Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Canadian CYA Over Newfoundland Premier Seeking Surgery In USA

Canadian health officials are trying to CYA claiming that Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams could have received the heart surgery in Canada and that he didn't have to go to the US for the procedure.
The surgery Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams required may not be available in his home province, but chances are it's available in his home country, experts say.

Williams — an outspoken proponent of public health care — went to the U.S. Monday morning for a heart procedure his office said couldn't be done in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Williams' office has been tight-lipped about the situation, refusing to disclose what type of procedure he's undergoing, or where. Canadian medical experts insist that when it comes to heart procedures, there's nothing you can get in the U.S. that you can't get here. You just have to wait a bit longer, and the accommodations aren't as nice.

Dr. Arvind Koshal, a prominent Alberta cardiac surgeon, told the Globe and Mail Williams is sending the message that if you have money, you can forgo the hassles of public health care and pay for quicker service south of the border.

“The optics are very poor, especially for people who are proponents of the Canadian health-care system,” said Koshal.

Dr. Wilbert Keon, a heart surgery pioneer in Ottawa and a Conservative senator, told the Globe there is “no question” Williams could have chosen to remain in Canada.

Meanwhile, U.S. opponents of President Barack Obama's proposed health-care reform have made Williams their poster child. Obama aims to extend health care to the country's uninsured — a move critics say will extend wait times, turning America's health-care system into the Canadian model.

Patients First, an American organization against Obama's health-care reform plan, cited Williams' decision as proof the Canadian system is flawed.
Note the part I set off in bold. You have to wait longer and the accommodations aren't nearly as nice. For someone who needs heart surgery, delays can add to the costs and reduces quality of life. That's not a good thing. Neither is the fact that the Canadian officials admit that the accommodations aren't as nice. There is something to spending lots of money on health care infrastructure - you more often than not get what you pay for.

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