Newfoundland Premier Heads to USA for Surgery
A senior Canadian politician is heading to the USA for heart surgery.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.
CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 60, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week.
The premier’s office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily a routine procedure.
Dale Franks provides the first reaction of many Americans:
So, nobody can do it in St. Johns or Mt. Pearl? OK, maybe not. I mean, it’s Newfoundland, for Cripes sake! But, still, no room at a Halifax or or Moncton hospital, eh? Nobody qualified to perform the procedure in Quebec, Montreal, Ottowa or Toronto?
How is it that the Canadian health care system is just fine for all the little people, but when a provincial premier hears the thump of mortality in his chest, it’s off to Cedars-Sinai, Sloan-Kettering, or Mayo?
‘S’funny how that works, huh?
But don’t worry. When we get our free health care down here in the US, everything will be tiddly.
My view has long been that I’d rather be poor and sick in Canada and rich and sick here. And that remains the case.
But, having recently spent time visiting my dad in small town American hospitals, I’ve come to have a greater appreciation for just how much variation there is in quality of care even here. While even our smaller hospitals are reasonably well equipped with state of the art tools, the fact of the matter is that they’re not staffed with top notch physicians and specialists.
While I haven’t done the comparative research, my guess is that patients needing highly specialized care would be better off at one of Montreal’s finest hospitals than the local regional hospital in most small American towns. But, yes, you’d be even better off at one of the world’s leading research hospitals in your area of need. And almost all of those are in America.
We fund medical research very well here, through a combination of government grants and the expectation of handsome profits from development of leading edge techniques and medicines. And our top doctors can make princely wages, which not only attracts many of our best minds to medicine but even draws some of the most promising doctors from abroad to ply their trade here.