Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:17 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:51 AMTo:
Hospital Care in Canada
Hello Mr. Moore,
Great job as always with Sicko! It was very interesting to see the way your
health care system operates. I have many friends that live in the US, and it
makes me sad knowing they may end up in a situation like the ones shown in
your movie. I had always presumed that if you had health insurance in the
US, you were covered. I didn’t know about all the red tape that comes with
I would like to share a story about the health care system in Canada. Please
know that this is not a criticism on your system, but a clarification on our
system. While my story isn’t as drastic as some of the others on the site,
it does point out the incredible care that I received.
I was rushed to the hospital last year when I had severe stomach pains. My
wife took me into the emergency room, and within 10 minutes I was in a bed
After a preliminary exam, the doctor was under the impression that I had
appendicitis. I was brought upstairs, and underwent an ultrasound. When the
doctor looked at the results, he concluded it was indeed appendicitis.
However, just to be absolutely sure, I was sent for a CT scan. I was brought
back down to the emergency room, and within 1 hour I was back upstairs
getting prepped for surgery.
I spent the night in the hospital, and had a wonderful nurse that came and
checked on me every few hours to make sure I was ok, and if I needed
anything. The next afternoon when she brought my lunch (I skipped
breakfast), I informed her that I was a vegetarian and she apologized and
took my lunch away and brought a new one that I could eat.
The doctor checked on me, asked if I thought I needed to stay an extra day,
then gave me a prescription, a note for time off work to recover, and made
sure I was ok when I got into my wife’s car on the way home. He even called
me at home a week later to see how I was progressing.
Within 24 hours, I was admitted to the hospital, had 3 exams, surgery, and
was released. If this is what is considered waiting time, I’m more than
willing to accept it.
While I was watching your movie in the theatre, it made me think back to my
experience, and I realized that I was able to rest and recover at home
without the fear of upcoming medical bills. This is something that I had
never thought of before. Medical care has always been 'free.'
I would hate to be afraid to get medical treatment or take the prescribed
medication because I can not afford it. I would also be horrified to know
that anyone else is being put in that situation. I am more than willing to
'pay' a little more in taxes for that piece of mind for myself, my family,
and my fellow citizens.
Keep fighting the good fight!
Saturday, July 21, 2007 12:21 PM
Saturday, July 14, 2007 1:35 AMTo:
Canadian HealthCare Story
Hello Mr. Moore
I'd like to present this story to discredit any skeptics out there about the movie.
Me and my family moved to Canada on March of 1999 from South Africa, becoming landed immigrants and eventually ending up in Kelowna, B.C.
At the time of the accident, my older brother was 22 years old and unemployed.
It was around noon 2 months ago, me, my brother, and my dad were setting a hardwood floor in our living room and adjoining kitchen when my dad needed my brother to do a small cut so that the board would fit.
My brother, Rudolf, who had used construction equipment before, was using a circular saw to cut along the piece of board when the blade caught on a knot in the wood.
The piece of wood shot through the saw and completely took off his right hand thumb and crushed the joint in the pinkie finger.
My dad dropped everything he was doing, got him in his friend's truck (who was visiting) and rushed him to the hospital.
The nurse on duty saw my brother's thumb and admitted him immediately. Luckily, the best plastic surgeon in the Okanagan had just gone on call.
Within 5-10 minutes, they had him on an operating table getting him sedation.
After, what seemed like ages of operation, they (the doctors) announced that they were able to save both his thumb and pinkie and that he was resting comfortably in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) of the Kelowna General Hospital.
A week or two later he was released with a massive cast on his hand and a schedule for treatment. Right now he is starting his therapy with a specially designed brace to exercise his thumb.
All this was done for free, including the following treatments and therapy and without the waiting times that we're accredited with.
Thank you for the great movie,
Thursday, July 19, 2007 11:57 PM
Monday, July 16, 2007 2:59 PMTo:
Alberta Health Care
Dear Mr. Moore,
First of all kudos to you for your honesty and hard work in bringing the truth to light in all of your work. I agree 100% that there is a reason for the anti-French propaganda from the US government.
Here is my story.
