Canadian Health Care’s War on Women: Waiting for Treatment Increases Female Deaths

UntitledCanada’s growing wait times for health care may have contributed to the deaths of 44,273 Canadian women between 1993 and 2009…The estimated 44,273 deaths between 1993 and 2009 represent 2.5 percent of all female deaths in Canada during that 16-year period, or 1.2 percent of Canada’s total mortality (male and female).

More specifically, during that same 16-year period, for every one-week increase in the post-referral wait time for medically necessary elective procedures, three female Canadians died (per 100,000 women).

No significant relationship between wait times and male mortality rates was found.

Source: Fraser Institute.

Comments (22)

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  1. Mitch says:

    1.2 percent of Canada’s deaths!! 1 out of 100 people died due to waiting?! atrocious.

    • Bill B. says:

      They should definitely be outraged and do something about changing their policy to reduce wait times. But they are too polite.

  2. Thomas says:

    “Canada’s growing wait times for health care may have contributed to the deaths of 44,273 Canadian women between 1993 and 2009.”

    With this statistic, I would love for proponents for universal health care to explain why that is a better policy than private insurance.

    • Matthew says:

      I would love to know the correlation between this and women. If there is no relationship with men and mortality rates, then what is causing this among women?

      • James M. says:

        “Possible factors include an increased participation among women in the workforce and differences in access to medical services.”

        I wish they had expanded on this because I don’t buy that this is the cause.

        • Matthew says:

          It is a bizarre conclusion why in the span of over a decade, the relationship only correlates with females. They mention a factor being differences in access to medical services. But how could access differ among genders?

  3. johnjames says:

    Canada’s healthcare system, which is state-run, seems to be having the same problems that have beset the VA health system, Medicare, and Medicaid: lack of access with low quality attention. What a shame. Canada is a perfect example of why Obamacare is bad!

    • Buddy says:

      What is terrifying is that Canada was the blueprint for ObamaCare!

      • johnjames says:

        Well, it looks as though Obamacare will likely fall victim to the same problems that happened to Canada’s healthcare system.

        • Buddy says:

          Which is why reforms right now are so integral to the future of our health care system. We need lasting changes that are free market based and consumer driven to avoid those mistakes similar to Canada.

  4. Steve says:

    This is sad, yet predictable (although the difference between male and female outcomes is surprising). Anytime a health system diverges from the free market it must control costs by rationing supply of services, so longer wait times are inevitable.

    Moreover,talk about a war on women…the Left’s rhetoric is most ironic!

  5. Bob Hertz says:

    I do not want anyone to die needlessly, but I will still protest against any philosophy that measures health care systems by death rates in a prosperous, overall-healthy society.

    Of course a health care system must try to prevent contagious diseases, water-borne inferctions, AIDS , trichinosis, plague, you name it.

    Canada and the USA left behind these awful scourges years ago.

    Now — if an 80 year old man or woman dies of heart disease because there is a wating list for bypass surgery……..

    sorry, I take the Daniel Callahan approach. If you make it past 75, you are on your own.

    American measurements of health care are perfectionistic. Death panels bother me not al all.

    Bob Hertz, The Health Care Crusade

    • allan (formerly Al) says:

      Bob, does that mean a citizen that contributed all his life to a system, produced educated and productive offspring and is still productively working at age 75 should be left to die?

      However, a lifetime criminal, rapist and murderer who at age 74 has been in jail for almost his entire life should be given the maximum care available?

      I see to you and Callahan the worth of a man is judged by his age in years not in what he did and is doing in the present.

    • Devon Herrick says:

      Bob I definitely believe that is a discussion worth having. I’m not suggesting I would agree with the age 75 cutoff. But it’s a worthwhile discussion nonetheless. I do not believe Medicare should be an open ended entitlement to either patients or providers. As the Canadian example illustrates, open ended entitlements where goods and services aren’t rationed using price rationing often lead to other types of rationing.

