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Canadians: do Canadian medical doctors still get rich under your system?

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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:03 AM
Original message
Canadians: do Canadian medical doctors still get rich under your system?
I was watching something about how the AMA was opposed to medicare in the 1960's, when there was NO medical coverage for older retired people. Doctors were refusing to honor it. The MD's here in the US are very attached to 2 things - their income/prestige/lifestyle and tv shows that make them look like selfless heros.

Can they still be so selfindulgent in the Canadian system?

mark
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. One thing I do know about Canadian single payer
When the system went national in 1973, doctors' incomes increased instantly by a third, as there was a lot of pent-up unmet demand. I imagine that now they are well off though not filthy rich. Maybe some canuckistaninans will chime in here.
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
10.  A good link
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yes...
Canadian Doctors are all private. Clinics, hospitals, labs diagnostic centers are all private. Some hospitals are publicly owned, but Doctors get paid very well, same as here. (I'm from Canada originally) There are so many myths and untruths about the Canadian system, that it boils my blood. Like anything else about Canada,or anywhere else, people either don't know, or make it up. The system is no different that the US except the insurance. Instead of hundreds of different companies, with hundreds of different plans, and hundreds of administrative systems, there is on... ONE. Everybody pays the same, and everybody gets the same 100%, cradle to grave, and FREE, Now, how and why in the hell doesn't everybody here want something like that I don't know. And, if something isn't available at the time somebody needs it, they will find a place here in the US to get it done, pronto, and it's paid for. THATS why Canadians come here for treatment. That and some rich people come here to get things like plastic surgery, and stuff that isn't covered under the plan and pay for it themselves because they can. The waiting lines are no different than here, and if something is urgent, it gets done immediately. Remember though, Canada has the population of the State of California, so there is less people. And it's spread out. The northern communities don't have the facilities that urban centers do, but there are air ambulances that will fly people to a big city for emergencies, and that and ambulance's are free also. There are no user fees or co-pays. Canadian doctors are a little less prone to prestige and the selfless hero thing. It's a job to them. And there are the specialists who get paid more, but an MD practitioner gets paid well. And they can work as much as they want and make as much as they want because they get paid on a per visit schedule. So if a doctor wants to work 60 hours per week, they can get about $75 per visit, not including materials. The average clinic visit is about 15 minutes. That's $300/hr. $2400 per 8hr day, minimum. Based on a 5 day work week, that's $600,000 a year Not bad, give or take a few grand for golf days and trips to the Caribbean. Also, they don't have to worry about liability insurance and all that. It's covered under the act. Now, Taxes are higher there, but you get more for your money, and it's a big country to cover for all the infrastructure, and about 10% of the population of the US to pay for it all. But everybody seems to be healthy, happy and well off. You don't see the abject poverty and crime that there is here, but mind you, there's more people here too. The doctors fought Medicare up there too, as it was originally called, and they got ugly and even went on strike, till people started dying including children, they had to back down, and now, even the doctors like the system and wouldn't trade it for this system here in a million years. There are some that get greedy and come down here after med school to make the big buck,but they are few.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. You touched on one of the worries some people express about the
Canadian system when you said:

"And, if something isn't available at the time somebody needs it, they will find a place here in the US to get it done, pronto, and it's paid for. THATS why Canadians come here for treatment."

So the concern here is that, if we had a Canadian system, then where would OUR safety valve be, if -- because of a strain on resources -- care wasn't available here when it was needed?

I support universal healthcare, and I would be happy if it were Medicare for all, but I'd like to know how to answer people who ask that question.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Why are Americans going to India and Thailand for medical care?
Now that those locations are in my PPO, I could go.

