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Program puts end to an agonizing wait: Hospital offers same-day cancer diagnosis

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Patients at leading Canadian facility will also find out right away what course of treatment will be ...Read the full article

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  1. Karen Morris from Canada writes: Perhaps I don't understand the issue, but isn't it the length of time it takes someone to get treatment for diagnosed cancer that many Canadians are finding an agonizing frustration, not so much the waiting-for-diagnosis period?
  2. cats desire from Canada writes: Let me tell you how life is right now. In January my brother had an abnormal chest x-ray. There are several factors that make this a very big concern, i.e. how he was feeling and his medical history. The x-ray was repeated and still abnormal so on to the CT scan which showed a mass. Then a referral to a surgeon in the centre 1 hour away. That appointment meant meeting with the resident (doctor-in-training), who stated the obvious but at least did give some idea as to what would be next, i.e. surgery after a review with the anaesthesia people. The surgeon was there but never did meet or even greet my brother. The surgeon’s secretary “don’t call us……we will call you with this appointment sometime in the next month, it won’t help to call us so don’t call us”. The appointment actually happened more than a month later. Still no meeting with the surgeon (OR time had become available, so she was operating). But at least the anaesthesia appointment happened. Now the wait is on the phone call between 8:15 and 10 am one day to be told that the surgery will happen the next day (if all the stars are aligned correctly)…………… My niece had an abnormal mammogram in February. She was called in for a repeat and ultrasound. Then a biopsy was arranged. Yes, it is cancer. She is now scheduled for the beginning of her treatment journey as of Wednesday, May 13th. In September 2006 my cousin developed pain, by November he had a cancer diagnosis, his first appointment with the Princess Margaret was for January 2007. He died in May 2008. I think people should have the choice between waiting and paying for timely service. I don’t know if the waiting had or will have any effect but as alluded to in the article waiting is the worst.
  3. Sky King from Eastern Ontario, Canada writes: Ontario has a problem. A big one.

    My wife is an RN and a former health care exec. A suspicious lump found on vacation? A month to see our GP, 6 weeks to mammogram and the rest would be similar delays. Hooray for private health care! For only $1K, the Ville Marie Women's health care center in downtown Montreal performed diagnosis, mammogram, digital ultrasound, fine needle aspiration (ultrasound guided) and results in 3 hours. They do this every day for a lot of people, and the fee covers all the work, for one year- also including health club on premises, yoga, consult w/ psychologists etc as needed. 3 months to 3 hours is routine, IF the health care industry changes the mindset from absolute efficiency for their physicians and equipment to a model built around speed- lead time reduction- Lean/elimination of waste (to borrow operations phrasing). And I suspect the cost of the testing in Ontario, while borne by the gov't, would exceed the $1K.
  4. CC Rider from Toronto, Canada writes: Private health care is the way of the future! Our nationalized health care system is fine as long as you do not get sick!!! People are getting sicker and dying waiting for diagnosis and treatment which is not what health care is all about.......today like never before, fast action is needed to combat diseases like cancer and wait times cannot be tolerated any longer. The Conservatives (the Liberals are too wimpy and socialist) have to act NOW to 'fix' the broken system.
    Congrats for this ' breakthrough' in same day diagnosis. Too bad this is not the norm as it should be.
  5. Ian Shaw from Ottawa, Canada writes: That's it? $12.5 million bucks fixes the problem? Can someone please tell me what all the money we donate to the various cancer charities is being used for and why they aren't doing stuff like this with the funds?
  6. Standard Error from St. John's, Canada writes: This story, as did a previous story about the Alberta Hip and Knee Replacement Project, shows that public health care can be innovative and that not every new idea comes from private industry. Look: I spent the first half of my career in R&D in Fortune 500 companies, and I can tell you that the PHB (Pointy Haired Boss) is not just a fiction of Scott Adams' imagination. There are innovation inhibiting bureaucrats in both the public and private spheres. The trick for top private and public leaders is to weed them out, move them to harmless positions where they can amuse themselves with lots of important, twinkling lights, and then find the true entrepreneurs in the organization, give them the resources to implement their ideas and then knock down all of the institutional obstacles that get thrown in their way.
  7. joe blow from Canada writes: After 50 years of research and development we are no closer to a cure for cancer. As somebody that has gone through this here are the facts. When your are diagnosed with this terrible disease you automatically become a statistic. You are put into one of several groups and are given treatment. If you live and hopefully you do then that group gets a tick mark. Now does anybody think there is something wrong with this picture??
  8. Funny Thing from Winnipeg, Canada writes: A public health care system should be able to do this. 'This' being test and deliver results the same day. That's whatw e should be fighting for. Private health care scares me as a social concept: the 'haves' not only live better, they live.
  9. Lance Uppercut from Canada writes: Public helath care can never be as efficient as the private health care. this principal applies to all goods and services. imagine if the government had a monopoly on making cars or computers. my god, we would have wait lists a mile long to buy one, they would be over-priced and the car would be about as advanced as wooden wagon and the computer would still be in the development stage. Why to people continue to assume that govt can provide health care better than the private sector?
  10. john shantz from Canada writes: Certainly the various cancer charities have to answer for their silence on this one. One couple's donation (though relatively substantial) is doing more than the plurality of media hogging 'charities' who bring in hundreds of millions to maintain their fat executive offices and perks.
  11. Michael F from Toronto, Canada writes: Joe blow said 'After 50 years of research and development we are no closer to a cure for cancer.'

