Focus Point - Canadian National Health SystemCommentary by Pete du Pont
January 31, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I've picked on the Canadian National Health System before, but it isn't gratuitous.
The state-run system has outlawed Canadians' right to pay for health care on their own since the '70s. The socialized mess has left them with fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds. According to the New York Times, 23 of Toronto's 25 emergency room recently had to turn away ambulances. In Winnipeg, "hallway medicine" is so common stretcher locations have permanent numbers. This winter at Vancouver General Hospital twenty percent of patients experiencing heart attacks waited an hour or more for treatment.
Now, Canada's experimenting with a two-tier, public-private health system -- for dentists and veterinarians. Meaning there's faster help for gum disease than cancer, and better care for dogs than people.
Why's this example important? Because Bill Bradley and Al Gore haven't been debating whether to have national health care, but what kind to have.
Maybe they should consult the Canadians heading South to U.S. hospitals.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time: another reason for market-based education.