Michael Douglas praises Canadian health care for cancer diagnosis
A few years ago the Canadian health care system, which provides a government financed universal health care service, came in for some rare praise from an unusual quarter. American actor Michael Douglas was not only moved to laud the quality of health care in Canada but also to headline a fundraiser in Montreal to raise money for neck and head cancer research.
The reason for his fulsomeness stems from the fact that a Canadian doctor named Dr. Saul Frenkiel at the Jewish General, a McGill Montreal, Quebec teaching hospital caught a stage 4 cancer that a number of American ear nose and throat doctors had missed. Treatment in the form of chemotherapy proceeded immediately at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Douglas was, in due course, declared to be cancer free.
Those who tout the Canadian health care system suggest that it is a more compassionate model since it separates access to health care from the ability to pay for it. Critics, though, point to the unusually long wait times that Canadians must endure for almost every procedure, as documented by Canada’s Fraser Institute. Douglas’ praise of the quality of the diagnosis he received in Canada was tempered by this last fact and he owned that an A list Hollywood celebrity might get quicker access to health care in Canada than an ordinary American citizen. It is also significant that once the diagnosis of cancer was made, Douglas sought treatment at a first class cancer center in the United States.
Still, without the proper diagnosis by a sharp eyed Canadian doctor, Michael Douglas might well had succumbed to his cancer. At the very least the various American doctors he consulted might want to do a little soul searching.