A great man once said, "Politics is inherently stupid." That great man was me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Unless, of course, they died on a waiting list first.

A short study in contrasts.

Several interview subjects died before the film was completed. "It was pretty somber working on this film," Moore said. "We just kept thinking, the only reason this person is dying is because they hold American citizenship. If they lived in Canada or Britain or France, they'd have a chance."

"...The provincial government eventually contracted out for the needed services, and over the next 16 months some 200 patients were sent to Seattle hospitals for cardiovascular surgery. The government was forced into this recourse due to a public outcry, including a man who threatened to sue the government when his wife died while waiting for heart surgery..."

"...To our knowledge, 4 patients died while awaiting CABG during the study period....

"...Although some patients underwent surgery within the optimal period, an average of about 50% of patients in each category were still waiting for surgery at the end of their recommended waiting period."

To my great surprise, while practicing as a physician during the 1990s, I saw patients suffering and dying on waiting lists under the Canadian single-payer health care system.

-Dr. Jacques Chaoulli, M.D.

Related: "Dead Meat is a 25 minute short film which shows the reality of health care under Canada's socialized medical system: Canadians wait ... and wait ... and wait. ... And sometimes they die while waiting for free government health care. "

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