Every lib I know regurgitates the same line: “If free healthcare works for Canada, it will work for us.” But, unfortunately, for more than 10,000 Canadians, it didn’t work fast enough to save their lives. Quebec didn’t even count how many died waiting for healthcare, so they aren’t even a part of the nationwide total. These deaths took place between April 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020. The report, Died On a Waiting List, was released by think tank SecondStreet.org.
“The most unfortunate part about so many patients dying on waiting lists in our health care system is that many of these tragedies could have been prevented,” said Colin Craig, president of SecondStreet.org. “Health reform could save lives and improve the quality of life that patients experience in their final years. Australia, New Zealand, Norway, there are many other countries out there with both universal health care and better outcomes for patients.”
The report shows that 2,367 Canadians died while waiting for surgery in 2020 alone. Another 6,202 died while waiting for diagnostic scans or appointments with specialists. While many were forced to wait because of COVID restrictions, waiting periods for healthcare appointments in Canada are frequently long. The dead patients waited between just under one month to six years, depending on which doctor or healthcare specialist they required. Some died waiting for procedures that were linked to their deaths, for example, cardiac surgery. Others died waiting for treatments that would have improved their lives, such as a cataract procedure.
Related: Cancel Culture Comes to Medicine
The 10,000 deaths aren’t the whole picture. For example, some local Canadian governments don’t keep track of patients who die while waiting to see a doctor.
“Governments postponed hundreds of thousands of surgeries, procedures and appointments with specialists during the pandemic,” added Craig. “If we don’t see meaningful health reform, we should expect to see even more patient suffering in the years ahead.”