Originally Posted by M_Six
I can't say why Canada has not been able to adjust to the demand. You would think it would be a boon to the healthcare sector job market, but maybe the med school grads can make more in the US, so they don't go back to Canada? I don't know.
Certainly there is some "brain-drain" of Canadian doctors who move south to enjoy both higher wages and lower taxes.
However, based on what I've read, it's not as if there are thousands of vacant, yet funded openings, and they cant find doctors & nurses to take them because they are all leaving the country. A single-payer system like Canada means the Gov pays for medical services, which it does from tax revenue.
So, if the demand for medical care goes up, then the only way to pay for more supply is to increase the tax revenue. Declining birthrate + boomers starting to retire = flatlined tax revenue at the same time as increasing need for more tax revenue. You see this in many single-payer universal healthcare countries in Europe too, as boomers need more care at the same time they stop working and thus pay less taxes. Now you have a really difficult math problem, that will only get worse over the next 20 years.
Reducing wait times for elective procedures requires more doctors, nurses, and hospital beds. How do you pay for it without big increases in taxes for those still working? Introducing changes like that wont get you re-elected, especially when voters are struggling to make ends meet as it is now with the global economic situation.