The Canadian Cure

The New Rules
Winter 2001
by Daniel Kraker

Morton Lowe, M.D., coordinator of health sciences at the University of British Columbia:

"Canada rations by queuing. You have to wait your turn for a hip transplant even if there are three poorer people in front of you. Which I think is damn fine. In the U.S., if you're rich, you get it fast, and if you're poor, you don't get it at all. That's how they ration."

Comment: Even if we had universal coverage, queuing should not be as much of an issue in our system that is characterized by abundant resources and excess capacity. According to David Himmelstein, M.D., scheduling delays are common and expected in the United States, but, whereas they are called a queue in Canada, in our country they are not called anything.

The full article, which suggests that the United States should take another look at the Canadian model, is available at: