No system is perfect and I agree that those figures are not acceptable. keep in mind however, that those figures are based on selections of worst case scenarios and they do not represent the reality for all Canadians. The media in any country likes sensationalism and figures like these get ratings. For every media story you can produce that shows the "horrors of socialized medicine". I can counter with one that shows how overwhelimngly happy with the system Canadians are.
It may interest you to know that I worked in Canada for one of their largest bulk commodity trucking companies; L.E. Matchet Trucking out of Saskatoon, Sa. As such, I had a Canadian health card and I personally never experienced these issues, not did any of my coworkers or folks I interacted with. I will take the word of every day Canadians over any news story you care to post.
In addition, these figures relay the stats of those with no options other than the base health care. You do know I hope that in Canada, Britain and Australia, the people do have the option to buy private health insurance and can utilize private medical care givers right? Another thing to consider is these systems, you are really dealing with prototypes. We can learn from their shortcomings and avoid their pitfalls when we shift to a single payer system.
Now, to counter your argument, look at the bad side of our system where we have thousands of people die needlessly due to not being able to afford the health care that would save their lives. Also consider how many Americans lose their life savings, homes and retirements due to a medical emergency, People in Canad and elsewhere do not have to ever face this. Given the choice between "two evils" I will take the 18 week wait over losing my house....
On top of that, countries like Australia (which I want to immigrate to) admit their problems and actually take action to solve them unlike American politicians who give lip service to the people while taking bribes from insurance companies and drug manufacturers. Personally, I would rather deal with a country like Australia who openly discusses problems and takes action to solve them.
If you doubt that things there are not better than here, I suggest you tune into their local media and get a feel for the culture...
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