We're desperately short of many key specialists & we're a fairly large urban center... by Canadian standards. They won't locate here because - in the case of surgeons, it takes a dangerously long time to book OR time. Can't be fun watching your patients deteriorate & in some cases die needlessly. Medical specialists encounter the same frustrations doing 'cross consults' or booking specialized testing. Screw it! They don't come here or leave.

Nurses & technicians/technologists are desperately overworked. A massive backlog of elderly waiting for imaginary spaces in LTC facilities block up to 15% of our sparse acute care beds.

Patients treat emerg like a fast food joint - they want instant cures to problems that don't need emerg and/or are self inflicted. Our population is aging, getting fatter & presenting with complicated comorbidities. Health care fields are no longer seen as attractive.

There's not enough accountability on any level.

I wouldn't wish our system on you for all the tea in China. It removes all options for patients.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:04 PM   #14
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Perhaps you missed the part Dave, about care not being available in his Province. So, million bucks or not, he could not have the care he needed. Please, tell me, where in the U.S. would a person with a million bucks not have the required healthcare within his/her city, county, or state.

This is not about gold plated healthcare, but about not having the healthcare you require within 156,185 square miles, (the combined area of Newfoundland and Labrador) regardless of your ability to pay. But I suspect you knew that.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockd
Please, tell me, where in the U.S. would a person with a million bucks not have the required healthcare within his/her city, county, or state.
Well, let's be fair; there is one place like that, and it's close to you.

The rez.

Government-run health care, in all its relentless awfulness, is a pervasive constant if you're an American Indian living on the reservation. I have a friend who has signed on as an anesthesiologist, and she tells stories that are amazing. They're incredibly underfunded, and much of the funding they do receive is soaked up by .gov boondoggles, not least a number of staff that are frankly lousy but unfireable—government employees, of course.

http://www.reznetnews.org/article/in...promises-35270
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:16 PM   #16
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Arrow

Even an indigent patient showing up an American county ER with a failing heart will get a bypass, stent, angioplasty, or whatever. Not necessarily so in the government-run Canadian system, depending on where you are. But that is not what Dave wants to talk about because, well, that is the subject at hand, and it does not further his agenda. So a bit of misdirection by trumpeting 'gold plated healthcare' instead is called for! When the truth is inconvenient, just change the subject!
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:52 PM   #17
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Sue, have your hospital's cleaning and food services been farmed out to an American contractor? Ours have. And they've sucked ever since. They may be saving money, but they sure had to pour it back in when the housekeeping was so shitty that people here were dying from c diff. But it seems to be back to the same crappy standards already...pun intended. I remember when you couldn't sleep in the hospital because someone was ALWAYS cleaning your room...back in the union position day. May have cost but at least it was clean. And our food is flown in, prepared, from Toronto. So...what happens with a storm socking in Pearson? Fasting day at the hospital? But hey, all the decisions are made by the provincial gov't in Toronto, and the feds in Ottawa. I hear THEIR hospitals are good. Of course.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #18
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Back to Danny boy. My cousin had a saddle embolism in his lungs... right where they "meet". He required surgery as nothing was working to bust the clot. He was presented with two choices in his home city of Vancouver...one surgeon in Ottawa could do it, one in LA. They wanted him to go to LA, because it's closer and he wasn't in peak condition to travel. He opted for Ottawa, as it was closer to his parents. The offers had nothing to do with speed of delivery, but concern for the patient and the patient's ability to recover well. (He ended up FINALLY with some drug improving the situation.)
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharma View Post
Well, let's be fair; there is one place like that, and it's close to you.

The rez.

Government-run health care, in all its relentless awfulness, is a pervasive constant if you're an American Indian living on the reservation. I have a friend who has signed on as an anesthesiologist, and she tells stories that are amazing. They're incredibly underfunded, and much of the funding they do receive is soaked up by .gov boondoggles, not least a number of staff that are frankly lousy but unfireable—government employees, of course.

http://www.reznetnews.org/article/in...promises-35270
d

I understand the Res is not well known for quality health care, however, anyone on the res with a million dollars could have their choice of care within a few hours. And the Res is a shining example of why we do not want Uncle meddling in our health care decisions.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:07 AM   #20
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I agree completely.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:57 AM   #21
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Yeah rb - they whine about desperately needing more budget dollars at the hospital here & cut everything but what they should. Cleaning is an illusion & increasingly we're riddled with C diff, noros, VRE, MRSA, and 'MRAnything'. All the Purell and Microsan dispensers in the world won't make up for lack of cleaning.

The ICU room my friend was in. There was hair on the floor, needle covers, gauze with blood on it - sheer slop, especially for ICU. I happened to glance into the ventilation grate & was horrified. TWO pairs of scissors, old bandages & other crap - none of which should have been there.

The wards still have CARPET on the floor & it might get shampooed twice a year.

Bathrooms are disgusting. Bedside areas slovenly.

Floor nurses work their asses off & increasingly, most of that is frantically trying to keep everything from coming apart & 'legal' charting - CYA type stuff. Wards have TWO health care assistants to help patients with hygiene, feeding & to be the eyes & ears for the RNs. It's ridiculous. The fashionable trend to have RNs only backfired big time & if they don't get RNAs back on the wards & more health care aids - the patients pay the price.

