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July 28, 2004

Canada, where all are equal but some are more equal than others

Canada's med-mal system is not nearly so threatened as ours is, in part because health care is "free" and thus its cost is not sought by alleged victims of malpractice, and in part because the lack of juries (see the two postings immediately prior to this one) changes the dynamics of the tort system. Having spent over half my life in that country (and being the only person ever simultaneously a member of the Virginia State Bar and the Barreau du Québec...), I am struck by these differences almost every day.

Let's not forget, though, that that country's health care delivery system is bankrupt (morally and economically). It's important to remember this at a time when Canada's health care is defended by certain American politicians. Perhaps that's because politicians in Canada (like politicians in Cuba, and formerly in Soviet Russia) learn how to get a bit more health care than the rationed care "equally" doled out to the saps who actually believe in the system.

Recall that in the Great White North one is not allowed to purchase health care -- one must take (for "free") the services the state offers. Doctors may not make contracts with consenting adults. Zero pricing obviously results in queueing and humongous, life-threatening delays for operations and tests -- but at least everyone's equally treated, right? Gee, it turns out that sometimes politicians find a way to jump the queue. Here is a typical story -- contacts in Canada tell me this happens every day, if you have the right connections.

Posted by Michael Krauss at 07:40 AM | TrackBack (1)

Comparative Law
Medicine and Law



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