Some more details on whether or not Canadian socialized medicine contributed to Natasha Richardson’s death. I found this part of the CNN story worth noting:
In an open letter to the citizens of Quebec sent to the Montreal Gazette, Dr. Michael Churchill Smith, director of professional services at the Montreal General Hospital, said incidents like Natasha Richardson’s should serve as a wake-up call to Quebec. “It is no longer morally acceptable for our citizens who, in the moment of their greatest needs, do not have access to a rapid transit system that gives them the best chance to not only survive, but to survive with a quality of life.”
Daniel LeFrancois, director of Quebec’s pre-hospital care, told the Gazette that cost is prohibitive when a one-hour flight costs $6,000. It’s a question of resources and priorities focusing on “the biggest gain for the biggest need,” he said.
The reason why American health care is so expensive is that we have an “all in” mentality in which every test is ordered, every treatment is attempted, and all resources are employed toward saving lives. It’s an imperfect system and a very costly system, but just look at the alternative. In Quebec, you have a beauraucrat deciding what kind of care can be offered based on a determination of “the biggest gain for the biggest need.”
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