Looks like our safety valve is India, Thailand, and soon, Jordan.
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. And Mexico... cheaper down there too.
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Most of these "cross border trips" are in places
close to American urban centers, and it is quite common for say, a doctor in Windsor to send somebody across the line into Detroit rather than send them 200 miles to Toronto. And even then, these cases are very rare on a per capita basis. If both countries had the same systems, you'd see a lot of that. People in northern Montana for instance, there is no major urban centers near border towns, so they could be sent to Lethbridge or Calgary, which have world class hospitals there. Also, just think, If Canada, with a measly 40 million people can run such a great system and make it work, just think what the USA could do with a system that frees up 30% of its expenditures on health care by going Universal. All that money would go towards research, building better hospitals and more of them. My point is, whatever Canada could do, the US with the population and the resources could do better. Hell, just the freeing up of money that we don't have to filter into corporate pockets would create a tsunami of wealth in this country into the individuals and business's pockets, and back into the system. Most people would find themselves with $10,000 more per year at least that isn't going to finance some fat shareholders Cayman Island bank account and Yacht! That would mean more revenue floating around out there, more tax dollars, and thus the trillions of dollars going back into a few thousand peoples pockets would flow back out into the system. Talk about redistribution of wealth! THAT is exactly what the RW was screeching about during the election, and that was talking points from the same rich assholes who are trying to finance all this screaming now, and getting the dumbass "sea of gray" AARP idiots to do their dirty work through fear and scare tactics. That woman who was on TV in Tennessee, crying that she was scared and wanted her country back, it never left! But these corporate propaganda and PR companies are doing such a good job spinning this shit, because they know people like that lady, will believe that fear mongering shit. And I don't blame her, that woman probably has lead a life of fear, fear of Commies, fear of Black people, fear of socialism. Just by looking at here you can tell she has had that garbage pounded into her head since she was a kid. And now, there is a Black man, ( well, half black actually) sitting as president, and she can't fathom how in the hell that could happen! To her, black people are supposed to be washing dishes in the Waffle house, pumping gas and dealing crack on the street corner, and raping white women. She is constitutionally incapable of grasping the fact that Barack Obama is just a lawyer from Chicago with a normal family, normal kids, and a vision for the country.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Thanks, stuball! n/t
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oneofthepeople Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. Just don't lump all Sr's as
AARP idiots. Your lack of knowlege regarding the need for Health Care Reform is strongly supported by AARP.

Disprove the rhetoric offered by groups, and individuals against Health Care Reform, but don't call ALL OF US IDIOTS!

Most of us in the 'retired' category know that Medicare is government operated.

We also know that reform is long overdue.

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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Sorry..
I didn't mean ALL the members of AARP. The AARP society, from what I have read, is on the side of the insurance companies, and gets paid for signing up AARP members to private policies. I have the utmost respect for the ones like yourself, it just irks me to see those that are against "socialized' medicine when they are on Medicare. And, being from Canada, don't even understand the Medicare system fully. And I wasn't calling everyone in AARP idiots...or outside AARP for that matter, just the idiots. I will chose my words more carefully from now on. It's a passionate topic for me and many here, and sometimes I type faster than I think. :hi:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Universal healthcare doesn't prevent anyone from paying out of pocket
to a private provider anywhere.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. The percentage of Canadians who go to the US for treatment...
is miniscule, here is some info:

Study Findings, By Data Source
 U.S. ambulatory facilities survey. Almost 40 percent of the facilities we surveyed reported treating no Canadians, while an additional 40 percent had seenfewer than ten patients (Exhibit 1).

Fifteen percent of respondent sites reported treating 1025 Canadian patients, and only about 5 percent reported seeing more than 25 during the previous year (generally 2575 patients; none reported more than 100).

These findings were fairly consistent across the service categories. The overall response rate was 67 percent, and it varied across type of clinical facility from 56 percent for ambulatory surgery centers to 80 percent for cancer centers.

more

http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/21/3/19

Here is a link to a Fact Sheet, it is from 2005-06 but it is still relevant to the facts on Canadian Healthcare:

http://www.amsa.org/studytours/CHS_FactSheet.pdf

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roamer65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. ...and if they do...the Canadian system usually covers it.
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 03:53 PM by roamer65
Especially if its an emergency and care in the States is faster.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Yes, if it is treatment that is unavailable in Canada, which is becoming more rare,...
or, as you said, due to location care in the US is faster and then the Provincial government will arrange and pay the cost. The only Canadians that go to the United States and pay out of pocket are the wealthy who want what they want NOW even though it is elective and, in Canada, they have to wait like everyone else and will get care in a timely manner.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thanks for your detailed response.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thanks very much. I am afraid we will NEVER have such a good system -
our politicians here are not so concerned with the people as they are with their profits, and I am afraid most doctors are the same.


mark
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. The majority of primary care doctors favor a single-payer system,
but the politicians excluded that idea from the discussions and worked with the insurance/drug companies on reform.