    This absolutely, 100% false. I state this as an active cancer research biologist.

    We cure about 75% of people who get cancer; only about 25% will die from their disease. Of those that do eventually die of cancer, most live much longer with the disease than they ever have before.

    Cancer is not an easy disease to try to cure; it is multifactorial, and cancer cells are smarter than we are. That having been said, we now have new emerging therapies that target particular molecular pathways that are altered in particular cancers. For instance, chronic myleoid leukemia is now treated with molecular targeted therapeutics as first-line agents (i.e. Gleevec). We can now stratify breast cancers based on estrogen receptor status and recommend anti-estrogen therapies, or based on Her2/neu expression and recommend herceptin. We understand the basic biology of cancer much better than we ever have before, and the results reflect this.

    To say that we are no closer to a cure for cancer (as though there will ever be a single 'cure') is absolutely ludicrous.
  12. Keating Gun from Canada writes: Ontario clearly needs a profesisonal patient advocacy group with professional advocates as opposed to consumer asociation types, to skilfully pursue logical improvements in healthcare here. The mediocre mindset is so well developed, logical competent function is actually a newsstory. It will take a lobby group and good access to private care to create some competition and dynamism here, but there must be many in healthcare who are waiting for such a revolution. In the menatime, patients need to man the phones to improve access to care for themselves. Offer to fill any cancellation on mere minutes of notice. Continually ask about other centres and their wait times. Be prepared to drive to Hamilton or Buffalo. Never take the word of a recpetionist at the bottom of the food chain. Go where decisions are made to get your info. Always be courteous when seeking favours. In the US money is king and everything happens fast, a fact which can be used to prod the Ontario beast to move along. Test results can now be emailed, so actually crossing the border will not create delays. Many centres are continually testing new drugs and provide them at no cost to study participants. Fortunately most info is now online. Finally, getting a comprehensive cancer guide will allow you to ask meaningful questions at medical appointments and advocate for timely access at critical points. As the doctor advocates for many, but you only advocate for yourself, having that info is crucial.
  13. Bobby Boy from Canada writes: So tell me how a simple donation of money makes things efficient?
  14. counteri intel from Canada writes:
    Sky King from Eastern Ontario, Canada writes: Ontario has a problem. A big one.
    My wife is an RN and a former health care exec. A suspicious lump found on vacation? A month to see our GP,

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Sorry sky.

