The Continental health and welfare systems John Kerry so admires are, in fact, part of the reason those societies are dying. As for Canada, yes, under socialized health care, prescription drugs are cheaper, medical treatment’s cheaper, life is cheaper. After much stonewalling, the Province of Quebec’s Health Department announced this week that in the last year some 600 Quebecers had died from C. difficile, a bacterium acquired in hospital. In other words, if, say, Bill Clinton had gone for his heart bypass to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, he would have had the surgery, woken up the next day swimming in diarrhea and then died. It’s a bacterium caused by inattention to hygiene — by unionized, unsackable cleaners who don’t clean properly; by harassed overstretched hospital staff who don’t bother washing their hands as often as they should. So 600 people have been killed by the filthy squalor of disease-ridden government hospitals. That’s the official number. Unofficially, if you’re over 65, the hospitals will save face and attribute your death at their hands to “old age” or some such and then “lose” the relevant medical records. Quebec’s health system is a lot less healthy than, for example, Iraq’s.
One thousand Americans are killed in 18 months in Iraq, and it’s a quagmire. One thousand Quebecers are killed by insufficient hand-washing in their filthy, decrepit health care system, and kindly progressive Americans can’t wait to bring it south of the border. —Mark Steyn
—No time for Kerry’s Europhile delusions (Sun Times)
This essay, by a Canadian who supports Bush, is blogworthy not only because it presents an opinion that runs against the grain, but I lived in Canada for about six years, and my son was born there.
As an international student, I did not get free healthcare during most of my stay, but paid a small fee for an insurance policy that gave pretty much the same service that Canadians got, except there was a cap. At any rate, when my son was born in a Canadian hospital, I noted the coldness of the health care… fortunately, there were no complications during the birth, and the doctors themselves seemed fine, but the nurses and orderlies and others who were supposed to interact with the patients didn’t smile (okay, maybe they were overworked), we were instructed to bring our own diapers and infant care products (which, granted, we’d have had to buy anyway), and when my son was born, they wrapped him in a pink blanket.
I tried to control the emotional impact of this violation of the signification of color and gender, but as I was getting out my camera, I sheepishly asked for a yellow blanket, or even a white towel to wrap around the pink.
I got a blank stare in response.
It wasn’t even a look of horror, like Oliver Twist got after he asked for “more”… it was the look of a time-clock punching unionized government employee who has no incentive to offer “service”. The nurse and an orderly made a vague show of looking at each other, but neither even bothered to shake their heads or shrug. They just stared blankly.
Perhaps my experience was unusual, but reading this article brought it all back… Yes, healthcare in the United States is costly, and yes, there are definitely abuses that need to be curbed, but my experience living with socialized medicine reminds me that Americans — self-centered as we are — demand good customer service, and won’t stand long for the Canadian style of healthcare (should it ever be instituted here).