Surprise! Canadians Are NOT Flocking to Our Shores for Health Care

(If you’re wondering about the sudden flood of blogs. . I’m trying to blog every day for 30 days as part of a blogathon).

Picking up on yesterday’s blog about national health care in the United Kingdom, we now turn our attention to our northern neighbors in Canada. Where, we hear, residents are forced to flee their country and come to the land of the free and the brave in search of timely, quality medical care.

Except they don’t.

A 2002 study published in Health Affairs put that assumption to the test and found that relatively few come south and those that do usually have family in the states.

I think the researchers put it best:

“All of the evidence we have, however, indicates that the anecdotal reports of Medicare refugees from Canada are not the tip of a southbound iceberg,  but a small number of scattered  cubes. The cross border flow of care-seeking patients appears to be very small.”

“Indeed, the numbers found are so small as to be barely detectible relative to the use of care by Canadians at home.”

Oh, and from another study comes this finding about the quality of care in Canada: “In general, Canadians were more like insured Americans regarding access to services, and Canadians experienced fewer unmet needs overall. Despite higher U.S. levels of spending on health care, residents in the two countries have similar health status and access to care, although there are higher levels of inequality in the United States.”

Why do we continue to just believe what we hear about our healthcare system rather than asking for the source and checking out the contention?

That’s the goal of my blog. . . to cut through the rhetoric and educate you with the facts.

Do you have any questions or assumptions you’d like me to research and write about? Leave a comment here!


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