Letter: Health care in Canada

By The Daily Illini

In the debate between Rep. Tim Johnson and Dr. David Gill on TV-channel 12, Dr. Gill explained that the single-payment plan under which members of Congress receive health care is favored by 126 members of the present U.S. Congress. It is not the payment plan to which Johnson referred to as being used in Canada. The payment plan in Canada depends on funding from the Provinces and is underfunded, which causes scheduling problems for the patient.

My experience with the Canadian health service occurred in July 1997 in Banff, while taking part in an international Congress on Antioxidants. I broke a bone in my right foot while walking on uneven pavement and was taken by cab to the Banff hospital. I received X-rays on my foot to establish that the bone was broken and was fitted with a felt boot and sent on my way in two hours. I doubt Carle Hospital would have taken less time. I have friends in various cities in Canada and have found them satisfied with their health care. Similarly, my daughter Jean, who visits more cities in Canada in her work than I have, has found an overall satisfaction with the Canadian health-care system. According to the World Health Organization, Canada spent $2,792 per person for health care in 2001 compared with $4,887 per person in the United States, in terms of international dollars.

Fred Kummerow

Urbana resident