    It does not take a month to see a GP. That friend is a fabrication.

    As for the rest of your tome, well first tell us what part of the Insurance industry or private HC business you work in.

    Then I might read it and respond.

    You did deftly get in the mand of the private clinic ?? I assume that is a private clinic ??
  15. counteri intel from Canada writes:
    Lance Uppercut from Canada writes: Public helath care can never be as efficient as the private health care. this principal applies to all goods and services. imagine if the government had a monopoly on making cars or computers. my god, we would have wait lists a mile long to buy one, they would be over-priced and the car would be about as advanced as wooden wagon and the computer would still be in the development stage. Why to people continue to assume that govt can provide health care better than the private sector?
    Posted 07/05/09 at 8:27 AM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ==============================

    That is complet and utter crap.

    You are confusing apples and grapes friend.

    Get it straight in your head.
  16. chris vb from Canada writes: we are dying while waiting in line. i believe each person should have the option to get private (and immediate) care if they should wish to do so . it would free up time from the public system line up and reduce waiting time.
  17. it's a fact from Canada writes: Karen Morris from Canada writes: Perhaps I don't understand the issue, but isn't it the length of time it takes someone to get treatment for diagnosed cancer that many Canadians are finding an agonizing frustration, not so much the waiting-for-diagnosis period?

    Karen, have you ever waited for a life-altering diagnosis. it is agonizing, and while you wait, the cancer is continuing to spread. Earlier diagnosis means earlier treatment.
  18. Hillbilly Bob from now living in the city!, Canada writes: -

    Brilliant - thank you to Emmanuelle Gattuso, Allan Slaight and Princess Margaret Hospital.
  19. Winni Miss from Mississauga, Canada writes: It's about time! Hospitals are so mismanaged, no wonder health care is so expensive. Mayo Clinic has been doing examination, testing, results, treatment & diagnosis on same or consecutive days for decades. Why is the system so inefficient in Canada?
  20. it's a fact from Canada writes: Michael F: thank you for setting the record straight. My niece has leukemia and I know that 20 years ago that would have been a death sentence. Not any more. unfortunately she has a rare leukemic cell makeup and so she's taking an experimental drug after traditional chemo didn't work. If it weren't for R&D this experimental drug wouldn't be around, and we'd be out of hope.
  21. Bill Dietz from London,ON, Canada writes: Private health care is not the answer. We only need to look south of the border to see the incredible inequity of treatment that a large part of their population receives. We have work to do to make the Canadian system better, but to introduce large scale private care or to move in that general direction is a mistake. And I have the money to pay for it...

    If we are swapping stories, I can definitely share the best and worst of our system that my family experienced first hand with my brother's cancer diagnosis. One hospital originally called his Non-Hodgekin's Lymphoma a series of 'calcium deposits', but the second opinion provided by Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto saw him immediately and got it right. They may have been beaten up somewhat in the media lately, but that 'public hospital' is world class in both diagnosis and care.

    I say we cheer this article for showing how the system can work versus pointing out the places that it does not. How can we channel the momentum from this example into even more great public health ones?
  22. Mike L. from Canada writes: counteri intel from Canada writes: 'It does not take a month to see a GP. That friend is a fabrication. '

    It's not a fabrication where I live unless you're prepared to spend 4 hours waiting in a walk-in clinic like I had to last year.

    Our system is broken because it has become a sacred cow with the word 'private' causing an outrage whenever it is uttered.

    I can get an appointment more quickly for my car or my cat. Or my teeth.

    I find it odd that people are willing to spend money to put a roof over their head, buy food, the latest fashions and an expensive car, but aren't willing to spend a couple of grand a year on doctor's appointments. I can understand the need for public health insurance for the big ticket items, but routine annual doctor care should be something everyone can budget for, or get private insurance for, like dental care.

