Anglican Samizdat

August 8, 2009

Sick as a dog, but worse off

Filed under: The fall of the West — David Jenkins @ 3:25 pm

Human vs dog health care:Add an Image

In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog.

As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs—or hamsters—come first.

Things aren’t much different in Canada: our much vaunted health care may be “free” but it doesn’t work very well.

A few years back our dog was sick and needed an ultrasound on his liver; the wait time was 1 day. Coincidentally, my wife also needed an ultrasound; the wait time was 2 months. While at the veterinary hospital I suggested a two for one discount – dog and wife – but was turned down.

My dog tells me that he finds it comforting that all humans are treated equally (badly) in our free health care system – but he doesn’t want to enrol.


1 Comment

  1. I think our system works pretty well. It is a whole lot better than the one in the US, in which some folks get excellent care, while others get none. I’d rather be triaged on the state of my health than the state of my wallet.

    Comment by Kate — August 8, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

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