The accident

ACCIDENT modified

Sensing a drug-tinged depravity to my words lately, many people have asked for a brief update on my leg. Here ya go. Surgery set for ten days ago was yanked when, in the operating room, the surgeon found my leg was covered in giant, blood-filled fracture blisters.

Two days later at the Fracture Clinic doctors pulled off my dressing to ascertain when they might be able to go in, without the certainty of infection. Dorothy was with me at the time, holding my paw. She boosted my confidence immeasurably by saying, “Holy shit” and covering her eyes when she saw the leg. A resident took pictures. Nurses called in their colleagues. It was a cool medical event.

Then nature took its course, and these gross mothers exploded. On Thursday I was pronounced ready for the knife, and on Friday morning the operation took place – called an ‘open reduction and internal fixation.’ That basically means three loose bones were whacked together using plates and screws so that my foot was no longer structurally detached from my leg.

When I woke up Friday afternoon the staff, friendly but firm, told me to split. “There are twenty more patients on their way down from the OR,” the head recovery room nurse said. So I put on my squirrel hat, climbed into my Drive Cruiser III wheelchair and heading into the snow to hail a cab.

That’s it. Dorothy called a medical supply place and had a hospital bed put into Bandit’s favourite room, and I started chewing hydromorphones. The leg is painful enough I have started having fond thoughts of a parrot. But I’m sure every day will bring an improvement, and I still have all those comely rehab babes to look forward to.

It’s just a busted limb, but obviously a reminder how life can be impacted in a second or two at the end of your driveway. In addition, as I mentioned here last week, the health care system is functioning, but overwhelmed. The hospital treating me is one of the biggest in Canada, and it is jammed with people who cannot find a family doctor, plus those in the path of trauma. Ellen, whose job it was to tube me up for surgery said when she started there in 1985 a gunshot wound might be seen once every two years – and only then as the result of a hunting accident. “Now they are rolling here daily. It’s all drug wars.”

I was lucky. My damage was sufficient to win a place in the surgery queue within a few days. Currently the waiting like for orthopedic procedures at Sunnybrook is between six months and one year.  On Friday morning there were at least thirty others looking pathetic along with me in the pre-op registration waiting room. Jim, who administers the front desk at the Fracture Clinic, said it has been a stunning winter for idiots walking their dogs on the ice, and ending up with shattered appendages. As we talked, I counted them. Fifty-five people were waiting.

As discussed here on Friday, we appear to be a society strikingly unprepared for what’s coming.  I’m just one of nine million wrinklies intersecting with the health care system. Inevitably this protracted bulge of people will have a profound impact on facilities already straining to cope. It’s hard to see how higher personal and general taxes, health care user fees or restricted access to the system can be avoided.

As you know, most people are completely unable to explore a private health option. Almost 90% of Canadians expect to ‘rely heavily’ on a public pension system that pays peanuts and is itself on unsteady ground. We’ve chosen house porn over financial security, or horribly confused the two. I had the cash to buy a wheelchair, install a hospital bed, get care for Bandit, take $40 cab rides to the hospital and spend freely on all those tasty drugs. Many don’t. But they live in $850,000 houses, without savings.

This past weekend Ed Clark, about to retire as the dude in charge of TD Bank, mused again about the threat real estate poses to the nation. We’ve gone completely overboard. We are, he said, setting ourselves up for a serious social and financial tumble in the event any accident happens.

Guess what? It will.

210 comments ↓

#1 liquidincalgary on 02.02.14 at 5:39 pm

great analogy. thanks to your blog i’ve taken a closer look at what my priorities should be, financial and otherwise.
thanks again!

#2 Happy Renting on 02.02.14 at 5:43 pm

Glad you got your surgery, though not surprised how fast they hustled you out of the hospital. Happy healing!

#3 First on 02.02.14 at 5:44 pm

FIRST!!!!!

#4 Dave on 02.02.14 at 5:44 pm

I blew my knee out in Martial Arts about 10 years ago.

My choice: wait 6-10 months for a free MRI or drive to Buffalo and pay $600. It was a no-brainer. The longest part was crossing the border.

You are right though; we plan and think we are clever for saving and investing wisely. And we are. But the Fickle Finger of Fate often has other ideas- and we are one unforeseen event from watching our best-laid plans turn to shite. I am always aware of that.

Glad you are on the mend and your discomfort- though considerable- will be finite. And, yes, ain’t it nice to have a few sheckles to rub together to make the most of the worst of it go away!

Get better quick.

#5 prairie person on 02.02.14 at 5:45 pm

Sorry about the leg but being turfed right after surgery is standard nowadays. In Winnipeg they toss them out so fast that they die on their front steps. Here, in Victoria after they did a triple bypass for me, they tossed me in 5 days. Chain saw your chest in half, lift out your heart, make six incisions, take a vein out of your leg for the bypass, put the pieces in, wire your chest together and 4 days after the op, you are good to go. Couldn’t believe it. On day 5, I was climbing 16 steps into my bungalow. Doesn’t pay to live in a hilly area. You’re going to have open heart, move to the flatlands. They know that the most dangerous place you can be after surgery is in a hospital with all the bugs that sick people bring with them. Safer at home. You’re right about the cost. There are lots of side costs you want to be able to pay. Figure 1-2 thousand out of your pocket. And heart surgery isn’t just for the elderly. Lots of people in their 50s and even in their 40s. Hospital here does 800 scheduled a year plus emergencies.

