The Delusion Around Canada's Vaunted Socialist Healthcare System is Collapsing in the Face of COVID-19

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

I don’t know a Democrat that doesn’t immediately stand to attention with their most enthusiastic salute at the mention of Canada’s socialist healthcare system, and if you don’t salute with them, you’re going to get an earful about how horrible our own system is. In fact, you’ll probably get that earful whether you salute or not.


Thing is, while the “free” healthcare Canadian’s are said to have is celebrated by leftists in the U.S., what isn’t being talked about is how COVID-19 really highlighted the cracks in this supposedly near-perfect system.

The report first made by El American, noted research by a think tank that pointed out an inordinate amount of Canadian deaths that occurred during the pandemic and not because of the virus. These people died waiting to get healthcare for other issues.

How many people? Try 10,000:

According to research by Regina-based think tank, Canada’s public health care system is having serious problems meeting patient demand. From April 2019 to December 2020, some 10,000 Canadians died waiting for medical care. president Colin Craig recounted in a column for the Toronto Sun newspaper some of the tragic stories of Canadian patients who died on a waiting list.

Many of these patients died waiting months and sometimes years for surgeries. One example, in particular, is that of retired nurse Judy Anderson, who lost both of her daughters during the pandemic because hospitals were ordered to focus on COVID-19:

“Judy Anderson, a retired nurse from Port Perry, Ontario, told us about losing not one but two daughters due to excessive waiting periods in the health care system. It’s a tragedy for any parent to have to bury one child, but twice is beyond heartbreaking,” Craig wrote. “Most recently, Judy’s daughter Shannon was told she would have to wait a month for a heart procedure as the health care system was focussed on COVID-19. The weeks of waiting for treatment proved to be too much for Shannon’s heart; four children have lost their mother.”


It goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, though. One patient mentioned in the study waited 2,283 days for hernia surgery (more than six years) before finally passing away. A teenage girl was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2015, and despite finding a donor, she had to wait seven months for her bone marrow replacement procedure. Thanks to healthcare regulations, the surgeon required to do her surgery could only do five of these kinds of surgeries a month, and there were 30 people ahead of the girl. She died waiting in 2016.

These problems were already bad, but COVID-19 made them far worse. In 2018/2019, patients who died waiting for care in this socialist system sat around 16 percent. In 2020, that number shot up to 43 percent.

The reason comes from Canada’s requirement to ration out funds for its medical system. Unlike in the U.S. where privately funded doctors and lower regulations keep treatments coming and medical science advancing, Canada’s system is largely stuck in the 1970s. What’s more, politicians are largely scared to talk about it according to president Colin Craig.

“One of the problems is that politicians are reluctant to talk about it. Why discuss structural reform that could help patients when it’s so much easier for politicians to do what they’ve done for decades: cross their fingers and throw more money at the problem?” he said.


If you’re sick and dying, the best place to be is still the United States. Getting cancer is a much more survivable issue in the United States thanks to an abundance of medicine, the latest technology, and doctors willing and able to do what’s necessary to bring you through it. While it’s not a perfect system that is more expensive than it should be, it’s superior to the healthcare systems that are supposedly greater thanks to nationalization.

These cracks in the socialist healthcare systems really begin to grow wider in the face of a medical crisis and the system is stressed. When that pressure on it appears, you can expect people to die needlessly.


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