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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. Ding. Hissyspit's nomination for post of the day.
:toast:

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TaffyMoon Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. Yes the Doctors are rich - richer than the lawyers!
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sixstrings75 Donating Member (173 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
13. Yes. Every doctor I know has 1 or 2 beautiful cars and

a beautiful home. So I would resoundingly say yes.

And they deserve all that and more, IMO.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. In Canada, they do it charging half as much as US doctors charge
Health Care for All-WA has a helpline that connects Americans without insurance to some of these doctors. Strictures against practicing outside the system don't apply to foreign visitors.
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WeCanWorkItOut Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
15. They're less rich in Canada, or France, or Germany, than here (please see graph)
Here's an oldish graph from The Atlantic, attributed to Ezra Klein:



Why do American doctors make so much more? Some of the difference is explained by higher med school costs, etc.

But more, I suspect, is just the gift of our political system. After all, doctor salaries really began to increase under Medicare. And they kept on increasing, at more than twice the rate of inflation, until some time in the 1980s, when the increase began to slow down. Then in 1997 there was a change of rules that allowed more big doctors' groups. The result of the greater market power has been doctors' salaries and hospital costs going up again, especially where the groups can really dominate their market region (city or whatever).


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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. There's also the high cost of malpractice insurance. My GP, a wonderful, caring,
competent doctor, left his practice and opened a winery because of the malpractice insurance rates.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Maybe like Canada, malpractice insurance would be covered, too
under the new bill. (see post #2) It would be fantastic if that were to happen...relieve doctors from that burden, too!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. Here's a table of salaries from 2005
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 12:38 PM by Canuckistanian
Gross and net earnings rose in 2005
................Gross...........Net
Dermatologists..$360,000........$240,000
Internists......$310,000........$200,000
Ob/gyns.........$320,000........$195,000
Pediatricians...$250,000........$160,000
Psychiatrists...$190.000........$160.000
GPs.............$260,000........$155,000

But you have to understand, here in Canada, people don't become doctors to get wealthy. We all realize that it's not a profession where you can make millions in annual salary.

This is probably going to be the hardest thing for doctors in the U.S. and a major readjustment of social values. In a public system, you're just not going to get stinking rich as a doctor.

But it's certainly one of the highest paid professions in Canada, certainly on par with other professionals such as lawyers.

On edit:
Here's the link where I got the statistics.
http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2006/10_1...

Interestingly, it shows that American doctors' NET salaries are not so far off from Canadian doctors.
Why? Overhead - particularly the punishing malpractice fees.
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roamer65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
24. I'm American and I can say yes.
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 03:49 PM by roamer65
I once saw a doctor in a Toronto clinic due to a ear infection. He had worked in the British, Canadian and Australian systems. We were both divers and talked about Lake Ontario diving and he mentioned he had a boat moored in Toronto. That's not cheap.

Excellent doctor with a great bedside manner. Wish there were more like him in the States.
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Having experienced both Systems...
The doctors and the whole medical treatment doesn't seem that much different to me. I've had doctors down here that were good, and had some minor hospital time, which was very good. The thing that is different is just the whole insurance thing, co-pays and extras, and trying to find somebody who's in your plan and all that. It's weird to have to shop around and find some place that takes your plan. And of course, the costs difference is obvious. They seem to really have a way of running the bill up un-necessisarily , like they sent me through a x-ray, a cat scan, an MRI and a PET scan for one thing where a PET scan would have covered all that. Is that usual here?
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