Canada's Socialized Medical System Hits Even More Snags

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Jepp family who had to be flown from their home in Calgary to Great Falls, Montana, to give birth to their quads because not one neonatal unit in all of Canada could accommodate them at one time. In that post I linked to an article that reported that Canada is flying women who have gone into labor prior to 32 weeks more and more often because the government run Canadian health care system simply doesn’t have the money to care for these preemies. Now we are finding out how often that has been happening. From Fox News:

Mothers in British Columbia are having a baby boom, but it’s the United States that has to deliver, and that has some proud Canadians blasting their highly touted government healthcare system.

“I’m a born-bred Canadian, as well as my daughter and son, and I’m ashamed,” Jill Irvine told FOX News. Irvine’s daughter, Carri Ash, is one of at least 40 mothers or their babies who’ve been airlifted from British Columbia to the U.S. this year because Canadian hospitals didn’t have room for the preemies in their neonatal units.

“It’s a big number and bigger than the previous capacity of the system to deal with it,” said Adrian Dix, a British Columbia legislator, told “So when that happens, you can’t have a waiting list for a mother having the baby. She just has the baby.”


Canada’s socialized health care system, hailed as a model by Michael Moore in his documentary, “Sicko,” is hurting, government officials admit, citing not enough money for more equipment and staff to handle high risk births.

Sarah Plank, a spokeswoman for the British Columbia Ministry of Health, said a spike in high risk and premature births coupled with the lack of trained nurses prompted the surge in mothers heading across the border for better care.

“The number of transfers in previous years has been quite low,” Plank told “Before this recent spike we went for more than a year with no transfers to the U.S., so this is something that is happening in other provinces as well.”

Critics say these border crossings highlight the dangers of a government-run health care system.

“The Canadian healthcare system has used the United States as a safety net for years,” said Michael Turner of the Cato Institute. “In fact, overall about one out of every seven Canadian physicians sends someone to the United States every year for treatment.”

Rudy Giuliani got a few laughs at the Republican debate Tuesday night when he said we can’t allow HillaryCare because then the Canadians will have no where to go to get their health care, but his commentary on the benefits of a market driven versus government run health care system was right on target. A market driven health care system will always out-perform a government run system, and more and more Canadians are learning that the hard way.

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