Friday, February 19, 2010

40% of Canadians Will Pay, Travel for Health Care

Two-in-five Canadians would consider paying or going abroad to seek medical treatment, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 40 per cent of respondents would be willing to pay out of their own pocket to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long wait times, and 42 per cent would consider traveling to another country.

17 Comments:

At 2/19/2010 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% of US citizens would consider purchasing Canadian drugs, if they could.

 
At 2/19/2010 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A misleading post.

Why don't you ask: what does a Gallup poll indicate as to Canadian, US, and British citizens'
satisfaction with their healthcare system?

Here are the Gallup polling results: http://www.gallup.com/poll/8056/healthcare-system-ratings-us-great-britain-canada.aspx


"One-fourth of American respondents are either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with "the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation," (6% very satisfied and 19% somewhat satisfied). This level of satisfaction is significantly lower than in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, including 16% who are very satisfied. Roughly 4 in 10 Britons are satisfied (43%), but only 7% say they are very satisfied (similar to the percentage very satisfied in the United States).

Looking at the other side of the coin, 44% of Americans are very dissatisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, and nearly three-fourths (72%) are either somewhat or very dissatisfied. The 44% in the United States who are very dissatisfied with healthcare availability is significantly higher than corresponding figures in either Canada (17%) or Great Britain (25%)."

 
At 2/19/2010 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the same Gallup poll on satisfaction with healthcare systems, when you look at the quality of healthcare, both poll about the same:

"The views of Americans on the quality of medical care in their country are not overly different -- 48% of Americans, 52% of Canadians, and 42% of Britons say they are satisfied. However, Americans are slightly more likely than Canadians or Britons to rate this issue at one extreme or the other. The proportion of respondents who are very (as opposed to somewhat) satisfied with the quality of healthcare in the United States is 17%, while the proportion who are very dissatisfied is 26% -- so 43% of Americans fall at the extremes of this scale. In the other two countries, the middle ground of "somewhat" satisfied or dissatisfied respondents tends to be larger. In Canada, 13% are very satisfied, while 22% are very dissatisfied -- so 35% of the public is at the extremes. In Great Britain, 11% are very satisfied, while 23% are very dissatisfied -- a total of 34% is at the extremes."

 
At 2/19/2010 10:41 AM, Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

One-fourth of American respondents are either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with "the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation," (6% very satisfied and 19% somewhat satisfied). This level of satisfaction is significantly lower than in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare, including 16% who are very satisfied.

That's because Canadian citizens don't count the true cost of healthcare so "affordable" takes on a different meaning. If they accounted for the amount they are paying for health care in the form of taxation, the cost of that care would become more transparent and perhaps evoke a much different perspective on "affordable health care".

 
At 2/19/2010 10:43 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, perception is more important than reality. For example, a recent CNN poll showed only 7% blame Obama for this L-shaped recovery. Also, what people say and what they do are often two different things.

Affordability is important:

Survey: 'Gen Y' seeks car affordability

Gas mileage and vehicle affordability have emerged as the most important considerations for young "Generation Y" car buyers, a consumer survey indicates (Gen Y are the children of the Baby-Boomers).

The fact is government intervention in health care has created shortages (e.g. in Canada) or increased prices (e.g. in the U.S.).

 
At 2/19/2010 10:58 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Peak Trader has it correctly that the demand for health care exceeds the supply. There are 2 ways to cope with this (without playing with supply) raise the price to reduce the demand until they balance, or que people up waiting until some drop out. Both are rationing just by different methods. As a sign of big changes in the times in WWII the que method was used to ration a lot of things, but since WWII we have move to a preferred method of price rationing (seen by economists as a better way to go).

Actually for a lot of non-emergency surgeries such as joint replacement, it makes a lot of sense to offshore that business. Since its not an emergency it can be scheduled and first class travel provided.

 
At 2/19/2010 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the bottom line conclusion of the Gallup poll of US, Canadian, and Great Britain citizens:

Bottom Line

"In all three countries, there is great variation of opinion within the population on both the quality of medical care and the availability of affordable healthcare. It is a testament to national health systems that people in Canada and Great Britain are significantly more satisfied with availability of affordable healthcare than their American counterparts are."

 
At 2/19/2010 12:25 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, the bottom line is a poll reflects perception, not reality.

Even the WHO, which rated U.S. health care below Cuba, admitted the U.S. leads the world in two areas: Labor and capital (i.e. the best doctors, nurses, hospitals, medical equipment, etc.).

 
At 2/19/2010 2:31 PM, Blogger OA said...

Anonymous said...
100% of US citizens would consider purchasing Canadian drugs, if they could.