#6 KevinInCourtice on 02.02.14 at 5:54 pm

Garth, I hope you have a speedy recovery. I am new to this pathetic blog (see I am catching on already) and I appreciate your dose of sober reality and I look forward to reading more of your advise as I invest for the future and care for my young family of four. The best advise I ever got was, “Know your ‘means’ and live ‘below’ it; and do it for a very long time”. This has given our family great financial peace once we put it to practice daily. I have become another of your daily readers!

#7 Drill Baby Drill on 02.02.14 at 5:56 pm

Garth get well soon ! I do see a day when means testing will arrive for any health care we receive. I read an article 2 yrs ago that stated that all it will take to bring the health system down is a default by one of the provinces. I believe New Brunswick was the closest to that point. Once 1 provincial health care system fails then all will be clamoring to be bailed out.

#8 pinstripe on 02.02.14 at 6:02 pm

As long as the Canadian worker maintains a good paying job there will be a minor soft landing, as the worse case, in the housing industry.

Harpo et al have created policies to cushion the Canadian worker whereas the US decimated the middle class by eliminating the high paying jobs by moving those jobs off shore where the pay and benefits were a fraction of the US pay and benefits.

A tradesman in Canada is earning 50 bucks an hour vs 15 bucks an hour on the Gulf Coast. Now the US is encouraging business be brought back to the mainland but the wages will not change, making the US more competitive in the global business.

The strong union position in Canada is the prime factor in maintaining the stronger wages and benefits. Furthermore, any default in the housing industry will be fully absorbed by the taxpayer.

#9 learningfromyou on 02.02.14 at 6:07 pm

I wish you a quick recovery, keep the moral high and follow the instructions in the process, sometimes it requires to overcome some difficult moments.
No pain, no gain.

Starting next winter, I’m sure your whole neighborhood would be supplied from salt coming from your warehouse.
:)

#10 Matt M on 02.02.14 at 6:09 pm

Get well Garth, sending healing thoughts your way!

Your writings have completely changed my outlook on my finances and future, in a positive way!

#11 Tony on 02.02.14 at 6:11 pm

Most people don’t have a background in judo and karate. The main factor seems to be heredity, both my parents had bones like cast iron. Age makes thing heal slower but you never forget those reflex reactions. Always try to roll when you fall.

#12 Not 1st on 02.02.14 at 6:12 pm

Garth should drug addicts and smokers and gang bangers and drunks and amateur fighters and daredevil spelunkers have equal access to healthcare over people who live a normal life?

The question is coming and the haves are going to demand better return for their tax investment.

#13 Tripp on 02.02.14 at 6:15 pm

We tirelessly compare our healthcare sytem with the one in US in a war of the losers.

We would be better off learning from the world leaders, mostly European countries. They succeed to provide better hospital conditions, way shorter waiting times and high quality of care for less money. All these countries, no exception, have a public-private system.

It is time for Canada to take the ideology and the emotions out of healthcare. The longer we keep the status quo, the more serious the consequences.

#14 Cici on 02.02.14 at 6:16 pm

Good God Garth, I’ve got to hand it to you. You always go all-out don’t you. I haven’t even made it past the first paragraph of today’s blog, because being overly curious by nature, I had to check out pictures of blood-filled fracture blisters on Google images.

Gross! Poor Dorothy is going to need counselling after seeing that live, but I’m sure you made all those doctors’ day; according to the National Center for Biotechnology information : fracture blisters are a relatively uncommon complication of fractures in locations of the body, such as the ankle, wrist elbow and foot…

Always a good show and full-featured entertainment from you dear Garth. Now, sit back, rest and relax. These mothers should heal within 12 days (according to Wikipedia).

If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know!

#15 thedoubter on 02.02.14 at 6:20 pm

Get well, Garth. Enjoy your blog. By the way, who is walking your dog nowadays?

#16 Maxamillion on 02.02.14 at 6:27 pm

I’ve been to Sunny Brook many times taking my sister to the Odette Cancer Centre. The first I went I was shocked to see so many people, the line up looked like something you might expect at a movie theater. Last year the majority of my hospital trips ended when my father passed away. I don’t why we are here or what it all means but I’m sure it not about buying over priced pressed cornflakes. Hope you get better Garth, thanks for all the great work you do.

#17 Cici on 02.02.14 at 6:34 pm

I should have read the rest of the blog before checking out the gross pictures, but that was fun.

