Canada column for Sunday, Oct. 16/16
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Canadians are taking issue with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for referring to their health-care system as being “catastrophic.”
Canada’s “mostly free” publicly funded doctor and hospital services can’t cope with demand, resulting in people going to the U.S. for treatment, Trump said.
The Fraser Institute said 45,619 people sought non-emergency medical procedures outside of Canada last year largely because of long wait times at home.
The number is about 1 percent of the patients of physicians who responded to a survey, the report said.
Data from doctors gives a “general estimation” of the number of “medical tourists,” said Bacchus Barua of the Vancouver-based institute.
The numbers are then applied to the total number of medical procedures carried out in Canada, as recorded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, he added.
Some critics are skeptical of the institute’s methodology.
Even so, Ron Labonte, a health-sciences professor, said the number of people leaving for hospital care is very small.