In Canada, they just let you die in the waiting room.
[For anyone visiting Corrente for the first time, the title is ironic and debunks a right wing
lie talking point. Read on for why. --lambert]
The socialized medicine will kill you! crowd are going to just love this story if they get their hands on [part of] it.
In a scene that combined tragedy with Monty Python farce, a 77-year-old man in acute respiratory failure turned up at a private medical clinic in Montreal only to be told to wait his turn.
Jean-Jacques Sauvageau waited until his heart stopped and his dentures fell out onto the floor. Even then, the famous doctor who came to tend to him did a cursory exam and didn’t try to revive him, leaving him instead before the horrified eyes of fellow patients.
The inconvenient truth that the privatizers aren't going to notice, or will notice but will try to keep you from noticing, is that this happened at the clinic where Dr Jacques Chaoulli was working. Who's Dr Chaoulli?
The events were depicted in a report issued yesterday by Quebec coroner Catherine Rudel-Tessier. And the doctor taken to task for his failure to try to resuscitate the patient is private-care crusader Jacques Chaoulli.
In 2005, he made history by persuading the Supreme Court to overturn Quebec’s ban on private health insurance.
In this case, Dr. Chaoulli was on duty at a private clinic last year when Mr. Sauvageau showed up. His face was bluish-purple and he had severe trouble breathing. Though the clinic advertised itself as providing emergency care, he was told to take a seat.
After about a half hour, the increasingly alarmed fellow patients could see Mr. Sauvageau was unconscious and alerted the receptionist. Dr. Chaoulli came out, did a cursory examination and concluded the patient was already dead.
So, if you see right-wingers promoting this particular story as proof of how bad the Canadian system is, you might want to point out that it happened in the clinic of a doctor who has been tirelessly campaigning to privatize Canada's health care system.