Glad you got through the surgery, and had the means to take care of yourself, your wife and your dog :-)

And I can’t believe you posted Friday night after all of that: you are indeed an iron man (and who knows what other metal they’ve inserted in you, LOL).

As for letting you go so quickly, I certainly hope that you were escorted out into the cold by hospital personnel, and if not, I think you should complain. That’s just wrong.

By the way, this time it’s my turn to give you investment advice; buy these immediately:

http://www.mec.ca/product/5015-800/stabilicers-lite-cleat-traction-device/?f=10&q=crampons

Every dog walker should have them!

#18 LH on 02.02.14 at 6:38 pm

Years ago I was bedridden for months, popping percosets like our dear host. This too shall pass, but easy on the hydrocodone, once a doctor offerred me a big needle of morphine when the pain was very bad! I wisely said, “never mind, pain is a 3 not a 10 after all” at which the young resident casually dropped the dripping hypodermic in the sharps box.

LH

#19 Smoking Man on 02.02.14 at 6:38 pm

 RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman 

He got started on oxy….

Go easy on it….. Dangerous drug. I know many that got seriously
hooked after an inquiry..

#20 bentoverpayingtaxes on 02.02.14 at 6:39 pm

DELETED

#21 Alberta Ed on 02.02.14 at 6:40 pm

Good health is priceless. It should be added to “liquid, balanced and diversified.” Hope your recovery goes well.

#22 Cici on 02.02.14 at 6:40 pm

#4 prairie person

Who, I feel for you! That’s quite an operation, and you’re right, I have a friend that just went through it and he’s in his early forties.

Hope you are taking care of yourself (eating heart healthy, reducing your stress and getting regular moderate exercise).

P.S. – Cllmbing those stairs must have been scary so soon after the operation, but in the long run, it is probably very good for you.

#23 Scott (GVRD) on 02.02.14 at 6:49 pm

For years I’ve been pondering about what will happen to the healthcare system when the boomers enter old age (which requires more healthcare than in younger years).

Without sounding too much like a doomer, although it is possible to raise taxes and fees to fund the healthcare system, there is a logistical reality about supporting the healthcare system. You can’t build a hospital overnight. You can’t find, hire, and train doctors and nurses overnight. And while “overnight” sounds like hyperbole, almost nothing is possible in the short-term (3-5 years) to help the healthcare system, mainly because you have to have the right checks and balances when people’s lives are at risk.

So here’s two questions for our esteemed host and others, what is the possible real-world outcome of the healthcare system? Is there a parallel situation from history or another country that we can draw on as an example?

#24 angry realtor on 02.02.14 at 6:49 pm

Garth do you want the only economic engine to stop? Without RE the GTA is finished. Everyone in the RE industry knows it. Yes RE is a Ponzi scheme built on greaterfools but without that what does the GTA have? RE is falling apart right now and we are already seeing retail taking a huge hit which will led to even more layoffs. Construction jobs are winding down and many realtor friends have given up being a realtor and have gone back to whatever job they could find. Mortgage brokers are struggling and of course you see the desperate realtors on this blog clinging to hope and nonsense . The FIRE industry is in a panic and they are spending a lot in the media to fabricate and/or exaggerate any story. Manufacturing is done and a lower dollar will not change that. The 905 drought will spread into 416 like an unstoppable virus .

#25 Innumeracy Chick No More on 02.02.14 at 6:50 pm

Garth wishing you a speedy recovery….as a nurse I see every day the hospital departments bursting at the seams with patients. We are seeing more and more patients with more acute problems. I don’t know what the answer is but surely things can be improved. Your right thou things are only going to get worse first.

You should have never got blisters. Ideally you should have been to the OR within 2-3 days and had your fracture fixed… way before the blistering. I’m very sorry but the system failed you.

I enjoy this website and have learned a lot. Too bad you can’t take over the Canadian Health Care budget and whip it into shape. :)

#26 Habbit on 02.02.14 at 6:53 pm

Hi Garth. Good you are home. Bones hurt, big tme but it does get better. When I broke my ankle and ripped the tendon out of it to boot i had to wait 4 days for surgery that should have been done rigth away. The surgeon who eventually did the surgery came to see me twice to aplogize he was not able to get me in on that day. I finally got the surgery at 9pm. The surgeon had been working since early that morning. I had a spinal tap so was concsious thru the operation. He has since left our frozen wasteland and gone on to BC. I don’t know what he renumeration was, but i do know he earned every penny. He was awesome in every way. I can walk today thanks to him. I wish I had another opportunity to thank him. Dr. Smith from south africa. A true professional. I hope you got a great surgeon as well Garth. I had to stay in the hospital for a week after the surgery for various reasons and the people there made room for me and treated me with respect. What an experience to have these people look after me day and nigth. Don’t know if i could do what they did for me if called upon. When i got home my wife had to put up with me bless her. I have a good employer and he arranged to have me picked up and dropped of daily when i was able to focus until i was able to drive again. I have much to be thankfull for. Fellow blog dogs please do be carefull when going out in the ice and snow. It only talkes a second to break bones and worse tendons. Garth I was sent home with exercises to help in the recuperasion. I stopped for awhile after I beleived everything was fine. I was wrong again! Something i seam to be good at! I do the exercise now 5 years later. It realy does help. BTW thanks for posting every day thru this. If i read anything daily i never miss your posts. It’s sweet to be able to thank you sir, and i do. My surgeon was so awesome wish i could send him a note. Do take care. Enjoy the game. My apologies dogs for rambling.

#27 Cici on 02.02.14 at 6:55 pm

#12 Tripp,

Unfortunately, what works well in Europe will fail in North America, because our version of capitalism is downright savage, and their are no rules or regulations to oversee corruption on the back tax payers.

Here in NA, private health care squanders $$ from the public system, and then restricts access to the highest bidders.

Public-private partnerships have been a failure to date in Canada, and not just in health care, but in public works, university expansions and other sectors.

If you don’t believe me, check out “Îlot voyageur” or “Chum Mega hospital.” It’s been 10 years since phase 1 of the latter started, construction isn’t even off the ground, and yet the initial budget’s already blown: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/montreals-super-hospital-saga-is-a-historic-fiasco/article4084174/

#28 Habbit on 02.02.14 at 6:56 pm

Smoking man whats this thing about spell check. I could use the help!

#29 live within your means on 02.02.14 at 7:01 pm

OMG Garth – didn’t realize your break was as bad as you just described. I too had to google blood filled fracture blisters. Take it easy & let people pamper you. Been there are few times. Thankfully we forget the pain later.

All the best for a speedy recovery.

#30 Shawn on 02.02.14 at 7:12 pm

So, THAT explains the very brief delay in postings on Friday. Overall it is truly amazing how well the blog has maintained speedy operations throughout this. Would that the healthcare system could do as well all the time.

#31 [email protected] on 02.02.14 at 7:14 pm

Do you need to eat a rich calcium diet for faster healing? What foods if true?

#32 NoName on 02.02.14 at 7:15 pm

wish i am radiologist, new mri units is in 2-3mil range, used are quite affordable, there are some other cost involved but its a way cheaper than 1+den with parking…

Refurbished Medical GE CT Scanner Cost
http://info.blockimaging.com/bid/93368/GE-CT-Scanner-Cost-Price-Info

Refurbished GE MRI Scanner
http://info.blockimaging.com/bid/98700/GE-MRI-Scanner-Cost-Price-Info

#33 Retired Boomer - WI on 02.02.14 at 7:15 pm

Garth – Welcome to our nightmare. Yes, the U.S. private healthcare system with the geezer pleezer “medicare”, and coverage for the absolutely indigent “medicaid” we now add the newest prescription “Obamacare” also known as the “affordable care act” which basically allows all comers, to buy healthcare coverage, and provides a subsidy to lower wage earners.

A decent idea crafted solely by one party, and totally renounced by the other. While somewhat frankenstinian in its creation so is any law absent the wisdom of the other parties in governance. That be an aside.

For the Wrinklies, the “Boomers” of which I am one (nearer the front edge not the back) we qualify for medicare at 65. It covers hospitalization 100%, doctors at 80% same for tests, labs etc.
It pays ZERO for scripts, ZERO dental, and vision.

US Wrinklies can expect to pay out roughly $250,000 over they retirement in addition to government provided “medicare.” Yes you can, and should buy a medicare supplement insurance policy to cover the 20% not covered, another for prescription drugs, another for dental, and still another for vision.

Of course, silly boy, the prices will increase as you age. Think you might need a nursing home someday? Well, after you have gone through virtually ALL your assets, the government will get you into one, or you can by long term health care. Currently cost at 60 about $2200 a year. Wait til 70 triple that.

Want to retire before 65? Good go, but you are buying your own healthcare until then. A good average for a couple $12 GRAND a year.

You wondered where that $250,000 went, there is a thumbnail sketch. I really wish there were an easy fix to all this, but I see none. Private insurance is ok, but no panacea. Universal coverage is also ok, but again no panacea. Who decides who gets care, and when, and in what amount?

Do you deny the drug dealer gunshot victim care? Do you deny the alcoholic care? How about the 40 year smoker? Throw in the drug user?

He who is without illness, sickness, trauma cast the first stone.

#34 Bill Gable on 02.02.14 at 7:16 pm

Very happy to hear you are through the surgery, and now our hope is for a quick healing cycle.

I have recently been in and out of an overwhelmed Inner City Hospital here, in Vancouver. The staff were uniformly excellent, but shattered.

They were so overwhelmed at Emergency, with gunshots and OD’s – people were all hoping like hell they would get the black line and get admitted and seen.

The whole thing is exactly horrifying, in light of our demographics, as outlined by our wheelchair bound host.

I cannot believe the continuing bread and circus’ and outright lying in mainstream media, about buying that ‘palace’, in a market that is imploding.

Bandit has more common sense than some of the ‘investors’ in Vancouver Real Estate.

