Well, first take a look at the government-run system in Canada.
The doctor shortage in Canada is so great that cities run lotteries for a doctor's appointment, and long wait times to see doctors have caused overcrowded emergency rooms. The Canadian Medical Association reports that patients wait more than nine hours to be seen and more than 24 hours to be admitted in Canadian emergency rooms. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Co. the average wait time in Canada for surgery is more than five months. The wait time for a CT scan is two months in Manitoba, and the wait time for a MRI is five months in Newfoundland.
Dr. Richard F. Davis, a cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, described what's happening to patients waiting for coronary bypass surgery. In one year while waiting for this one operation, 71 patients died,
One-hundred twenty-one became too sick for surgery and 44 left to have the operation in the United States. The Calgary Herald reported that 25,000 Calgary residents were waiting for surgery or scans at just four city hospitals. Alberta Health's Web site lists the following surgery wait times: 15 months for hip replacement, 15 months general surgery, 13 months for knee replacement, three months for cardiac surgery and 13 months for an MRI scan.
According to the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., since February 2007 Ontario hospitals have sent 421 heart patients, 75 pregnant women or their babies and 25 women with high risk pregnancies to U.S. hospitals to receive care that they could not provide. And that's just Ontario! There are nine more provinces up there!