Both US and Canadian systems have their weaknesses and their strengths. It's kind
of like what the Lutheran bishop said on that video that was shown between
sessions of conference. To be fair you have to compare best with best. Our waiting
lists are indeed longer, but they tend to be longer for patients who really don't
need to be at the front of the line. I can assure you, if I fall down the stairs
tonight and develop symptoms of a subdural haematoma again (as happened to me
several months ago), within an hour I'll be inside an MRI -- and I live 35 km from
downtown Edmonton.  One problem is calling it a "Canadian" system, which is
misleading, as the provinces actually administer it, and Alberta has been
especially pioneering at trying blending some private elements into the system.
The provinces have tremendous purchasing clout, because of their size, so they can
keep costs down, and the administrative costs of billing, accounts receivable, an
dealing with HMOs is completely eliminated from a doctor's practice. Our system
also means that everyone gets treatment, and reasonably good treatment at that.

I've been a patient in both countries -- in the U.S. it was the Kaiser Permamente
Hospital in Vallejo, CA, which is supposed to be part of one of the earliest and
best HMOs, but the quality of care was terrible. They misdiagnosed migraine as a
psychosis (because I reported seeing an aura, and the doctor said, and so help me
this is the truth, "whoa there, I don't get into these mental things. We'll have
to get you to psychiatry for that." The second time they misdiagnosed lactose
intolerance as a duodenal ulcer. When I brought the x-rays back to Calgary when I
moved back in Grade XII, my family doctor said there was absolutely no sign of any
ulceration anywhere. To be fair, lactose intolerance was not well known in the
70s, but they didn't even do an allergy test.  I could tell horror stories that
I've heard, too, but enough of that. That, like all stories, is an anecdote, to be
sure. And as you say, your verstage may vary.

In any case, I found it odd that the person who made the claim that was out by 2
orders of magnitude was himself a Canadian who moved to Utah because his Utah-born
wife missed it. Even he had somehow bought into the myth of under-equippage.

Just one final item: remember when I wrote how primitive caesium units are for
radiotherapy? They'd never be licensed in Canada anymore, but there are two (or
were in the mid-80s) private clinics in the U.S., one in Long Island and one in
Florida.  The U.S. doesn't require a full time medical physicist to be present to
keep linear accelerators properly tuned (an almost full-time job as they are
extremely complicated machines, and it's very easy to make a fatal mistake), but
Canadian law does. So if you're getting radiotherapy, you're safer in Canada.

Jon Spencer wrote:

> I get very uneven reports of the adequacy of medical care from Canadian
> citizens. YMMV.
>
> Jon
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marc A. Schindler" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 2:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [ZION] Magnetic Personality
>
> Careful. Someone on LDS-Poll, who writes under a pseudonym, made a claim
> that
> there were only 100 MRIs in all of Canada. It turns out there are almost 25
> in
> Alberta alone (pop.: 3 000 000) after I did some research. Incidentally,
> private
> insurance isn't illegal here -- I have Blue Cross, for instance, to cover
> prescription drugs and a few other things -- it's just that there's not much
> point
> to it. Given the power of the government insurance plans (their size), they
> can
> negotiate low drug prices with suppliers. That's why drugs cost so much less
> here.
> I've had MRI's within hours notice, such as once when I fell and had a
> serious
> concussion. They rushed me by ambulance to U of Alberta Hospital and I had
> an MRI
> right away (it showed a subdural haematoma). Where we have waiting lists is
> in
> "non-urgent" situations like joint problems. You can wait for several months
> for
> an MRI for something like that.
>
> Jon Spencer wrote:
>
> > I have had several MRI's done (I know that is hard to imagine if you live
> in
> > Canada, given the scarcity of MRI equipment there and the prohibition
> > against private insurance, etc.).  Some of the techs have referenced their
> > own experience with this phenomenon, having watches fly across the room,
> > etc.
> >
> > Jon
> >
> > Marc A. Schindler wrote:
> > It couldn't have been a CAT scan, which is just a glorified, spinning
> x-ray
> > machine, basically. I heard it was an MRI. I don't dispute Stephen -- he
> > sounds
> > like he knows what he's talking about, but I can't remember any more than
> > what I
> > wrote.
> >
> > [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> >
> > > Stephen Beecroft:
> > >
> > > >-Marc-
> > > >> ... a tech had inadvertently left an oxygen cylinder in the
> > > >> room, and when the MRI was turned on, it got sucked
> > > >> right into the core, killing the poor patient (a young boy)
> > > >> instantly.
> > >
> > > > Unless MRI technology has changed significantly in the
> > > > last 7-8 years, I find this a bit hard to swallow.
> > >
> > > I heard the story pretty much as Marc described it.  I didn't
> > > hear a retraction.  Maybe it wasn't an MRI or was a CAT
> > > scan or something, or maybe the report wasn't accurate,
> > > but I do remember hearing about it a few months ago on
> > > the radio and reading about it in the paper.
> >
> >
> ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
> //
> > ///  ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at  ///
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> >
> ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
> /
> >
>
> --
> Marc A. Schindler
> Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
>
> "Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will
> pick
> himself up and continue on" - Winston Churchill
>
> Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the
> author
> solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author's
> employer,
> nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.
>
> ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
> //
> ///  ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at  ///
> ///  http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html      ///
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> /
>
> //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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>

--
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
///  ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at  ///
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