My own personal experience with Canadian healthcare is pretty positive. It's not all "free" by the way, but the major costs are covered. My most recent experience was a ruptured Achilles tendon. Did it on a Friday afternoon, got through emerg. dept. in the hospital in less than 3 hours, had surgery the following morning by a highly-recommended orthopaedic surgeon, was kicked out that night. Total cost to me was $30 for a pair of crutches. Surgery, hospital stay, various casts, follow-up visits to another surgeon, etc. were at no direct cost to me. I have no idea what the actual cost was, but probably many $1,000s. My work-based extended health coverage is paying for 80% of the extensive followup physio-therapy; that's not covered by standard health insurance here in Ontario where I live.
ON THE OTHER HAND, at least where I live, access to family physicians is getting pretty bad, due to shortages of doctors. I think it's even worse in smaller communities. I'm lucky; I've been alive for a long time :mrgreen: so I've had the same doc forever (he delivered my babies who are now 28 and 32). Dunno what'll happen when he retires, but it might not be pretty. Luckily my current wife has a much younger doc, so maybe she'll take me on if need be. But lots of people have no family doc, and have to rely on walk-in clinics or hospital emerg. The latter just adds to the problem, of course. And there are many foreign-trained doctors here who can't practice because of the draconian rules enforced on them by various governing bodies.
So, it ain't all roses. But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Sure, some people undoubtedly go elsewhere for non-elective surgery, etc. and there are always those who are unhappy, no matter where you are. I'm personally a bit pissed because my prov. govt. recently stopped covering regular eye exams. Glaucoma runs in my family, so I need an annual test for that. I'm on the hook for that exam now. Luckily I can easily afford it; there are lots who can't. Also for all dental, although my work health plan pays most of that. But I've never received what I'd consider "inferior" medical care. I do remember my folks telling me about how it used to be, when people had to save up money just to pay the doctor to deliver babies. My sister and I were both born via emergency C-section in a remote northern mining town, and my folks were out of pocket for that. Put them close to the poverty line for several years. That's just unthinkable now. To me, universal access to basic medical care should be a right rather than a privilege in this day and age.
Just one Soviet Canuckistanian's point of view. I'm sure you'll hear lots of differing ones.