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Tens of thousands of Canadians flee Canada


Canada is amongst the top countries in the world when it comes to safety and security. So what could be so bad that it enticed tens of thousands of Canucks to flee the country in 2013?

How about socialized healthcare?

With public health services provided across the country, and private alternatives illegal in many of them, Canadians are not allowed to maintain their health by paying money. Of course the bills still need to be paid – after all, public healthcare is not a synonym for “free” healthcare. Some services and operations cost more than what the government remunerates doctors and hospitals for them, leading to shortages and waiting lines.

To deal with these shortages and long lines, nearly 42,000 Canadians opted to pay for their own operations by fleeing the country to seek services elsewhere. Waiting times for patients who had consulted with specialists increased to 9.6 weeks in 2013, up from 9.3 weeks the previous year. As the Fraser Institute recently reported , sick Canadians have fled the country to avoid “the consequences of waiting for care such as worsening of their condition, poorer outcomes following treatment, disability or death. And some may have done so simply to avoid delay and to make a quicker return to their life.”

No one would tolerate such wait times for something as simple as, say, buying clothes, so why do tens of millions of Canadians stand for it with something as important as healthcare?

(Originally posted at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada.)

David Howden is Chair of the Department of Business and Economics and professor of economics at St. Louis University's Madrid Campus, and Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada.

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