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Canada is a single payer system that many on the Left look to as a splendid example for the USA.  I sure used to, but then I began to learn of the significant problems in the system that hinders prompt and efficacious care in many circumstances.  And here’s an example: The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams, flew to the USA to obtain heart surgery because he couldn’t get what he needed done at home. From the story:

The decision by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams to travel to the United States to have an undisclosed heart operation has sparked some controversy, but the head of the local health authority said it’s not uncommon to send patients out of province for cardiac care. The CEO of Eastern Health, Vickie Kaminski, said Tuesday afternoon that Williams had all of his diagnostic work done in Newfoundland and was then referred out of the province for treatment, according to NTV’s Fred Hutton. “Vickie Kaminski said it’s not uncommon for people to leave Newfoundland and Labrador to get cardiac surgery done,” Hutton told CTV News Channel. “About twice a month they refer people out of province to other specialists, either across Canada or in the United States, and of course people have the choice as to where they want to go to get the surgery done.” Earlier Tuesday, deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale confirmed Williams is in the United States for heart surgery and could be off the job for up to 12 weeks. Dunderdale told reporters that Williams travelled to the U.S. for the surgery because it wasn’t being offered to him in his home province.

Why go to the USA instead of another Canadian province?  His representative won’t say:
Deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale confirmed the treatment at a news conference Tuesday, but would not reveal the location of the operation or how it would be paid for. “He has gone to a renowned expert in the procedure that he needs to have done,” said Dunderdale, who will become acting premier while Williams is away for three to 12 weeks. “In consultation with his own doctors, he’s decided to go that route.” Williams’ decision to leave Canada for the surgery has raised eyebrows over his apparent shunning of Canada’s health-care system. “It was never an option offered to him to have this procedure done in this province,” said Dunderdale, refusing to answer whether the procedure could be done elsewhere in Canada.

Perhaps it is because in Canada, there are lines for such surgeries.  It would have been very awkward for a politician to “jump the queue.”

HT: Alex Schadenberg

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