Soviet Sytle Heatlh Care in Canada
P.J. O'Rourke: "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see how much it costs when it is free." Like in Canada, where health care is essentially "free" to patients, and the money spent on health care in Canada outpaces most other developed nations. Further, the total waiting time for medical services in 2006 was 91 percent longer than it was in 1993, adding to the total cost of health care in Canada (Total Cost = Monetary Cost + Opportunity Cost of Waiting). When prices aren't allowed to ration goods and services, waiting time plays a significant factor in rationing, e.g. the long lines at the gas pumps in the 1970s due to price controls.
From an article in Health Care News about Canadian health care: "It's like the old Soviet system. "Everything is free, but nothing is readily available. Except that we're not talking about lining up for toilet paper in Russia in 1976, but queuing for surgery in Canada in 2006."
And the article points out that "Economists generally agree such "non-price" rationing of resources (queueing and long waiting times) is less efficient than a system that uses prices. One reason is that productivity is lost when people are unable to work due to treatment delays. Also, the risk of death while waiting is higher for serious conditions such as cardiac care."