It’s more likely however that many people in this country will do what they normally do: Focus only on areas where Canada does better than other countries, while ignoring every instance where the reverse is true.
There’s nothing that Canada’s politicians, media establishment, and many Canadians themselves love more than feeling superior to other countries when it comes to healthcare.
That superiority complex manifests itself most dramatically when discussion turns to the healthcare system in Canada and the United States.
Canada – a nation of roughly 37 million people – is often compared to the United States – a nation of over 320 million people, in terms of health outcomes.
It’s a very telling comparison, as many others would look pretty rough for this country.
For example, US life expectancy is higher than every other nation with a population over 200 million nation, outstripping India, China, Indonesia, and Brazil.
Meanwhile, Canada’s life expectancy trails countries with populations under 150 million, including Italy, France, Norway, Spain, Japan, Sweden, and some others.
Why is our system never compared to those nations?
Why do we only make the comparison with the US?
Sure, we can say it’s because the US is so close, but are we really that lazy that we just look next door and shrug our shoulders at any further comparison?
Also, a comparison of the Canadian healthcare system vs the US healthcare system often neglects to mention that the US system takes lots of pressure of the Canadian one, as tens of thousands of Canadians travel to the US for care they can’t speedily receive in their home country.
You may be asking, why am I bringing this up?
Because our healthcare superiority complex – already on shaky ground and based on ignoring many other more realistic comparisons – should finally have been finished off by our total reliance on foreign countries for vaccines, while the US has been able to produce on their own.
America produces, Canada begs
America is producing an immense number of vaccines, and is vaccinating their own population at a rapid rate – a rate far outpacing Canada.
“My numbers for Canada 33% single dose vaccine, 3% fully vaccinated. For US 45% and 30%, big difference”
Further, many states – including Texas and Florida – have opened up and ended their mask mandates, and are doing better than some Canadian provinces. They’re doing better, while ending restrictions, while many Canadians are watching as the virus continues to spread here, while draconian restrictions remain in place.
Canada has combined one of the world’s most restrictive and fearful approaches with an inability to produce vaccines or rapidly distribute them.
Canada’s cases are now higher than the US on a per capita basis.
Funny how we heard so much about how bad the US was doing when they had more per capita cases, but now that we do people seem reluctant to point that out.
Our vaccine program depends entirely on foreign countries
A large portion of Canada’s vaccines have come from Europe, with some upcoming shipments coming from the USA.
We aren’t producing any in Canada – with the Liberal government failing to do what it took to ramp up production (somehow they spend hundreds of billions without making vaccine production possible within our borders).
Their first instinct was to rely on China, the same place the Wuhan Virus originated from.
Of course, that failed miserably, setting Canada back for months.
When they finally signed contracts to procure vaccine doses, the delivery dates were months after many other countries got them, which led the government to propose a four-month delay between first and second doses, something few experts were willing to recommend or agree with.
This has led to a situation in which the US, with so many excess vaccines, are now giving them out to Canada, with North Dakota helping vaccinate Manitobans, extending an offer to school workers to drive to the US State to receive their vaccination.
The US has already given large amounts of extra vaccines to Canada – the AstraZeneca one they won’t use on their own population but beggars can’t be choosers.
This should be a national embarrassment.
There are multiple national embarrassments that have taken place over the past year.
Our horrendous care home record – with the highest proportion of care home deaths among peer nations.
Our open borders, which keep letting the virus into the country as Canadians are locked down.
Our lockdowns themselves – which as in the case of Toronto have been the strictest in North America – while many other countries do better with measures that are far less strict.
Our spending and money printing, higher per capita than most of our peers, which will lead to long-term consequences and damaging inflation.
And our vaccine rollout, which exposed our inability to really get anything done ourselves, leading us to be desperately beg others for supply rather than making it ourselves.
This should be the end of our healthcare superiority complex, as our system (which we were constantly warned was on the brink of collapse due to thousands of cases in provinces of millions), has simply proven not to be that good.
At best, it’s average, and that average grade only exists because of the production we see in other countries and now the growing assistance of the United States, the country so many Canadians love looking down on when it comes to healthcare.
A deeper focus on health
Canada needs a completely new perspective on healthcare.
With our society getting heavier and less active, we must be encouraging healthy activity and healthy diets from a young age, building habits that will last a lifetime.
School should be 50% devoted to physical health and fitness, which could save us billions in healthcare spending, while also easing the mental health crisis, since physical health and mental health are closely linked.
Cities should be building more outdoor parks, and open-air gyms.
We should incentivize healthy choices, with tax measures to make healthy food and exercise equipment far more affordable.
And, while it’s very nice that our friends in other countries have helped us out, we need to recognize how vulnerable we are due to our inability to produce here at home.
We also need to learn from other countries.
Many parts of Europe achieve better health outcomes than we do, and they often do so while spending less per capita, and mixing both public and private.
Here’s what was noted about those systems by Forbes:
“Across the European continent, the Dutch, Swiss, Germans, French, and others, have established hybrid, multi-payer healthcare systems. Each has unique characteristics. But, what they share in common is government playing a key regulatory role as rule-maker and main funder. At the same time, the private sector – hospitals, health insurers, physician clinics – is a fully engaged participant, at times on an equal footing with the public sector.
Switzerland and the Netherlands have entirely privatized the health insurance function, which is carried out by multiple not-for-profit and for-profit payers subject to strict government regulations. One regulation is establishment of a pseudo-governmental body that oversees a national formulary on behalf of all insurers for the essential pharmacy benefits package. For what is deemed non-essential care insurers institute their own formulary standards.
France and Germany are examples of hybrid systems with predominantly public funding, but also private healthcare financing, combined with a public-private mix in the provision of healthcare services. Health priorities are set at the national level. And, most drug pricing and reimbursement decisions are left to national entities whose mandate is to provide evidence-based assessments of newly approved drugs and make recommendations accordingly.”
For too many Canadians, the second they hear ‘private’ and ‘healthcare,’ they immediately panic and reject any further discussion, an attitude which leaves our healthcare system mired in mediocrity.
It’s no coincidence that our lack of a private role in healthcare has led to us being reliant on large, foreign private companies for our vaccines.
This is all connected.
Our country needs to abandon our absurd healthcare superiority complex and realize that true superiority must be based on actual production and actual results, not a closed-minded rejection of every possible alternative.