Free Health Care in Canada-What Does It REALLY Cost

I work with a lot of people who move to Canada and buy a house in Saskatoon or anywhere else and some of these Saskatoon home buyers are enamoured with our “free health care” as where they come from nothing is for free. I think the idea of it is wonderful, but in reality we have a lot of problems with it.

There was just an article in the Star Phoenix commented on finding efficiences in the Saskatchewan Health Region. They are scared that the level of service will go further down and that frightens me. Another Star Phoenix article today was all about safe patient care in Saskatchewan based on the fact that a doctor in my home town of Estevan is getting called into EMERGENCY to fill prescriptions because people can’t get into the doctors offices during the day. How ridiculous is that? These doctors are running low on sleep and energy and well being in general and then our lives are in their hands and it is dangerous and it is OUR fault for visiting the doctors for silly reasons because it is free. Even though Saskatoon has a lot more doctors I am sure it is still difficult for many of them.

The cost of free healthcare often costs people their lives in this province. As much as I appreciate and value our free healthcare policies, I do think something needs to change. Trimming the fat at the top does make some sense, but with the abuse of the system each doctor and emergency care worker sees I think there should be a ‘user fee’. Why not implement a small fee for each visit to the doctor (even $15 for non emergency visits, emergency visits would depend on the severity as people would then start to abuse the $15 policy, but obviously if someone is coming in with a broken arm or after a car accident no fee would apply as that IS an emergency-a cough is not!) I suggested this to an employee of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada but do you think it was considered? No, because there are too many ‘administrative concerns’. I don’t know, how hard is it to take $15 at the doctors office upon checking in? We do it at every other health practioner, I am pretty confident the general public could be retrained.
If someone is in such bad financial woes then reimbursement should be a possibility, provided they aren’t spending that $15 on cigarettes and alcohol.
Buck up Saskatchewan and Canada in general! I’d rather pay $15 each time than have to wait a month for a crucial exam and possibly dying while I wait! I’m a self employed real estate agent in Saskatoon so I don’t have a health plan through¬†Century 21 in Saskatoon (I could but I have a separate one)¬†per se, but I wouldn’t mind paying.

What are your thoughts? Am I unreasonable?

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, Sk

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