October 21, 2013


“There’s even more demand and they’re cutting back,” he said, adding he doesn’t blame the hospital or the surgeon, opthalmologist Dr. Barry Emara. But he believes people who’ve paid taxes to the Ontario government all their lives should get prompt access to health care now they need it. “It’s like a car insurance company saying ‘We’ve had two many accidents this year, we’re cutting everyone off.’”

The problem, according to hospital CEO David Musyj, is that the number of procedures – when it comes to cataracts, hips replacements and knee replacements – is capped by the Health Ministry. And hospital officials (up until October, cataracts were done by Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, which has since transferred cataracts to Windsor Regional) were scheduling surgeries based on the previous year’s cap of 5, 022. Then in September, they learned the cap for the fiscal year that started April 1 would be 4,849. In 2010, there were 5,412 procedures, he said. In a guest column published in today’s Windsor Star, Musyj said the cuts are due to the continuing rise in health care costs and governments looking for ways to cope with them.

When the government runs health care, it gets worse, but more expensive. Kind of like health care websites. A move in the free-market direction would accomplish the opposite, but presents fewer opportunities for graft.

UPDATE: Reader John Koisch writes:

What most people don’t realize about Canadian healthcare is that it is a three tier system. The first two are in Canada, but the third is here in the US. Border states perform a lot of elective surgeries and treatments that cannot or will not be handled in Canada.

Where exactly is our third tier coverage going to be? Cuba?

Costa Rica. And when I was on Cayman last year, they were talking about building a big medical-tourism facility.

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