Argument: Single-payer, universal health care results in long waits for patients
Froma Harrop. "Canada's the wrong model for universal health care". Seattle Times. February 28th, 2007 - "If you want to sell Americans on universal health coverage, it's not helpful to use a model that makes patients wait five weeks to see a cancer doctor. That's Canada...A health-care system that tolerates an average 10-week wait to use an MRI machine is not to be copied.
[...]Canada and a few others take pride in not asking patients to pay a cent of their health-care costs, but it's a mistake not to charge user fees. If people don't have to dig into their own pockets when they use medical services, Walker says, "you find yourself giving universal access to a physician for sniffles and company."
Canada's medical free ride leads to overuse of services. And that may add to the long waiting times — for which Canada is the worst, except for Britain's dismal National Health Service."
Michael Tanner and Michael Cannon, of the CATO institute. "Universal healthcare's dirty little secrets". Los Angeles Times. April 5th, 2007 - "Simply saying that people have health insurance is meaningless. Many countries provide universal insurance but deny critical procedures to patients who need them. Britain's Department of Health reported in 2006 that at any given time, nearly 900,000 Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals, and shortages force the cancellation of more than 50,000 operations each year. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks, and the average wait for hip replacement surgery is more than a year. Many of these individuals suffer chronic pain, and judging by the numbers, some will probably die awaiting treatment. In a 2005 ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote that "access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare."
The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports in one year 71 Ontario patients died while waiting for coronary bypass surgery and more than 100 others became "medically unfit for surgery." The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports, "109 people had a heart attack or suffered heart failure while on the waiting list. Fifty of those patients died."
[...]"Access to a waiting list is not access to health care," wrote Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin when striking down legislation banning private insurance in 2005. Private medical care is surging in Canada because of these problems with the government system."
"500 heart patients die on waiting lists". BBC. June 3rd, 1999 - "up to 500 heart patients die each year while they wait for potentially life-saving surgery."
"Sufferers pull out teeth due to lack of dentists." Daily Telegraph. April 19th, 2008 - "People with toothache are resorting to pulling their own teeth because they cannot find a NHS dentist, a study out today says.
Almost a fifth of those questioned in the biggest patient survey of its kind said that they had missed out on dental work because of the cost.
The research, involving more than 5,000 patients in England, also found that as many as six per cent had treated themselves because they could not find a dentist."