    My dentist is a model of efficiency, the latest equipment, computerized patient records and diagnostic imagery, appointment within a week for non-emergencies or right now if you have a toothache and when you show up in the waiting room you're whisked to your appointment within 5 minutes of arrival. On the other hand a trip to my doctor's office is like a trip back into the '60s. Slow, inefficient, mountains of paper records, 6 weeks to get an appointment, etc. The public sector just sucks the life right out of anything it touches. When the Soviet Union made a necessity of life essentially 'free' (or at least well below market cost), people had to line up to buy bread.

    The same is happening with Canadian sovietized health care.
  23. d koz from Canada writes: Pray while waiting in line is your only alternative in Ontario.

    Taxes pay for health care in Canada so it seems very silly to 'stall your taxpayer by shortchanging him or her in their wait for health care'. Remember the person waiting in line is probably a 'taxpayer' so absuing this person means you are killing off the person funding the program.

    Also the people 'waiting in line for care' get 'worse' and it ends up 'COSTING MORE MONEY' so really the 'inefficency and negligence and mediocre delivery ends up costing the governments more.
  24. counteri intel from Canada writes: Winni Miss from Mississauga, Canada writes: It's about time! Hospitals are so mismanaged, no wonder health care is so expensive. Mayo Clinic has been doing examination, testing, results, treatment & diagnosis on same or consecutive days for decades. Why is the system so inefficient in Canada? Posted 07/05/09 at 9:38 AM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment A very very good question Winni. Can I suggest something ? It's the fault of 'private Health Care'. Some doctors run their practices like independent franchisees. A little like pizza slice outlets on a busy Friday night. Line-us out the door into the street. And, like everyone else, they really like the sense of control over thier own private business. Which really means (what I am really saying is), we have to take more control over their activity. Someone higher up (like government in the intersts of citizens who are paying the bills), needs to prioritize cases and their patient lists . It might disrupt their little business but lets pay them more if that is what they want. We are already paying 40 % less than the US with their private HC. We have thousands of little empires and no coherence it seems. Plus every hospital is a little empire with their CEO and VP's at enormous salaries and a lot of PR bunk we can do without.
  25. S Lucht from Canada writes: It's nice that the donors made this possible, though it would have been nicer if the money had been directed toward research in or treatment for cancers which have a poorer prognosis than breast cancer (which has a better prognosis than any other cancer, and also receives vastly more funding for research than any other cancer).
    .
    And before everyone jumps on this news as proof that the government is engaged in a health conspiracy against all of us, keep in mind that breast cancer is relatively easy to diagnose and lends itself--in a general sense--to the type of process described. The breast, for those who have forgotten, is on the outside of the body and therefore easily accessible. Trying to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for lung or colon cancer is somewhat more complicated and resource-intensive.
    .
    Finally, I doubt that the entire treatment plan and prognosis can be laid out at the very first visit. Some information can only be obtained after surgery to remove the main tumor.
  26. MICHAEL T from Canada writes: As a pathologist who deals with a great deal of breast cancer pathology,this rapid diagnosis can be the basis for potential problems in the future. Many cases of breast cancer are not straight forward as regards the diagnosis. Borderline cases are frequently encountered and require consultation amongst associates. This takes time. Also with the importance of tissue receptors in determining additional treatment, these studies take time. I think a correct diagnosis is more important than a quick diagnosis.
  27. Western Girl from Canada writes:
    I just find it sad and shocking that getting such a device had to depend on the extremely generous and thoughtful goodwill of a couple with a personal fortune. Thank God for them, but what a crapshoot.

    And Karen Morris, I hope you will never, ever have to find out just how excruciating that wait for a diagnosis is. Also, once the surgery has taken place, there's further testing on the mass to see if the initial diagnosis was correct, or if it's actually worse than they originally thought. In which case, months may have passed since the problem was first suspected, and the prognosis may have gotten worse in the meantime.