In my house & among my friends - the policy is push for discharge as soon as stable or close enough to it. I'll do the home care any time rather than inflict any more time in the local charnel house than is absolutely necessary. Right now, I have to do BPs twice a day for my friend & monitor her med compliance until her follow up appointment next week. Under saner circumstances, another day or two of monitoring in hospital wouldn't have hurt but with the lack of care in there, home was best.

Her pre-admission BP had been 250/110. Today - twice, in the 130s/70s... lower than in hospital.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:15 AM   #22
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We have a family rule.

Nobody admitted to a hospital is left alone.

We take shifts. We watch EVERYTHING. We clean, etc.

So far this has prevented the accidental death (via wrong meds) of
two family members.

ME being one of them when they almost gave me the wrong post-op drug.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #23
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The last time my wife was in the hospital for her blood clot, I lived in the room with her. Private room, a couch that made into a twin bed, a room service menu, shower, etc. Hospitals here encourage family to be involved with the patients care.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdGuano View Post
We have a family rule.

Nobody admitted to a hospital is left alone.

We take shifts. We watch EVERYTHING. We clean, etc.

So far this has prevented the accidental death (via wrong meds) of
two family members.

ME being one of them when they almost gave me the wrong post-op drug.
HAHA, Ms Pote was in for 3 days last year.

When the physician was in discussing meds, I had my notebook computer fired up (w/wireless broadband) looking up meds, side effects etc.

LOL

They were cool about it though.

Nice hospital, good sanitation, good infection control, hand sanitizer stations everywhere.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:22 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
Even an indigent patient showing up an American county ER with a failing heart will get a bypass, stent, angioplasty, or whatever. Not necessarily so in the government-run Canadian system, depending on where you are. But that is not what Dave wants to talk about because, well, that is the subject at hand, and it does not further his agenda. So a bit of misdirection by trumpeting 'gold plated healthcare' instead is called for! When the truth is inconvenient, just change the subject!
What a fantasy world you live in. You better be a CERTIFIED indigent patient and part of a program (which can take years to qualify) to get more than minimum critical care at many, or most, facilities in this country anymore.

And if you become disabled and can't work anymore, and eventually get through the process of getting your Social Security Disability (during which time and after you cannot earn any money to speak of) but yet you have two years to wait before you qualify for Medicare, and since you are disabled, you have pre-existing conditions so NO insurance for you unless a spouse can cover you under their group insurance or some other dodge. If your medical condition ate up your savings, you are pretty much "useless eater".

Even more curious is the ever growing by leaps and bounds of Americans going to other countries for healthcare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_tourism
Quote:
Description

Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries.[7]
Medical tourists can come from anywhere in the First World, including Europe, the Middle East, Japan, the United States, and Canada. This is because of their large populations, comparatively high wealth, the high expense of health care or lack of health care options locally, and increasingly high expectations of their populations with respect to health care. An authority at the Harvard Business School recently stated that "medical tourism is promoted much more heavily in the United Kingdom than in the United States".[8]
A forecast by Deloitte Consulting published in August 2008 projected that medical tourism originating in the US could jump by a factor of ten over the next decade. An estimated 750,000 Americans went abroad for health care in 2007, and the report estimated that a million and a half would seek health care outside the US in 2008. The growth in medical tourism has the potential to cost US health care providers billions of dollars in lost revenue.[9]
==============================

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock
Perhaps you missed the part Dave, about care not being available in his Province. So, million bucks or not, he could not have the care he needed. Please, tell me, where in the U.S. would a person with a million bucks not have the required healthcare within his/her city, county, or state.

This is not about gold plated healthcare, but about not having the healthcare you require within 156,185 square miles, (the combined area of Newfoundland and Labrador) regardless of your ability to pay. But I suspect you knew that.
Ahh, given equivalent population densities, and the need for a PARTICULAR heart operation, there certainly quite a number of cities and counties where a particular surgery, doctor speciality including (basic MD services), health care technique and services are NOT available or heavily overloaded. What a fantasy world you live in!

In fact, I am a bit puzzled! You say:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockd
I understand the Res is not well known for quality health care, however, anyone on the res with a million dollars could have their choice of care within a few hours. And the Res is a shining example of why we do not want Uncle meddling in our health care decisions.
Further, maybe I am thinking of someone else, but did not I hear you say you were 100% dependent on the VA? Perhaps you should read my sig quote, because your comments are FUNNY AS HELL!
http://thisbluemarble.com/showpost.p...2&postcount=45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockd
I have no insurance. All of my medical treatment comes from the V.A. I am 100% service connected. Those of us 100% service connected usually are unable to work, although I still manage part-time, but my medical history pretty much means trying to get private insurance is like pissing on a wildfire. Further, just the shots to my eyes, which I get every 4 weeks would probably kill my max cap and leave my family sucking wind.
Please, you and I both know the sucky government healthcare has to do with WHO is treated on the "rez", not the government's ability to deliver good healthcare.

Last edited by Fiddlerdave; 02-05-2010 at 09:35 AM.
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