Friday, September 07, 2007

Free MRIs? Sure, If You Can Wait Until Next Spring

In a previous post, the long waiting times for MRI in Canada were outlined: 4.5 months for Ontario and 6.5 months for Newfoundland, vs. the typical 1-2 days in the U.S. To put 4.5 months and 6.5 months in perspective, consider this:

1. If you visited a doctor on Monday in Toronto, and it was determined you needed an MRI, you would likely be waiting until around Febuary 1, 2008.

2. If you visited a doctor on Monday in St. John's, and you scheduled an MRI, it would be almost April 1, 2008 before you could get your MRI.

That's the bad news. The good news? It's "free."


At 9/08/2007 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a "Free MRI." Canadians pay for their health care through taxation and a small monthly fee. Those who can't afford the small monthly fee pay nothing monthly.

The apparent difference in waiting times to get an MRI does not change the fact that Canadians have both a longer life expectancy and have a higher 5 year cancer survival rate than we do.

I want to know why Canadians live longer and survive cancer better than we do. What are they doing right or what are we doing wrong to create such differences?

At 9/08/2007 9:37 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

According to a recent study, the U.S. has the highest cancer survival rate, and parts of the U.K. (Scotland) have the lowest survival rates, among the countries studied (Canada was not included); despite "free" socialized medicine in UK.

At 9/08/2007 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The study cited by the Telegraph was published in "The Lancet Oncology" Volume 8, Number 9, September 2007.

What the Telegraph failed to acknowledge is that The Lancet Oncology also published (in the same issue) a study (Accuracy of US cancer surveillance under threat)that discussed how the non-reporting (since 2004) of of cancer cases by US Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals skews U.S. cancer survival statistics.

At 9/08/2007 5:13 PM, Blogger Matt said...

It's my opinion you should be able to get a free MRI at least once a year. Sort of like a copy of your credit report free once a year. Find the problems early before bad things happen.

At 9/08/2007 6:01 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

It's my opinion little girls should be able to get a free pony.

That doesn't mean it will be free though, or that everyone thinks the cost of that free pony is worth the tradeoff with what they could have spent their money on instead if given the choice.

At least some of the taxes that paid for that free pony would've been used to create jobs, albeit as a byproduct of new wealth creation (oh, the horror of impure intentions). New jobs equals less unemployment equals fewer poor people equals more people able to fend for themselves without needing "free" anything.

Similarly at least some of the taxes used to pay for those free ponies would've gone to the charitable (i.e. voluntary, not coerced by IRS agents) allevitation of some of society's ills.

By the way, online credit reports have a near zero reproduceable unit cost to the provider. That's more than we can say about MRI's or anything else outside the realm of ideas.

At 9/10/2007 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should be given free cars.

What good is free medical insurance if you can't get to the doctor?

Oh, and free gas.

At 9/10/2007 5:08 PM, Blogger Matt said...

"What good is free medical insurance if you can't get to the doctor?"

Absolutely worthless. But what is the flip side? You have the best medical insurance in the world, and the doctor doesn't see fit to give you the needed tests, because probability and statistics says you aren't "in that majority"?


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