    Fast diagnosis is fantastic, but it needs to lead to fast, effective treatment and fast followup.
  28. Bobby Boy from Canada writes: @ Mike L.
    'On the other hand a trip to my doctor's office is like a trip back into the '60s. Slow, inefficient, mountains of paper records, 6 weeks to get an appointment, etc..'

    You hit the nail on the head!
  29. M MacDonald from Canada writes: Joe blow, not sure what your experience is with cancer, but I've seen lots of cures. Yes some die too, early diagnosis is the key.
    I've knew a person to wait 6 months for a CT for a 'suspcious lesion'
    Which was indeed cancer.
    I knew a woman who had a mammogram positive for cancer but had to wait 3 months for a biopsy and oncology referal. There are a whole lot of other stories like that.

    Same day diagnosis should be the standard of care in Canada for cancer and all serious illness. Unfortunately our health care system is designed to do what is cheapest not what is best when it comes to diagnostic tests and patients sent through tiers of referals through specialists. The reason is limited by funding. X-rays are done when PET scans are best for looking for cancer. Stress EKGS are done when angiograms are best for diagnosing cardiac blockages.
    My PET peave is federal government employees are fast tracked, also proffesional athletes are fast tracted in orthopedics. These elite get what's best , not what's cheapest.
  30. David N from Toronto, Canada writes: The Canadian health care seems to work well for catastrophic incidents like accidents, heart attacks, etc. but not for less evident problems and non-life threatening injuries. This article provides encouraging evidence that the system can be improved by better management.
  31. Lucy Brown from London, United Kingdom writes: What a lovely, kind couple.
  32. C L from Canada writes: The waiting times for the diagnosis is misleading. Please do not compare apple with orange. 37 day-wait start from the appointment to see family physician while the several hours wait time refer to the time you need to wait after you see the doctor at PMH. In realty, you still need to wait for weeks before you can see a doctor there.
  33. Pru Young from Toronto, Canada writes: Winni Miss from Mississauga, Canada writes: It's about time! Hospitals are so mismanaged, no wonder health care is so expensive.

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Hospitals are probably one of the best managed 'companies' in Ontario and budgets are squeezed to the extreme. You want to talk about multi tasking spend a day with a radiation oncologist, or physicist then you'd think again.

    The problem is the lack of funding from the government for health care. Only a portion of the hospital visits are covered under OHIP which creates a deficit even before the first patient is seen that day. Hospital rely on the donations and lotteries in order to be able to run day to day operations. Not to mention the sheer volume of cancer cases that are increasing year over year in the aging population.

    So the next time you hear about an OR closing or wait times increasing why don't you do something and support your local hospital by planning a fundraiser or donating instead of constantly complaining that it's not good enough...do something to help solve the problem or shut the hell up.
  34. Pru Young from Toronto, Canada writes: You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Hospitals are probably one of the best managed 'companies' in Ontario and budgets are squeezed to the extreme. You want to talk about multi tasking spend a day with a radiation oncologist, or physicist then you'd think again.

    The problem is the lack of funding from the government for health care. Only a portion of the hospital visits are covered under OHIP which creates a deficit even before the first patient is seen that day. Hospital rely on the donations and lotteries in order to be able to run day to day operations. Not to mention the sheer volume of cancer cases that are increasing year over year in the aging population.

    So the next time you hear about an OR closing or wait times increasing why don't you do something and support your local hospital by planning a fundraiser or donating instead of constantly complaining that it's not good enough...do something to help solve the problem or shut the hell up
  35. Dorina Grossu from Canada writes: An improved business process management will solve current problems rather than privatized medical service that would lead to additional insurance companies providing quality service to an elite group. USA spends more money than any other country while their healthcare system is privatized. Is anyone asking why?
  36. Turth Hurts from Toronto, Canada writes: Ahh, welcome the future of the Canadian health system, a system in which fee for service exists (as this service will soon be).