#35 Inspector Gadget on 02.02.14 at 7:17 pm

I feel your pain Garth. I had a bad ankle injury (not at work) 19 months ago. When it didn’t heal properly I was scheduled for an MRI. It took six months to get the MRI ( live in Edmonton). Sure enough things are torn in my ankle and I too need surgery.
I have yet to even get in to consult with one of the 2 surgeons in the entire capital region that do the kind of work I need. They are not even taking new appointments at this time, and one of them is not even considering new surgical bookings for 2015 until September!
I limp every morning, and cram my foot in to Firefighting boots at work every day. I can work and the leg is strong thanks to tons of physio and hard exercise but if is painful and swollen much of the time.
I am seriously considering looking in to getting it done privately, life is too short to not be healthy.
Good luck with your recovery.

#36 Smoking Man on 02.02.14 at 7:18 pm

#27 Habbit on 02.02.14 at 6:56 pm

Everyone has a quirk about them. Including me.

If find it emotionally painful to post comments with perfect grammar and spelling..

Perfection in writing is an endorsement of the machine and it’s methods. Every error to me is an extention of my middle finger to all that is wrong with the world.

No one’s perfect….

#37 The Patient on 02.02.14 at 7:20 pm

As long-time reader of this pathetic blog (Dec 2011) and as one who puts about 20,000 kms a season on my ’97 Kawasaki ZX-11 (my last bike was a ’98 Eleven whose valves wore out at the 206,000 km mark), I am *extraordinarily* curious to know which of your hind legs, my dear fellow, is speedmending. You expressed guarded optimism a couple of weeks ago that you will mount your bike this coming season.

I really want to know because if it’s your right leg, the only thing it has to do is apply the rear brake; if the left, that’s a little more involved because you’ve got the shifter to deal with, demanding more of the ankle.

I don’t imagine that you’re the sort of person to opt for an automatic transmission bike, like a Vespa (perish the thought).

So, I plead with you, Garth: please let all us bikers know whether it’s brake side or shifter side.

And best wishes, of course. (It hasn’t appeared to slow you down any around here.)

Brake. Grateful. — Garth

#38 JustTringToProtectEquity on 02.02.14 at 7:23 pm

Hard to believe now, but the pain will subside. We don’t heal as well as we did as younger men and women, but we do heal.

As painful as it is, push yourself to workout with your other limbs. Raise the leg, work it. Keep the blood flowing.

In short, use it or lose it.

Good luck.

#39 Shawn on 02.02.14 at 7:24 pm

The Slippery Slope

Not 1st asks:

Garth should drug addicts and smokers and gang bangers and drunks and amateur fighters and daredevil spelunkers have equal access to healthcare over people who live a normal life?

*****************************************

Now, wouldn’t THAT be a slippery slope. Equal access to healthcare for only those that fit your definition of normal.

Imagine who we could ban from free health care:

Obese people. Anyone who caused an accident. skiers, because that’s just a step up from daredevil spelunkers. Mountain climbers certainly. Runners because that’s asking for trouble eventually. The sedentary, for the same reason. Anyone injured out of country. May as well ban anyone who drinks, why pick on smokers since drinking is also not exactly healthy? Or that’s right, it’s because while you (most likely) may take a drink, you don’t smoke.

Pretty soon we would be down to victims of disease and victims of accidents (those not at fault).

What an awful price this would be for “free” health care. No, we either have the health care system treat everyone for free or we go to a completely user pay system. Which do you prefer?, because I am not sure there is any half way at least not in regards to denying access to those with higher risk lifestyles.

This is an aspect that I don’t like about socialized medicine. It encourages people to stick their nose into the lifestyles of others.

We need to have an annual day called, “mind your business day””. It would be great at least for that one day a year.

#40 fisheman on 02.02.14 at 7:37 pm

Last week their was a cryptic remark qbout the Yen Carry Trade & Traders not leaving extra cash in their accounts on fear of the the brokerages stealing. Just lately I see quite a few serious mature banker types falling out of big buildings,(to their death). Where is SM when we need the inside story.

#41 Cici on 02.02.14 at 7:45 pm

#35 Inspector Gadget

Uggghh, do it! Your health is your best asset; I think it would be money well-spent.

Wish you the best and a speedy recovery!

#42 Oh no! on 02.02.14 at 7:46 pm

“We’ve gone completely overboard. We are, he said, setting ourselves up for a serious social and financial tumble in the event any accident happens”

Indeed, but politicians are complicit and “enablers”. And all those folks pigging out now will be blaming them when it all comes falling down, while at the same time expecting that all prudent taxpayers will contribute to bailing them out, and expecting the same politicians they will blame to enable this bailout in their favor. It is all so fucked up, as a prudent taxpayer it makes you want to tell all those who pig out to go scr&[email protected] themselves and to prepare for civil war if things fall down without them being made to pay themselves for the societywide pain they are causing.