In 1998 I was in a serious motor vehicle accident. I was rushed to the nearest hospital, then to the next largest, and then lifted via Stars Air Ambulance to the Calgary Foothills in Alberta Canada. I remained in intensive care for 6 weeks. Turns out I had fractured my spine in two places, as well as my thumb, rendering me paralyzed from essentially arms down. While I stayed in ICU I had developed pressure sores on my body, despite all efforts to prevent them, as a result they ordered me an $80,000 bed to assist in healing and prevention of the sores. I had several physiotherapist visits per day, several doctor visits per day, portable x-ray machines, countless drugs, and other services.
Following my 6 weeks in ICU, I spent a couple months in a unit dedicated to those who were ill, but did not require the same extreme medical care. There I had a semi-private room, although that being said it was only adjoined by the glass door and bathroom. I had a TV, and a rather huge wall to decorate. I had a daily schedule visiting physios and occupational therapists. I was getting well enough to start physio while waiting for the bones in my neck to heal.
Finally I went to rehab and spent most of my time getting used to the way my body would now work, and finding out what I could and could not do.
In total I spent 6 months in the hospital. I paid nothing for that hospital stay. In fact, currently my own family doctor does not even get paid for some of his services to me. One of the results of paralysis is bladder health. I am now more susceptible to urinary tract infections. Doctors in the clinic, where I receive services do not get paid for telephone prescriptions. Because I often get UTI1s, I know when I need drugs, so I take in a sample to the lab, and a few days later my doctor will phone a prescription in to the pharmacy for me. I don't even need to see a doctor!
As well, due to my paralysis, I require the assistance for others in bathing, dressing, and other daily activities. The health region I am in gives me $2,700/month to hire staff to assist me! So the government pays me to find my own help. The government pays for health care supplies, drugs, and because I initially could not work I received a monthly financial assistance check.
I require a lot of health care, and will continue to do so as I age, as I was 15 when I was injured and am only 24 years old now. It costs me nothing out of my pocket. I am sure glad I live in Canada! I love Canada the way you love the United States. Good luck in your efforts of reform. Everyone deserves free universal health care, not just the wealthy.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:46 PM
Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:37 PMTo:
A message from a Canadian Brother
How are you, I sent you an E-mail a little while back regarding your film Fahrenheit 9/11... it was a pro bush letter. Oops. Who knew I'd be eating my words a few years later? But I am not writing you to talk about the past I just wanted to you know while there are a lot of things that sometimes seem slightly glorified in your films about Canada one thing that isn't is our health care.
My sister has leukemia she's been fighting it now for about three months and I am happy to say that she in remission. For anyone who has ever had any complaints with the line ups in our hospitals and health care treatments just send them to talk to me. When she first started feeling sick she went to the doctors office. They did a couple of tests. Within 48 hours they had rushed her down to VGH (Vancouver General Hospital) to run more Tests. She spent about 2 weeks in the hospital before being allowed to come home (she could have stayed longer but the doctors said it was ok for her to be treated as an outpatient and she missed home). Since then she's received chemo treatments and other medicine and had to go back to the hospital for another two week stay. But bottom line is that she hasn't had to to pay for any of this and an interesting fact my father found out is that we would be spending 1000 dollars a day on her if this was the states... (we did have to pay for some of her medicine but it was nowhere near that cost) The point was she got effective treatment Fast! So the stats about long lines? B.S. Bottom line: if someone's sick we'll help them.
I wish you all the best of luck on your latest film and hope one day the USA can pour some of that money from Iraq into their own problems. Medicare isn't why the country is in debt. The war is.
P.S. Way to stick it to Blitzer haha
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 8:47 AMTo:
Born Canadian now living in the US
You have hit this topic dead on! Great work!! Being a born Canadian, now
living in the US, I am disgusted at the fact of how unethical the medical
institution really is here in the US. Growing up in Canada, it was a dream
of mine to come to America, now that I am here and watching your
documentary, it worries me that my son, who is 4, will have to pay through
the nose to get the appropriate treatment. He suffers from Asthma.
When my family and I get sick and need to see a doctor, I drive 7 hours back
to Canada just to seek medical treatment -- just to avoid the cost's of
co-pays and medication.
It sickens me to see that innocent Americans are dying each year.
Something that I noted...if an American does not pay his/her bill it goes
into collections. Don't these collections agencies make huge profits too by
affecting credits of Citizens in the US? Very shameful!
Congrats on the great success of your movie.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 10:27 AMTo:
kudos and a story
I am an American living in the Toronto area. I have a child born here.
When she was incubating in her mothers womb, her doctor noticed I had
some discomfort sitting. It was a cyst in my lower back that I had for
years. While I worked as a contract employee for Disney in Florida,
countless HMO's did nothing for it. This doctor in in Canada picked up
the phone, said a few words then asked me if I could be available at 8
the next morning to have it out. Just like that.
I have had a stent put in my artery for a heart condition, diagnosed
within a week and placed in me in just 6 weeks---and that was because I
had business out of the country and was gone for a month.
Health care should never be an industry. It's a basic right of all
people on this earth.
If there was any good purpose for taxation, heath care is it.
Thanks for fighting the good fight.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:16 AMTo:
Canadian Healthcare from the prospective of someone with an illness
I've been following the hoopla on American TV about the so called "evils" of Socialized Medicine especially here in Canada. What is so evil about the government taking care of all its citizens (not just those with 7 digit incomes)? That's what government is supposed to be for. CNN makes it seem that Canadian Healthcare makes us wait for unreasonable wait times for major health problems and this is just not so. They will make you wait for minor procedures and cosmetic problems (as should be). But if you are in dire straights and in severe pain you will be seen to as promptly as possible.
Back in 1993 I was living in Calgary, Alberta when I woke up one morning unable to move very well and in severe debilitating pain. I thought it was appendicitis so I called my doctor who had me in his office promptly. He too thought it might be appendicitis but wasn't sure so he called the hospital and had me admitted within 15 minutes. At the hospital they did a series of tests and soon realized my appendix was fine and had me in intensive care within the hour. There I stayed for two weeks while they did a series of test from MRI to Cat Scans as well as others to discover that I suffered from Chron's disease (inflammation of the bowel). They were able to get it under control with medications (during the first 6 months I was taking about 60 pills a day). They also hooked me up with a specialist who helped me a lot over the next few years dealing with my condition.
I moved back to my home town (Windsor, Ontario) 8 years later, after my condition got to the point where I needed to be near family (Chron's unfortunately spread from one small section of my small bowel to infect most of both) and was soon seeing a new specialist no problem. My new specialist (a very competent and professional man) recently sent me in for two tests (an Upper G.I. and Colonoscopy) and both were completed within one week of his request no fuss at all. On top of this I have other occasions were I had to be hospitalized for conditions ranging from Hydrocephalus (which I was born with), an operation to correct a lazy eye (a result of the previous) as well three broken arms. The cost of all this to me and my family has been a big fat zero!!!
Why your government chooses to vilify those like yourself and Mrs. Clinton who had the nerve to stand up and show Americans that the real evil was the Medicine for profit system that believes the bottom line is far more important then the people suffering medically. Mr. Bush is always on the tube ranting about other countries despot's crimes against humanity (sometimes rightly) but never dare talks about his governments crimes against its own citizens. To me me he is nothing but bloody two faced. All Bush seems to care about is making sure his rich buddies get richer quicker and to hell with the consequences -- after all they won't effect him only the working man and the poor and he cares nothing about them. Keep on showing your country the truth and hopefully they will toss the Republicans out on their asses.
P.S. One question that has nothing to do with this topic. How did you keep from decking Dick Clark (in Bowling for Columbine) when he ignored your valid question about that child's death and his company's business practice that played no small part. He showed a cold hearted attitude that made me want to deck him.
Monday, July 16, 2007 8:35 PM
Saturday, July 14, 2007 12:33 PMTo:
My name is Tyler, I’m 25 years old and live in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. I just finished watching the Larry King Live interview with you and Dr. Gupta. I wanted to comment on Universal Health Care, and share my story with you and everyone, so you can see the true miracle of it. I haven’t made it to the theatre to catch “Sicko” yet but I definitely want to.
Universal Health Care is something I hold near and dear to my heart. Actually, let me rephrase that... It’s something I hold near and dear to my Fathers heart. My father has always been a hard working honest man. He earned a living as a custodian for the Ottawa School Board for 23 years.
June 1999 my Father and I were moving furniture around in the living room when I looked over and saw him rubbing his left arm. I asked if he was Ok. He told me he didn’t know. I said let's take a break for a bit. Dad sat down on the couch for a while and I went to grab some water for us. When I returned, Dad was clenching his chest and told me something was wrong. I picked him up and scrambled him into the family minivan and rushed him to the hospital. When we arrived I told the receptionist, “I think my Dads having a heart attack.“ They rushed out to the van and swooped him into the hospital. They ran some tests and when all was said and done they told me Dad had suffered a stroke.