    This clinic will be a cash COW once they start expanding it to include any and everyone who thinks they may have something wrong with them. Since we have so much information at our finger tips now women will be stopping by this clinic as soon as they think they feel something and Dr. Google tells them that it's cancer...next one is prostate cancer...bling bling!
  37. Michael Richardson from MontrealOakville, Canada writes: Fantastic gift, I only wish I had the kind of money to donate that these two have. There are so many worthwhile causes in health care that desperately need more public attention. Good on these two for recognizing one of them and fixing it. Unlike what socialist propaganda would have you believe, this is the only mechanism for improvement to our national health care system. More individual 'private' involvement in it and less government control.
  38. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: This is huge!! Imagine getting results and a treatment plan the same day. Beforer it took up to a month for the results which must have been an agonozing wait for the patient. This will help in the fight against breast cancer.
  39. Mike L. from Canada writes: Dorina Grossu from Canada writes: 'An improved business process management will solve current problems rather than privatized medical service that would lead to additional insurance companies providing quality service to an elite group. USA spends more money than any other country while their healthcare system is privatized. Is anyone asking why?'

    Nobody is suggesting an exclusively private system. Most other countries have a private/public mix, including ones with far better results than we obtain, such as France, Scandinavian countries, etc. Only Canada is stuck on this sacred cow model that any form of private (that is not state-funded) health care is for the 'elite' etc.

    While we're at it why not force everyone to eat hamburger because not everyone can afford steak?

    Surely hospitalization, big-ticket items, chronic illnesses can have state participation. These are the great equalizers in life.

    But people should be able to take on some responsibility for their care. I certainly could afford to pay about $2-3k a year for doctor visits, diagnostic tests, etc. And I'm by no means rich. Those who can't afford that could get state funding. Employers could offer private care for routine doctor visits and diagnosis work as a taxable benefit, which would help fund the public system. The public system would become dis-engorged, people would get timely care, and have choice.

    The big issue in the US is not that it's private. It's that there's no safety net for people who don't fit into Medicaid or employer-provided health care, which results in some 30 million folks with no coverage.

    At the moment we are trying to run a soviet-style system. By making it 'free' and without any kind of countervailing market forces, we are in essence creating an unlimited demand for something which has a finite supply. It happened with bread in the USSR, it happens with health care here.
  40. Keating Gun from Canada writes: Hi Truth Hurts. As every Canadian now pays $100 per week for medical care, not counting prescriptions, dental, chiropractic care, eye care or a psychologist, for which every Canadian spends on average at least an additional $1,000 per year, healthcare is hardly free. Cuba spends $225 per person per year and is rated as better than Canada by at least one ranking agency. As for those who cannot get appointments, have they tried getting an appointment when they had an acute illness? At that point they are easy to get.
  41. Western Girl from Canada writes:
    'Turth' Hurts - as opposed to what? Why shouldn't someone be able to access medical care if they have a concern? The question is how best to provide that access. Your comments trivialize people's worries about their health, and suggest they shouldn't burden whatever system is there with their nonsense. The existing system does that well enough without your help, thank you.
  42. O Canada from Canada writes: For those who think a privitized health care system will fix all of our issues - have you not been reading news from south of the border? They have exactly what you're advocating yet their system is in crisis. HMO's are raising their rates by 18 - 28% yearly and businesses and individuals are having a hard time finding the funds to pay them. It can't go on. Something will break down there. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My friend in DC waited 6 months to see a specialist re: her knee. You think there are no waiting times? Think again. You talk about one clinic - the Mayo - well how exactly does it serve 300 million people? It doesn't. A few good hospitals scattered across a country does not make accessible health care for all. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Everyone wants perfection. I want, what I want, when I want and I want it now. People are dying in both systems. Guess what, both are not perfect but private is not the way to go. Do some research and stop wearing rose-coloured glasses when it comes to private FOR PROFIT MOST OF THE TIME heath care.
  43. The Artful Dodger from Toronto, Canada writes: 'The National Citizens Coalition is a Canadian libertarian-conservative lobby group, founded by Colin M. Brown in 1967, originally founded in opposition to the concept of a national healthcare system.'

