Is Canada a better place to stay alive?

Anne-Marie Semke has offered us her opinion on the virtues of the American health care system versus her experience in Canada. Through a series of anecdotes she has assured us that we are all much better off not having to weather the vicissitudes of Canada’s universal coverage. However, anecdotal evidence can be used to prove almost anything. I have an X-ray photo of a man who had five large nails from a nailgun in his skull and walked away; doesn’t prove nails in the skull are harmless.

If we want a rational comparison of the two health care systems it would be useful to use some more carefully collected facts. The World Health Organization collects information from countries around the world and has a searchable database which allows us to do side-by-side comparisons in a huge number of categories. I would think most of us would consider mortality rates to be good indicators of overall national health so let’s look at a few.

Healthy life expectancy: Canada, 72 years; U.S., 69 years. Life expectancy at birth: Canada, 81 years; U.S., 78 years. Mortality rate from cardiovascular disease: Canada, 141 per 100,000; U.S., 188 per 100,000. Overall adult mortality rate for ages 15-60: Canada, 72 per 1,000; U.S., 109 per 1,000. Infant mortality rate: Canada, five per 1,000; U.S., seven per 1,000; Neonatal mortality rate: Canada, three per 1,000; U.S., four per 1,000. Maternal mortality rate: Canada, seven per 100,000; U.S., 11 per 100,000.

I suppose if you are lucky enough to have a lot of money or are lucky enough to have company-paid health insurance, a bit of waiting like they do in Canada seems unacceptable but if you look at the facts, in the big picture, Canada seems to be a better place to stay alive.

Robert DuChaine

Buckley




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Letters to the Editor

LtE bug
Powering the future and doing away with landfills

Here’s how we can reduce waste and generate power at the same time.

LtE bug
Thankful for our community

Enumclaw stepped up.

LtE bug
Crimes by illegal immigrants are 100 percent preventable

Shannon’s column told it like it is.

LtE bug
Responses to letter writers, columnists

Thoughts on the many letter writers in the recent edition of the Courier-Herald.

LtE bug
Thank you for caring about Philip

A short thank you for those who looked after us.

LtE bug
Columnist must be the only one in the room

If Shannon likes facts, he should stick to them

LtE bug
We’ll see if new columnist delivers the right stuff

Cannon certainly has no shortage of opinions.

LtE bug
What you get for electing Democrats

Actions have consequences

LtE bug
Worried about pollution? Check the litter box

Inslee and the Democrats should pay attention to one of the biggest poo-lluters around

Most Read