Unfortunately this was only the beginning of my father’s health problems. In the summer of 2001 Dad suffered another stroke. This time it was a really bad one and had him in the hospital for nearly 6 months. When he was released he was unable to work and we began to notice that he had suffered some memory loss. Summer 2002 a blood clot that was in my fathers system traveled up to his heart and caused a heart attack. He was hospitalized for 3 months. Then to top it off In Winter of 2003 he was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Cancer). He underwent several treatments including radiation. The radiation had a positive affect on his cancer but a negative affect on his Kidneys. They both failed on him weeks into his treatment. He went onto dialysis.
Each day my father spent in Hospital cost close to $1000.00. So we’ve been able to calculate that all together it cost nearly $250,000.00 for all my fathers medical expenses.
The amazing part about the $250,000.00 is... my father, my family, myself... didn’t have to pay a dime.
My family and I are so grateful to live in a country like Canada that has free healthcare. If we lived in the USA we would be broke, homeless and worst of all, my father would probably not be with us today.
One day everything is fine, the next day you’re sick. It happens that quickly. Universal Health Care saved my life and my fathers.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Monday, July 16, 2007 4:24 AMTo:
Another Canadian Health Care Truth
I just wanted to thank you for doing this for all the American people that Canada cares so much about. The fact that money comes before human life is appalling, but then why am I surprised? These are the same people who allowed 9/11 and Katrina to go down the way they did.
I'm so thankful I am Canadian!
I went into labour 2 months early with my son and we were both in the hospital. Me for one week, him for 3 weeks (we were really lucky!). My blood pressure went through the roof after the birth, as well as my asthma, which resulted in me having to have a "combivent" treatment every 4 hours for 6 days. They were so worried that I wasn't getting any better that they rushed me in to see the lung specialist in the hospital after 3 days, which is normally a 3 month wait. I couldn't have asked for better care.
My son was on tubes and machines for the whole 3 weeks, and everything, including the formula they used for him, was provided. With all the worry that I was doing, praying that he would survive, the least of my worries was having to pay for our care. (The hospital even makes if affordable to pay for parking all day everyday by supplying passes for a minimal fee!)
I kept thinking about how if I was American, my baby could've died and I would've been a lot worse off with the asthma. There's no way I or my family could've afforded it.
How terribly frightening that money comes before human life. Especially, in America.
Sunday, July 15, 2007 7:32 AMTo:
Dear Mr. Moore:
I'm a grandfather, 69 years old. I am a retired teacher and took my undergraduate degree at Western Washington U. Living in the states for 5 years does give me some insight into your country.
My wife and I saw Sicko, and very much enjoyed it. I did volunteer work in Matanzas, Cuba for several winters, and I've seen some hospital conditions that were rather less pleasant than those in Havana, but the point you made was made well.
I also watched your debate on Larry King with Dr. (Chupta?), and thought he was really reaching to defend his position. I admired how you did not back off.
I've heard all the bad stories about health care in Canada, particularly during the time Ms. Clinton was heading the concept of a universal health care system, and the ads I saw then were so inaccurate it was upsetting.
I've lived in Canada for 64 of those 69 years. I've had a daughter, and now have 3 grandkids. Growing up I had the usual tonsils, infections, bumps and bruises..........and a few more serious, like a ruptured Achilles tendon, and a separated shoulder playing rugby. Now I have the aches and pains of getting more mileage on my personal odometer...but never was I refused medical care, and I always was hospitalized immediately. My personal physician I can see within a couple of days if it isn't all that important, and that day if it is important. My daughter was hospitalized for 2 months because she was having twins, and there was a concern about a premature birth. No charge. The most I've ever had to pay was $25 for the rental of crutches, which I needed after my Achilles was sewn back together. I ruptured it on a Sunday, and it was repaired the next day by an orthopedic surgeon. My daughter has never had to pay anything for the care of her kids.
As the saying goes, I'm preaching to the choir. A couple I know in Iowa pay $600 a month in health insurance, she's a retired teacher. I think that's unbelievable.
I wish you every success, 47 million Americans need you.
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