    'It is headquartered in Toronto and reports an annual budget of $2.8 million. The organization has fought to keep information about itself confidential, and opposed amendments to the Canada Elections Act that would have required third-party organizations like the NCC to publish the names of all contributors donating more than $250.'

    'The NCC claims a membership of between 40,000 to 45,000 individuals, but has not released members' names. Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister of Canada, served as President of the organization from 1998 to 2002.'
  44. Judith K from Canada writes: As the daughter of someone who died of breast cancer this can only be fantastic news. I too know of the agonizing wait, not only to hear results, but also to see an oncologist, almost two months in my mother's case, but that was over 5 years ago. By the time we did get to treatment her cancer was inoperable.

    I know more people than ever are going to private clinics when the thought of waiting is too painful, when you have to attend each and every visit with your parent to be their advocate, to keep pushing and pushing back at the system. In spite of all of that, of having lost both parents to cancer, and of all the money that we (myself included) donate to cancer research with what could be perceived as 'no cure', I still support our national health care system and will continue to do so.

    Because today, with this news, my fear of dying from breast cancer has been reduced, maybe just a little.
  45. Wild One from Canada writes:
    Slow and accurate
    is infinitely better than
    Quick and incorrect
  46. Joshua er from Canada writes: Thanks Micheal F. I wanna add that there is no one single cure for cancer. Cancer affects a whole range of systems and trying to target a single signalling pathway with drugs take a lot of manpower and money to discover an effective treatment.

    Cervical cancers can be lowered because its can be caused by a virus, if other cancers worked in such a way then everything can be prevented with a vaccine but not all cancer work in this manner.
  47. Edie Hippern from Halifax, Canada writes: So Mike who pays no attention to how hard it is for an American (of which 40 million are denied health care as they have no insurance and God help all the recently unemployed) to get health care or quality health care. How about the baby who needs a heart transplant and the insurance company refuses to fund it and the hospital refuses to do it as it is too costly. You probably aren't old enough to remember when Canadians all paid for their health care and I am barely old enough but I do. Your analogy to dental care is a joke isn't it? Vast majority of Canadians do without dental care expressly because of the cost. As long as your priorities are material you will never get the whole socialization of our medical system. You lack empathy for your less fortunate citizen or are too ill-informed to be aware of just how many there are. Be careful my friend because the day is coming when you will thank whatever god you believe in that we have this wonderful system that doesn't require you to mortgage your house to pay your medical bills.
  48. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: Let me first praise the couple for donating to a cause that they believe in. Not enough Canadians donate to their choice of cause and rely on the taxpayer and bureaucrats. Good going.

    Second, my ex found a lump during the Christmas holidays and was operated on by the mid February and into chemo about a month later. Not bad. Most men I talk to cannot get in that quick.

    As for statistics and data. If you don't collect and analyze information, you cannot determine and understand the problems. Those little check marks may save as many people in the end as any other medical procedure because they identify the issues, the times and the fatalities. If you don't know which type of treatment works, how will you know which treatment to use.

    And everyone seems to forget, health care is mainly a provincial responsibility with some federal funding and federal oversight. If the your medical care is not to your liking, don't blame the federal government but the provincial and municipal governments. They make the choices.
  49. Bill G from Calgary, Canada writes: Excellent news. With some will power, perhaps this can be extended to other hospitals across the country. Then maybe other cancers!
  50. Sky King from Eastern Ontario, Canada writes: counteri intel from Canada writes:
    Sky King from Eastern Ontario, Canada writes: Ontario has a problem. A big one.
    My wife is an RN and a former health care exec. A suspicious lump found on vacation? A month to see our GP,

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Sorry sky.

    It does not take a month to see a GP. That friend is a fabrication.

