Hit & Run

No Such Thing As a Free MRI

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The New York Times realizes there is a downside to socialized health care in Canada: long lines for testing and treatment. If you don't ration a product by price, it will be rationed some other way. This is a story Reason has been covering for many years, so it's nice to see the Times has finally caught on. The page 3 article relies heavily on the Fraser Institute, whose Michael Walker wrote a piece for Reason about the problem in 1989 (too long ago to be available online). The waits apparently have gotten worse since then. According to the Fraser Institute, "patients across Canada experienced average waiting times of 16.5 weeks between receiving a referral from a general practitioner and undergoing treatment in 2001-2002, a rate 77 percent longer than in 1993."