      I would prefer to see seniors control more of their own funds below a high-deductible. This could be done through an annuity funded by a modest payroll tax, or allowing HSAs to coexist with Medicare. Americans need the ability to choose between medical care and other uses for their money. Otherwise, health care will continue to crowd out other areas of consumption — and medical prices will continue to rise at three times the rate of inflation.

  6. bob hertz says:

    Al has a point in that my language about age may be too harsh.

    What I was trying to get at is this:
    while we should save as many lives as possible with the dollars we have, we should not consider it a failure of medicine when we fail to save the life of someone who has been here for eight decades.

    Medicine’s first goal should be the relief of pain and enabling an active life. When that is no longer possible, it may be time to let go.

    I would make one additional comment to Al:

    if people are still working at age 75, then unless they are an artist or writer I find that rather sad.

    • allan (formerly Al) says:

      What is sad about people working at age 75? My mom was neither an artist nor a writer but didn’t completely stop working until she was about 85. My dad stopped when he was in his mid to late 70’s due to illness. They didn’t need the money. I had intended to keep working until my brain was not up to it. I loved what I did, but the government intervened a bit too much too early and I retired much earlier than I should have.

      What makes you think work is such a terrible thing? Boredom is far worse.

      By the way I treated patients up to their hundreds. If one died at any age and there was a way he should have been kept alive and happy I considered that a failure.

      I guess in the other world, one like myself who would do what he could to save grandma’s life, it is a good thing that I retired from medicine. After all if grandma dies prematurely then we save money on her healthcare and don’t forget she stops receiving her social security checks.

      By the way John Goodman the President of the NCPA is 65 (b.1949) and not yet retired. I doubt he would starve if he stopped working. If his brain continues to be as astute as it is today I hope he never retires.

      Bob, let’s give a bit of thanks to the productive people of our nation and while we are at it let us thank our grandma’s and grandpa’s for existing wishing them all a happy and long life.

  7. bob hertz says:

    Al, if no one is asked to retire, then jobs for young people eventually dry up. You see this all the time on university campuses.

    Of course professors and many doctors enjoy what they do, and are still sharp as can be. (Blue collar workers are generally desperate to retire as early as possible.)

    All I am saying is this:

    if we have a new generation every 25 years or so, but people get to work 50 years, then we will have a great job shortage unless we have a very high rate of economic growth.

    • allan (formerly Al) says:

      Is your answer to the unemployment problem to retire workers? Foolish me, I always thought that working grew the economy. Are you saying that Pelosi was right and unemployment insurance grows the economy?

  8. bob hertz says:

    Let me go back to the university campus example.

    Assume there are 3,000 positions nationwide for art history professors.

    The 3,000 incumbents decide to work until they are 80.
    The work is enjoyable and they are productive.

    Well, the new graduate students in art history will have no full time jobs in their specialty.

    Not unless the colleges of America expand their art history departments! (which happened actually in the 1960’s).

    Now this is one tiny field. Does this apply to the whole economy? I sometimes fear that it does.

  9. allan (formerly Al) says:

    “Well, the new graduate students in art history will have no full time jobs in their specialty.”

    Bob, I love art and travel all over to different art shows and speak to those talented people so don’t think that I don’t find value in the field. I do.

    Assuming there are “3,000 positions nationwide for art history professors”, maybe that is too many. For many art is a hobby not a method of earning money. That is why so many of those graduates flip hamburgers for Burger King.

    Why perpetuate such a heinous crime on so many vulnerable students looking for a degree to help them get ahead in this world?

  10. Devon Herrick says:

    Allan and Bob, I’m going to have to argue that people retiring unnecessarily is not good for the economy. You may recall a discussion on this blog about the Broken Window Fallacy. Basically that’s the old, discredited (French) theory that repairing a window pane — that was inadvertently broken — generates economic development. Economists argue otherwise. Although the window maker and carpenter may have benefited from window replacement, society is ultimately poorer — by one broken window.

    Policies that discourage seniors from working also make society poorer — by depriving the labor market of the value of seniors’ lifelong investment in human capital.