    As for the rest of your tome, well first tell us what part of the Insurance industry or private HC business you work in.

    Then I might read it and respond.

    You did deftly get in the mand of the private clinic ?? I assume that is a private clinic

    Dude.... I'm a manufacturing engineer with many years experience in quality and business process development. No insurance company here. Gotta say that public health care is absolutely full of overworked, under-appreciated staff, some of them friends of ours (see the "Pink Collar Ghetto") however it's inherent in any monopoly that innovation may be driven by personal gain (status, ego) just as by specific patient benefits. My point- the private clinic in Quebec seems to have an excellent recipe, in this case- but the model doesn't fit Ontario's targeted patient outcomes. Kudo's to the Princess Margaret, and especially to their benefactors- but this is certainly not going as far as we might. Wait times from original symptom to diagnosis in the same week, with the consequence that patient pays if a false alarm... total cost to us was likely less than the equivalent in the Ontario system, factoring in lost time to get to repetitive appointments. The only difference is we paid, instead of the taxpayer. And no, I certainly do not advocate the class society we see south of the border but there is certainly a middle ground.
  51. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: Good new at diagnosis.

    But when how long will be the treatment wait time?
  52. Joyce Hay from Brampton, Canada writes: I am so happy about this because I went to the Mayo Clinic to get my diagnosis confirmed (because I was impatient) and then was able to get treated at PMH. But after I had the confirmation at the Mayo, I had to rely on a friend to find me the MD at PMH to whom I could tell my FP to refer me to.
    So I just wonder how a person can get referred for this one-day Diagnosis and plan. At what point does PMH accept a referral for this? When can a person get into the system? I am extremely happy with the follow-up I receive at PMH. It is a wonderful organization!
  53. Jane martin from SW Ontario, Canada writes: WOW, I am just totally amazed that we actually have this clinic.I was diagnosed in the summer last year, I asked if there was any way I could have gotten my results earlier.I had surgery on July 2nd and was not actually diagnosed until July 31st.It took me a year of other testing to actually come to that point.A YEAR. I am in my early 30's.
    For the person that said "perhaps it is the waiting for treatment", that certainly is part of it.My treatment was very rapidly done.Just think about the mental horror it is to be told if you have a life threatening illness.I am not sure if you have ever been in that position, it is NOT fun.

    The other issue I have with the clinic, is that likely it will only serve Toronto patients.The cancer clinic that I was made to go to, did not have anything like this.I did not even qualify to go to the young womans breast cancer clinic.I guess if I am "unlucky" enough to not live in Toronto (hold on to your hats, I am not upset in the least, unless I am getting inferior care), then patients still have to wait.

    By the way, I would have paid.I was offered a referral to a rapid diagnotic clinic in Kentucky while I was there in the summer.All told it would have been more money than I could afford.But if it could have spared me one moment of the agony of waiting I would have.I am the biggest patriot going, but the canadian system is very sorely lacking.

    So yes in this case, things turned out well for me, but for so many it can take a tragic turn.Breast cancer is on the increase in YOUNG woman, but we are still not taken seriously.I wonder how many "pilot" patients where under the age of 40? Breast cancer is devastating in ALL woman, it is especially tragic in YOUNG woman.Trust me, if I could have my life back and have a quick diagnosis I would.As for the pathologist, it took me 4 weeks to get diagnosed with 3 pathologists and they STILL managed to screw up.
  54. gofigures SK from Mooose Jaw, Canada writes: Although surgery does have some success against a limited number of cancers, chemo and radiation achieve at best a 3% increase in length of survival and true cures from cancer (meaning that the patient becomes completely cancer free and the cancer never returns). The fact is that for those who are diagnosed with cancer, after the third year the survival rate for those who had no treatment at all increases steadily and for those who had mainstream treatment it decreases steadily.

    Sources: Dr. Ralph Moss and Webster Kehr, the "Cancer Tutor"

    Read about true cancer stats here: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/41543

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