Canada and the United States: We aren’t so different afterall.

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Came across an interesting piece in the paper recently, which nicely summarized many of the key challenges our healthcare system is facing. While the ultimate point of the article is to question the wisdom of increasing privatisation in our current system, I think the even more profound realization is that:

Canada and the United States share a much more similar healthcare system than most would like to believe.

As Canadians, we are tremendously proud of our “universal”, “public” healthcare system; in fact, a recent poll suggests that it outranks even the Charter of Rights and Freedom. Unfortunately, this pride might be built upon shaky understanding of how our system works. Does the average Canadian actually know how truly non-universal and non-public things are?

Constantly comparing ourselves to our closest neighbour across the border is convenient, but likely sets a poor benchmark to surpass. Our complacency over the years – of simply staying slightly more public and more universal than the United States – is clearly on display with our second-to-last ranking.

Time to wake up Canada. No, we are not that different than the Americans, and that’s not exactly a compliment if we really want to be proud of our healthcare system.

Edmund Kwok

Edmund Kwok

Emergency Medicine. Quality Improvement. Patient Safety. Change Management. Healthcare Administration.

Frontdoor 2 Healthcare

Frontdoor2Healthcare, founded by Dr. Edmund Kwok in 2012, provides editorial and commentary on issues affecting Canadian healthcare from the emergency department’s “front door” perspective. Frontdoor posts allow for open sharing of the diverse opinions and perspectives of emergency physicians from across the country.

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