#43 Smoking Man's Old Man on 02.02.14 at 7:48 pm

Your comments on being able to afford the cab rides, hospital bed, medication, really hit home with me. I live an incredibly simple life simply because I think it’s healthy and responsible. I am one of the one percenters and am asked by people who know my financial status when I plan on living large. My reply is that I have something money can’t buy and that is contentment, but it’s nice to have the security of affording whatever unforeseen expenses arise such as in situations like you mention above.

Hope all goes well with the healing process. Really enjoy your column. :)

#44 nonplused on 02.02.14 at 7:52 pm

Glad to hear you are in one piece again and starting to heal. You must be an iron man to keep posting as frequently as you do!

My brother and my dad have both had extensive metal work done. It sucked at the time but they got better. Here’s hoping you do to.

Our health care system may suck by ideal standards, but it’s better than nothing. Anything free has to be rationed (econ 101), so I think our health care professionals do a pretty good job with the resources they have. I have every respect for them, having relied on the system myself more than a few times. My wife and son probably wouldn’t be here without the good people at the Foothills hospital, actually my sister and my nephew also. Or my brother, who was badly injured in a motorcycle accident but they put him back together over a few years.

None of the proposals to fix health care seem workable, but we’ll find a way. I think step one is to allow more people into med-school but that isn’t going to be the whole solution. More family doctors and more private clinics handling minor surgeries will help, perhaps freeing the hospitals for the serious cases. Higher user fees might be necessary but I hope major cases like yours remain basically covered.

We like to dish on our health care system here in Canada, we know it’s to expensive and stretched too thin. But would you rather deal with Obama care? To me, our healthcare system, pimples and all, functions way better than many systems. It’s one of the things that makes Canada great even if it isn’t perfect and faces some extreme challenges in the coming years.

#45 Cici on 02.02.14 at 7:52 pm

#39 Shawn,

I support your position, but to be fair to the right-wing wingnuts who’d love to throw all of society’s outcasts under the bus, the drug addicts, dealers and gang bangers likely aren’t paying taxes into the health care system, but are probably draining lots out of it.

Still, I support equal rights and the best of health for everyone ;-)

#46 Trev on 02.02.14 at 7:56 pm

And I imagine a lot of those 55 waiting, can’t afford to take time off either because they need to money to pay debts….

#47 Retired Boomer - WI on 02.02.14 at 7:58 pm

Dear Garth-

Where are my manners? I to am grateful to hear you are through with the operation, and now are finally on the beginning path toward recovery. Sure, it hurts dam straight it is a great inconvenience, you will go stir crazy shortly. You likely will over reach as your healing progresses, so typical of us born in ‘those years.’ Heal well, not early!! We’re all in your corner!

#48 amazon girl on 02.02.14 at 8:09 pm

Garth ,I am happy you are home and recorvering…
Will take same time,patience love and care ,but
you got all the above..
Thanks for all your hard work

#49 Bob Copeland on 02.02.14 at 8:15 pm

I wish you all the best in your recovery. The America you keep bragging on is heading down the same path. It is sooo sad to think where we’re heading. A full body MRI scan saved my life. It showed 2 anurisms in my aorta. I paid for the scan due to a newspaper article. Insurance wouldn’t cover it because “I didn’t need it”.
I found out from a Canadian doctor that there’s a 12+ month wait for an elected MRI scan. I offered to buy one and set up a business doing scans. Here we can get a $99 scan and the results are sent to your doctor. I was told it’s against the law in Canada because maybe the slackers couldn’t afford it so the rich can’t have it.
Now we’re heading down the same socialist path. Share the misery.
My point is, where can we run next. America will, over the next 20 years become a third world socialist nation.
Ok, rant over. Please stop thinking America is the country to envy. We’re on the way down. Wishing you a total recovery.

#50 Obvious Truth on 02.02.14 at 8:18 pm

Thinking of healthcare. Could Obamacare be a great social boost for those looking to move jobs? No more worries about employer healthcare.

#51 Victor V on 02.02.14 at 8:19 pm

MUST WATCH: Ed Clark’s interview with BNN.

http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/1/28/TD-CEO-Clark-Chances-of-BoC-Cutting-Rates-Reduced-Because-Loonie-Has-Come-Off-.aspx