Wrong! Why don't you list all those Canadian drugs that people are clamoring for?

Or do you really mean people would pay subsidized Canadian prices rather than full price US pharmacy prices? But how many Americans pay anywhere near Canadian prices for the drugs they receive? Certainly nowhere near 100%. Most pay relatively small copays and just like in Canada, the full cost is spread among the pool of people.

 
At 2/19/2010 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went on a tour of Costa Rica. The tour guide was born in Costa Rica but had grown up in Los Angeles. He went back to visit fell in love and got married. His wife refused to go to America. Someone on the tour asked him about the free healthcare in the country. He explained it but I detected some reservation in his voice. At lunch I sat by him and asked him for more details. Still detecting reservation I asked him how he would get his daughter taken care of if she were sick when he got home late at night. He instantly said he would take her to a private doctor. Pay for something you can get free??? That told me all I needed to know

 
At 2/19/2010 5:41 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Actually OA makes a point that can be expanded, our health care system is priced like airline seats but worse. If you are without insurance you get charged the highest price for everything, just like a person who walks up to the counter 2 hours before a flight and buys a ticket. With drugs if you go to the local drugstore you pay the highest prices as well. Some larger chains charge less for some, and because most insurance goes thru pharmacy benefit managers, who negotiate the price with the drug company, the plan/customer also pays less. This is just like anyother medical bill where if you stay in network you pay less.
IMHO in the drugs case with FedEx et al, the local drug store is now obsolete for prescriptions except maybe for a few days use, the PBM (Medco et.al.) is a lot more efficient, needing far fewer pharmacists per prescription, since counting pills does not really need 6 years of college.

 
At 2/19/2010 6:31 PM, Blogger OA said...

Actually Lyle, the airline comparison in incomplete. The reason people with a plan pay less is that premiums have been paid.

It's not like they are members of a special club whereby they receive exclusive discounts. They've prepaid some of the costs, or others have paid for them.

If I add up all the premiums I've paid compared to what I've received, I've paid an astronomical amount for each doctor visit and prescription. That I wrote a $10 check or whatever at the time doesn't make the cost of the prescription or doctor visit $10.

 
At 2/19/2010 7:44 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

OA If you look what happens (other than medicare/medicaid), the plan negotiates a deal with the providers for some rate for primary care, it may be 66% of the rate they charge a walk in patient. This is why in network is covered and out of network is only covered to a point, because the in network means the plan has agreed with the provider on a charge. Essentially in one sense you are right its a volume discount, based upon expected volumes etc.
Interestingly there are a couple of PPO's that will allow one to purchase for a small fee a discount card that lets you pay on network prices. I am suprised more insurance companies don't offer such plans as it increases bargining power.

 
At 2/19/2010 7:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

anon @ 2/19/2010 10:17 AM says...

Come on now, that a seven years old Gallup poll...

Confidence in U.S. Health Care System Has Grown in Recent Months

Monday, August 03, 2009

 
At 2/20/2010 2:29 AM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

"40% of Canadians Will Pay, Travel for Health Care"

False quote. The ariticle's headline is "Some Canadians Willing to Pay, Travel for Health Care." And nowhere does it say that 40 or any other percent of Canadians WILL pay for anything or travel for anything. The article puts things this way:

"would be willing to pay out of their own pocket... would consider traveling to another country."

And the poll questions were:

"If you were able to, would you be willing to pay out of your own pocket to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long wait times?"

and

"If you were able to, would you consider traveling to another country to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long wait times?"

Well, as an American, IF I WERE ABLE TO, I WOULD BE WILLING or WOULD CONSIDER going to Switzerland for my medical treatment, not to mention for the skiing. So what? What does that tell us about the adequacy of US healthcare, or US ski facilities?

 
At 2/20/2010 8:59 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

If it would save me money I would consider going to Singapore, Costa Rica and the like for medical care if the facility were US certified. Thailand is also to be considered. The heart surgeon opening a clinic in the caymans has been mentioned. Once the US gets over its mad with Cuba (holding a grudge for 60 years is like a religious war)(We did not hold the grudge with Vietnam as long and they killed 50k americans) Cuba would bid to become a medical tourist center, since it could then import the best supplies and build quality hospitals.

 
At 2/20/2010 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"100% of US citizens would consider purchasing Canadian drugs, if they could."

As someone who regularly purchases drugs from Canada you should understand a few things:

First, generic drugs are cheaper in the US. Considerably cheaper. There are no bargains in generic drugs from Canada.
Second, anyone can order drugs from Canada. All you need is access to a computer. Don't have one? Go to the nearest public library.
There wasn't that simple?

 

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