Consider Canada and Great Britain. Our friends up north and over the pond don't have the highest medical care under their health services, to put things mildly.
How long do Canadians wait for the specialist? About 9.5 weeks.
According to a new study by Canada's Fraser Institute, surgical waitlists are costing the nation about $1 billion each year in lost productivity. The average Canadian can now expect to wait 9.5 weeks for treatment with a medical specialist, this number up from 9.3 weeks last year. (Source)
The wait time adversely affects the patient.
Based on a 2011 Statistics Canada finding, the study makes the assumption that 11% of patients "were adversely affected by their wait for non-emergency surgery." Dividing the cost individually, health rationing for Canada's 941,321 patients seeking specialized surgery came out to $3,500 per patient in lost wage hours. (Source)
If you're in a lot of pain, 9.5 weeks can mean a lot of misery.
How much does healthcare spending cost Canadians per person annually?
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, healthcare spending annually totals about $200 billion, or $5,800 per person when spread across the country's 35 million residents. (Source)
In Great Britain, in a terrible irony: the former director of the National Health Service (NHS) died while waiting for her treatment, which had been canceled four times.
Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.
Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust -- the organisation where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors. (Source)
Patients can starve to death in the NHS or leave medical care with malnutrition:
Malnutrition killed more than 240 patients on NHS wards in 2007, the highest toll in a decade, figures show.
The appalling statistics reveal that the number of men and women starving to death in hospitals has risen by 16 per cent since Labour came to power.
Since 1997, 2,311 hospital patients have died from malnutrition and the effects of hunger.
There were 209 cases in 1997, when Tony Blair was elected under a pledge to save the NHS.
Ten years later the toll was 242.
In one area the number of deaths from malnutrition rose by more than 50 per cent.
The figures also show that over the past decade 55 patients have starved to death in council-run care homes.