My wife and I moved from the United States to Canada in 2010. We’ve been back in the states for the better part of the past year, but will be returning to British Columbia in about six weeks. We hope to remain their permanently.
Our experience with the healthcare system there has been wonderful. Though as patients we experience the billing process in the United States from the other end, the bills received are confusing and the costs for what, from our perspective, were very minor procedures can be exorbitant. What insurance does and doesn’t cover can be equally mind boggling. Because my wife has type 1 diabetes, having a good doctor was essential, but annual changes to the networks our employers used meant we were forced to change physicians every year or two. I find it remarkable Americans defend the current system on the grounds it preserves choice.
In Canada we’ve never seen a bill, and we can go to any doctor we like because they are all covered by the same network. Stepping into the doctor’s office the receptionist swipes your card and that’s that. The receptionist is the billing department. While no system is perfect, I’m nonetheless sold on single-payer. Doctors and patients alike that I’ve talked to in Canada are all amazed the United States has put up with what universally looks like a nightmare from the outside. I always tell them that based upon my experience at least, that’s exactly what it is.
Great article. Thank you for sharing.