Friday, August 13, 2010

Ontario's Cancer Patients .... survival of the richest

I am not happy with the Canadian health services.  Sorry.  As an immigrant from a country far, far away and nowhere as modern and "with it" like Canada, I  had access to whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it.  The same went for the poorest of the poor who were able to get "on the spot" appointments with the country's best doctors and surgeons either totally free  or pay 'whatever you can' at Govt run hospitals where the top doctors were obliged to put in certain hours on a voluntary basis.  In Canada,  foolishly,  I thought it would be the same or even better.  How wrong I was.   I seldom need to see a doctor, but the few times I have tried to get an appointment with one, the dates I have been given have been so far into the future that  they would  be just perfect  for  a funeral  or burial  of my body six feet underground.  When I voice my dissatisfaction with the Canadian system to my lefty friends, they say: "there's always the emergency ward of any hospital if you are not getting a "quick" date."   Yeah .... can't argue with that can you?  The lefties have all the answers to everything.  I have heard that if you are not  bleeding profusely or having a heart failure right in front of the reception, then you better take your bedding and your own little deck chair to sit on while you wait for someone to see you at the emergency wards in Toronto hospitals.

Despite Canada's universal healthcare system, poorer Canadians with cancer are more likely to die early than their wealthier peers, suggests a new study of almost 100,000 patients from Ontario.

But unlike studies conducted in the United States, most of the difference in survival rates could not be explained by how early doctors caught the cancer.

"It is reassuring that stage of cancer (at diagnosis) does not vary across social groups in Ontario," Dr. Christopher Booth of the Queen's University Cancer Research Institute, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health in an email. But, he continued, "we need to better understand why survival does vary across socioeconomic groups."

The authors identified patients diagnosed with six different types of cancer in Ontario between 2003 and 2007. They used records of patients' home addresses to group the patients based on income levels in their communities. Then, the researchers calculated how likely patients in each group were to die of cancer in the three years after they were diagnosed or to die from any cause in the five years after.

They also looked at how early the cancer was caught for about 40,000 of those patients......

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