Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oy Canada, Part #786 (more or less)

One of the problems with gummint-run health care is that it tends to hurt most those whom it was designed to help. Case in point: Edmonton resident Debbie Trelenberg had a rather large tumor growing in her abdomen, to the point that she had difficulty dressing. And worse yet, it was diagnosed as a "high-grade ovarian cancer." With prompt treatment, this particular condition was survivable, but of course health care systems run primarily by government employees aren't really interested in speedy treatment (well, unless you're in Oregon, but that's another story).
So Ms Trelenberg waited, and waited, until she (like so many of her fellow countrymen) headed south, to the "broken system" called American health care. Once in Texas, she spent almost $80,000 of her own money to pay for neeeded surgery and follow-up. The good news is that, thanks to her prompt action (and deep pockets), she has an excellent prognosis. The bad news is that her bank account may have suffered a critical injury: she "has twice been refused reimbursement by the Alberta government, most recently in June, when the Out-of-Country Health Services Appeal Panel said a wait of about four weeks was not found to be unreasonable by the surgeon who initially saw her."
Did you get that last?
"(A) wait of about four weeks was not found to be unreasonable."
That may explain why Canada's cancer survival rate is so much lower than ours, and it certainly explains how such systems actually work. I'm thinking here of the first rule of holes.
Both the surgeon who operated on Ms Trelenberg and her own family physician wrote detailed letters to the gummint bean counters, explaining in detail why speed had been so critical, and asking for them to reconsider their refusal to reimburse her. Regular readers can already guess the response:
There is no reason that we would send patients out of province just for faster access.”
Well said sir, well said.
blog comments powered by Disqus