#52 Linda Mulligan on 02.02.14 at 8:20 pm

Get well soon Garth – you will mend so don’t succumb to the parrot fantasy – been there & while I understand the temptation to just get rid of the offending bits keep in mind this too shall pass. As for the meds, try to keep them to a minimum. Have to say I wonder how anyone gets out of surgery without becoming an addict – last time I had surgery had a headache post op & the solution offered was to take a big hit of morphine. Let us just say I refused to take something so overkill for the headache – little later I got 1 Tylenol so all was well but really, was shocked by the morphine offer. As for the hospital staff, they work like dogs & for those who think it is ‘safe’ to work there, keep in mind they are exposed to every horrible bug going plus lots of patients are less than kind to staff – nurses, doctors, orderlies have been bitten, punched, gouged, spat on, scratched, beaten, thrown into walls, had bones broken etc by patients or the people who come in with said patient. Plus if you think your back can take hefting someone’s dead weight over & over without injury, think again. It amazes me that people actually choose this as a profession & by the way, I actually worked in a hospital for 5 years (not as a nurse, hallelujah) which was quite the education.
The best solution to avert the health care crisis? Take care of yourself. Don’t expect our health care system to magically fix years of self neglect or self abuse & don’t expect instant results either when you do need to access health care. If you can, get an advocate to be there for you because if you can’t speak for yourself you are in a world of trouble. Ditto if you can’t understand what your choices are because your brain is offline due to illness/injury/medications. Garth, you try to educate people on how to be financially healthy but health IS wealth. Thanks Mom for teaching me that.

#53 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 8:22 pm

“Then nature took its course…”

************************

So, I imagine ten days wasn’t long enuf for nature to start wrongful healing. I’ve heard of bones needing to be re-broken….

Well, it’s done! And you’re home with Dorothy and Bandit!

Yes, most seniors are ill-equipped to handle expensive meds. Very unnerving….

#54 jan on 02.02.14 at 8:27 pm

#8 pinstripe on 02.02.14 at 6:02 pm
As long as the Canadian worker maintains a good paying job there will be a minor soft landing, as the worse case, in the housing industry.

Harpo et al have created policies to cushion the Canadian worker whereas the US decimated the middle class by eliminating the high paying jobs by moving those jobs off shore where the pay and benefits were a fraction of the US pay and benefits.

A tradesman in Canada is earning 50 bucks an hour vs 15 bucks an hour on the Gulf Coast. Now the US is encouraging business be brought back to the mainland but the wages will not change, making the US more competitive in the global business.

The strong union position in Canada is the prime factor in maintaining the stronger wages and benefits. Furthermore, any default in the housing industry will be fully absorbed by the taxpayer.

Me – what you say #9 is unfortunate but true !!!!!!
What say you Garth ???

#55 Chopper on 02.02.14 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for the update Garto, wishing you a speedy recovery.

Thanks again for another good post, we need these warnings to be prepared for a rainy day and avoid debt.

I just hope people reading this blog will listen to your advice and get there financial house in order before it is too late.

I am glad I found this blog about a year and a half ago, I look forward to reading every single one.

Keep up the good work and get well soon as spring is not far off and the madness will begin soon with the house pumpers.

#56 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 8:30 pm

“I was lucky. My damage was sufficient to win a place in the surgery queue within a few days.”

*****************

There ya go….in this case, there can be no waiting. Hip/knee replacements have to wait.

#57 TurnerNation on 02.02.14 at 8:33 pm

Two words: Medical tourism?

Hop a sun flight to the nearest Western-trained and supplied private hospital. Make a run for the border. Cost-benefit.

A good watch from Dragon Brett Wilson on his triumph over prostate cancer. He sought alternatives to the cut/burn/poison regime, and that worked. ‘Course he had the funds for the best private care in USA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oS9NBknUzY

#58 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 8:36 pm

“….said it has been a stunning winter for idiots walking their dogs on the ice, and ending up with shattered appendages….”

*********************

Yup. I take a look at the icy road to the clubhouse and decide I can wait a day or two to collect mail/newspapers!

#59 jan on 02.02.14 at 8:37 pm

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of apparent overdose
Hoffman, 46, found with syringe in arm

http://entertainment.ca.msn.com/celebs/philip-seymour-hoffman-found-dead-in-nyc-apartment-2

Damn, I liked the man.

http://entertainment.ca.msn.com/celebs/philip-seymour-hoffman-found-dead-in-nyc-apartment-2

#60 Not 1st on 02.02.14 at 8:39 pm

#39 Shawn on 02.02.14 at 7:24 pm
—-

Sorry your vision of utopia doesn’t exist. Now lets deal with reality. Visit an ER on a sat night and see if you still think everyone deserves the same level of access. Tell that to your dad or mom who need legitimate care and have to wait behind a couple sauced up drunks who decided to start some fisticuffs one night. Or tell that to your newborn baby who has to wait for the ER to save someone who went heli-skiing and damn near killed themselves.

#61 Bob Copeland on 02.02.14 at 8:44 pm

#39, Are you saying I should give up the healthcare I worked and saved for so that those that didn’t can get it?

http://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?i=1&n=0

#62 Freedom First on 02.02.14 at 8:48 pm

Garth, thank you for the update! I am glad you got your operation done, were able to deal with all of the associated problems/needs without financial worry, and are back home able to receive all the support you need. That is very very good, as you have a lot of miles in you yet. Give yourself the time to recover Garth, and you will. Many people care about you. Be well!

Garth, your most unfortunate mishap has taught a very good lesson to us all. Thanks for sharing your injury journey with us. To be financially vulnerable at any time can have severe consequences. And yet, people put themselves in this position in horrifyingly large numbers. I have always believed it is imperative to financially put freedom first. Also, and I have said this on here several times, “Health is Wealth”, and I guard my health as I do my finances. If anyone thinks this means denying oneself from enjoying life, then society has completed your brainwashing. Look after your health and finances or others will, as most people trying to sell you anything do not care. Freedom First, always.

