Matt Gurney: Having better health care than the U.S. shouldn’t be good enough for Canadians

National Post
Medical National Post | James Alexander Michie

The fact that the Canadian healthcare system is capable of delivering fantastic care is offered up as either a counter-argument to, or an excuse for, the equally true fact that the system is stretched beyond its limits, prone to breaking down under pressure, writes Matt Gurney. Getty Images

Canadians should not be complacent about the medical care they currently receive. And is that having better medical care than the United States should not be good enough for Canadians.

One thing is clear, one of the reasons why it is so difficult to have a decent conversation about Canadian health care is that everyone has different anecdotes. That being the case, those anecdotes from our understanding of the system.

Because of the various anecdotes, you would think that you had an absolutely fantastic system, or you would think it was a disaster. Both perspectives are valid since there are many and diverse scenarios that have occurred in recent months.

In this way, it has been said that the fact that our system is capable of providing fantastic attention is offered as an argument against or as an excuse for the (equally true) fact that the system extends beyond its limits, prone to breaking. Pressure.

A system on the verge of collapse

Clearly, emergency rooms and long waiting lists for treatments are symptoms of a system that is simply running too close to the edge, or beyond.

Usually, public relations staff in hospitals apologize for the somewhat frustrating experiences your patients go through. In fact, some have explained that a normal day in the emergency room serves 110 patients. In fact, they sometimes serve around 150, which represents an increase of 40 percent.

Together, they have explained that the patients with whom they were treating were generally more serious than would normally be the case, including two heart attacks and several other people in a life-threatening condition. And it is that no reasonable human being would demand that a broken bone be seen before a heart attack.

Despite being on the verge of collapse, there has been the fact that in a hospital, they have called an additional nurse to help manage 44 additional patients. It is something that really does not make sense. Thus, it is clear that the hospital was not willing or unable to gather sufficient resources to meet the demand

Now, a question arises and is that all the additional staff called was limited to a nurse due to budget constraints, due to the lack of available staff, or simply to the challenges of the staff trying to manage a hospital throughout the day?

Source: Matt Gurney | National Post

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