Friday, August 17, 2007

Canuckistan’s ‘world-class’ medicine

While this widely covered story had a happy outcome for a Calgary family, what struck me was:

A rare set of identical quadruplets were born this week to a Calgary woman after she was sent to give birth in Montana because of a shortage of neonatal beds in Canada.

The naturally conceived baby girls ... were born Sunday in Great Falls, Mont., to Calgarians Karen and J.P. Jepp.

"There wasn't space anywhere in Canada, so we had to turn to our friends in Montana," [a spokeman] said.

Jepp was transfered by air to Montana on Friday - the fifth Alberta woman to be transfered to Great Falls this year because of neonatal shortages in Calgary.

That’s quite astounding. The medical system of an entire, supposedly ‘advanced’, industrial nation with a population of 33 million can’t come up with the spare capacity to accommodate one additional unusual birth. So an expectant mother has to be sent to a podunk American city of 57,000 in a small state of fewer than a million people.

It’s not as if this situation arose out of the blue - that quads were on the way was known for months. And this is the fifth time this year that Alberta has done this. I also know that BC regularly sends cases south and it follows that every other province does the same.

"World-class'? Make that 'third-world'.

Update: Mark Steyn weighs in on this at The Corner. And again here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does that make the baby's American citizens?

Anonymous said...

What's more appalling is that Alberta with all its mega wealth - doesn't look after its people.

All that money and this situation is "criminal" if you ask me.

How very conservative.

JR said...

A1 - According to a newscaster last night the tykes are entiltled to American citizenship. Lucky tykes!

A2 - appalling is right. This is just one more of many strikes against state monopoly, rationed health care.

Joe said...

I don't think this one can be blamed entirely on socialized medicine (as much as I would like to). The fact is with the population growth of Alberta especially Calgary and the baby boom associated with that growth is swamping the facilities across western Canada. I doubt that an American region undergoing such growth would be able to meet the demand either.

JR said...

Joe, See 'Update'. It points to Mark Steyn's response to a similar argument.

JR said...

Goofed that link. It should have been Mark Steyn's response.