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Eleven Canadians

“Real Canadians Talking Real Healthcare”

9:45 minutes of video
and/or read some text excerpts.

Canadians talking about their health care in a video dated 2 September 2009. It contains the experiences and opinions of eleven Canadians, who range in age from 40 to 90 years old: Ona, Bob, Dave, Susan, Sally, Doug, Stan, Tamara (below), Janet, Richard, and Emily.

Excerpts of the Video

Bolding was added for highlighting for reading; the speakers were not necessarily emphasizing those words.


“As a Canadian who’s always had health care, I just don’t get it. … Every westernized country in the world has it, and the U.S. doesn’t. It’s always just seemed remarkable to me. How can you not have it? I mean your health is everything.” — Tamara

Talking Healthcare with People Who Get It

“I don’t have anything bad to say about our health care system. It’s done right by me.” — Emily (90 years old)

“It allows Canadians to sit at home and know that they are not going to get wiped out by medical bills.” — Bob

Real Canadians Set the Record Straight

“Anyone can access health care. Anybody at all, no matter how severely sick they are or how mildly sick, it’s just paid for by our taxes …” — Tamara

“You book the appointment (and show your card), and you’re good to go.” — Richard

“If you’re in trouble, you can get health care and not end up with a bill that’s gonna kill ya.” — Stan

Are you a real Canadian?

“Yes! I’m a real Canadian. (laughing)” — Janet

When Americans TRASH Your System, What’s Your REACTION?”

“That’s just laughable.” — Tamara

“I just laugh.” — Ona

“I find that inaccurate, exaggerated.” — Dave

“How could you possibly trash being taken care of? You’re whole family, 100%, all the time. — Tamara

“I think it’s crazy to trash the Canadian system. It’s a great system.” — Bob

” … it hurts a bit, because I don’t think they’re getting the full picture or understand the system at all.” — Stan

“It would be helpful to the discussion if they knew what they were talking about … if they had real experience here.” — Doug

Do You USE the System?And WHAT Happened?

“I found out I have a hyperactive thyroid, and I was losing weight, and I wasn’t sure what it was. … So I called I called my doctor … she made an assessment and sent me for blood work …” — Richard

“In the last nine years I’ve had knee replacements, colon cancer, open heart surgery. … “— Ona

“I had breast cancer. I had surgery. I had chemotherapy. I had radiation. And I did not pay a cent for any of that. — Sally

You’re Kidding, RIGHT?

“There’s no money, no credit card, nothing exchanged.” — Sally

“It’s paid for.” — Emily

You don’t pay anything. You just show your card.” — Richard

” … If you went to a hospital for a procedure, that would cost you nothing, although increasingly sometimes there are additional costs for things like meals or your wife is probably going to have to pay to park.” — Doug

“I got $600 to help reimburse me for traveling to see the second opinion.” &#8212 Janet

What’s Your CO-PAY?

” … What are you talking about?” — Tamara

“What does “co-pay” mean?” — Bob

“Co-pay? I’m not sure what you mean.” — Stan

I don’t know what a co-pay is.” — Susan

“Co-pay, I thought, was a drink you used to get with an umbrella in it” — Doug

“I’ve heard about it from some cousins in the States. No, we pay nothing.” — Sally

Can You CHOOSE Your Doctor?

“You’re free to use any doctor you want.” — Bob

“Yes, you can choose your own doctor.” — Janet

“I have a GP in the area. If I need a specialist, there’s a list of doctors in the area. ” — Janet

“I’ve never had it happen where I’ve asked for a particular doctor and not been able to get that doctor” — Tamara

” … No one tells us where to go or when or how.” — Doug

I get every test that I ask for, so, when I go every year, I get a variety of blood tests … I got tested for colon cancer if I think I need to have that now.” — Susan

Do You WAIT for appointments?

“Generally you can get into see your primary physician quite quickly …” — Bob

There can be some waits, but I don’t think they’re excessive. We hear about these stories of “long waits”, but I don’t know anyone who’s had a serious medical problem because they had to wait too long” — Susan

“If you’re sick that morning, you can usually get in that day or in the next day or two. Absolutely.” — Tamara

“If you have elective type things, you’re gonna have to wait a while.” — Dave

Delay is more a case of priority. It’s a triage thing. If someone comes into the queue ahead of you with a far more urgent need, they’ll be taken first. ” — Doug

“If I’m at all concerned, I can get help. I can get back into the system quickly.” — Sally

“I had surgery within a month after they found it.” — Ona

“If there’s an emergency, you are at the head of the line.” — Susan

What if it CAN’T BE DONE in Canada?

“If I had an operation that couldn’t be done in Canada and had to go to the States, they’d pay for part of it: most of it.” — Emily

“There are some cases where the system may be busy in Canada and they will refer you for that treatment in the United States.” — Bob

“There are some cases where the government system in Canada will pay for a Canadian to go to the United States and have something done.” — Dave

Get It?

“We all say … because my husband has a lot of American cousins … we’re so glad we’re Canadian.” — Tamara

Everybody’s COVERED. NOBODY’S excluded.

“Why shouldn’t we look after one another? Who likes to see children suffer?” — Janet


“Canadians would tell you they’ve got very good health care.” — Doug

NO Bills. NO Co-Pays. NO Pre-Existing Conditions. NO Dropped Coverage. NO Lifetime Cap.

“… look at the track record of the system … and look at the efficiency of the system … and the outcomes” — Doug

Better Prevention. Better Outcomes. Better Care.

“You have enough worries when your child gets sick, but imagine that financial burden! We don’t have that. We’ve never even heard of that.” — Tamara

Real Canadians Get It

“Something like 92% of Canadians are happy with their health care.” — Doug

Real Americans DON’T (Get IT)

“It’s like you’re living in a third world country. You have no where to go. Where’s the safety net?” — Tamara

The American Dream is Alive and Well … in CANADA

We just go .. and you’re taken care of. And everybody’s treated the same. That’s what a democratic society is, isn’t it?” — Tamara

What’s Next

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As Tamara said, above: “That’s what a
democratic society is, isn’t it?

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