Monday, 21 November 2016

Hemorrhaging heathcare & the Free Market.

   You're living in Regina, Saskatchewan and after waiting for several weeks to see your family doctor, you just recently saw the specialist he sent you to, after several more weeks of waiting.  The specialist determined that you need an MRI and the hospital told you it might take several months before they could 'fit you in'.  By now you are getting acutely anxious, even a little desperate.  Then your friend informs you that she heard that you can have it done privately. You make some inquiries and find out she is right.  The Saskatchewan government recently announced that two MRI clinics have been licensed to do MRIs privately, for a fee.  You phone and find that instead of waiting months, that you can have it done within a week.

   Wow!    In the land of Tommy Douglas, which gave birth to Canadian medicare, they realize that to give the folks the option of buying the care they need when the government can't afford is a no brainer.  I practiced in NDP Saskatchewan for almost thirty years and thought I'd never see the day.   Amazingly, the Saskatchewan Medical Association is opposed to what they label a two tiered system. Now the whole country is recognizing that if the folks can't buy it here in their own province or in Canada at all, they'll buy it somewhere else, thus making it even more exclusive.  That is, the whole country except our chosen political servants, who have appointed themselves our political masters.  In every province in Canada there are private facilities, obviously more available in the densely populated parts of the country.
   Waiting time for medically necessary treatment in Canada is not improving.  A specialist survey reported a median waiting time of 18.3 weeks to treatment, from the date of referral by the GP.  This is almost double the time it took in 1993. For less urgent problems or procedures, it is not unusual for the  delay to be a year or greater.  Many of these waits subject patients to pain and suffering and sometimes outcome risks.
   So, you may ask, how much is an MRI going to cost me?   Here are the rates from one private MRI Clinic.

All scans include radiologist’s report and a CD Rom copy of the images.
Routine Brain $895
Brain for MS $895
Brain for Seizure $895
Facial Bones (no brain included) $895
Temporomandibular Joints (no brain included) $895
Brain & Facial Bones $1,120
Brain & Orbits $1,120
Brain & Sinuses $1,120
Brain & Pituitary $1,120
Brain & Circle of Willis MRA $1,120
Brain & Internal Auditory Canals $1,120
Brain & Trigeminal Nerves $1,120
Brain for Tumor (contrast included) $1,195
Brain Trauma with Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) (for mild traumatic brain injury) $1,245
Brain Stroke (includes SWI) $1,245
Carotid MRA (contrast included) $1,470
MS Brain & Cervical Spine Combination $1,500
Brain & MRA Circle of Willis, Contrast Enhanced Carotid $2,270
Brain & Spinal Cord for MS Combination (cervical & thoracic) $2,395

Chest (mediastinum, chest wall) $895
Soft Tissue Neck $895
Sternum, SC Joints $895 each
Brachial Plexus $895
Specific Muscle $895
MRCP $895
Pelvis $895
Abdomen $1,095
MRA (renal or aorta) $1,200
Dynamic Liver(contrast included) $1,395
Abdomen/Pelvis Combination $1,545

Whole Body Health Screening Program (see video)
(2000+ detailed images including specific screening for brain, aortic & abdominal aneurysms, compression fractures of the spine, gyneacological cancers, liver lesions and pancreatic, kidney, biliary disease/malignancy)

All Extremities (ie. knee, wrist, ankle, etc.) $895 each
Foot/Ankle Combination $1,590

All rates subject to change without notice.

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