#63 Tripp on 02.02.14 at 8:48 pm

#27 Cici,

You have a point, those are not quite success stories.

However Montreal should not be considered representative for the country. The Olympic stadium, Champlain bridge, collapsing overpasses, City hall corruption scandals and poor infrastructure are very much local issues.

#64 Daisy Mae on 02.02.14 at 8:50 pm

#6 Kevin: “Know your ‘means’ and live ‘below’ it…”

*****************

I know too many SENIORS who are cashing out their portfolios and taking trips, renovating, buying new Cadillacs because warranties are about to expire….unbelievable. Very scary. The vast majority of Canadians just don’t get it.

#65 Devore on 02.02.14 at 8:52 pm

That’s what money and wealth means: choice, and having options. Such as not having to live in pain while waiting for some procedure for months. There is no free healthcare. Nothing in life is free. The costs are always there, and not necessarily monetary.

#66 TheCatFoodLady on 02.02.14 at 8:53 pm

#52 – Linda Mulligan: bang on… Other comments have made it clear that many others here are aware of the growing problems with health care in this country.

There are so many reasons it’s messed up & in my opinion, here are 2 of the biggest problems. Demographics is the biggest. A large chunk of our population is galloping towards the ‘health care heavy’ years as I mentioned in the last few days. We live longer & conditions that previously would have killed us more quickly are now more readily treatable with medication. So… we live longer but needing more medical support of all sorts.

Complacency. “I don’t have to make the hard choices about lifestyle. I can eat all the junk I want & if my cholesterol skyrockets, that’s what statins are for.” Cars make us lazy – too easy to hop in the Kia for that onerous 2 block ride to the corner store when there’s a stiff breeze blowing.

Front line health care staff are undeniably barely holding their heads above water. If Garth had had to be admitted, here’s what he would have discovered. His vitals & wound(s) would have been checked every few hours at first, then at shift change. Bed baths or any bedside grooming help needed? Nope. Help opening stuff on his meal tray? Nope. When staffing is minimal, only the most crucial stuff gets done & inevitably, floor staff end up ‘fighting fires’ most shifts.

As much as Garth being discharged that early may have elicited gasps of shock – he’s better off at home. Familiar surroundings, care from people near & dear to him, edible food – THOSE are the things that matter. Plus, zero risk of hospital acquired infections.

Garth, I’m sorry your surgery had to be delayed & for that reason. You’re going to have to work closely with your rehab staff to ensure the circulatory system near your injury site is properly ‘worked’ for correct healing. And yeah, that area of your leg, the skin; is going to look butt ugly for quite some time. Make up an appropriate outrageous story about it if you’re so inclined.

Pain levels should start dropping appreciably tomorrow – Tuesday at the latest. Much of the pain is coming from swelling… all that tissue was ‘insulted’ big time. It’s natural it’s going to sulk for a while & cause major owies.

For now, do exactly what you’re told. You can push a bit too hard at first & that can impair healing. Other aches & pains will develop because you’re being forced to sit & lie in positions that aren’t natural. Shift around often for your own comfort.

I don’t have any magic solutions to the growing health care crisis. It’s best to avoid having to access it for illnesses & conditions within our control. Liquid, diversified & balanced’ is a great approach to health & life too. A good work life balance, including PLAY & relaxation, reasonable eating & drinking habits & exercise. Walking is free, keeps the weight off & is a great way to really see your neighbourhood & neat parts of whatever town you live in or choose for walking. You’d be surprised at what you can find that’s just cool to look at.

It’s inevitable as we get older, that our health declines. We can do a lot to mitigate that as well as set a good example for the musty basement dwellers. We think we’re in poor health? The kids are not alright. You don’t want to see the overweight & obesity rates among our youth & children…

Oops, my soap box just collapsed. I’ll shut up now.

Go SeaHawks…

#67 Frustrated Kiwi on 02.02.14 at 8:53 pm

#12 Tripp
#27 Cici

You can also look to the Australian and NZ systems, which are different to each other but both relatively effective (certainly not perfect of course). They probably fit the Canadian culture more than some European systems. My understanding is Canada has severe limits on what private insurance companies can do? Here in NZ, most(?) people have private insurance, which will pay for a private room in a private hospital, leaving space in the public hospitals for shared wards with high quality medical care, for those without insurance. When my father’s cancer got severe he was moved from the private system to the public because that’s where the better oncologists are. In turn, this keeps down the cost of insurance, which is very reasonable except for the aged (who usually need to give up their insurance and move back to the public system). We also have relatively high co-pays on Drs visits but children under 5 are free. Anyway, far from a perfect system as I said above, but seems to be relatively functional. It also helps that personal lawsuits are basically not allowed (whole other conversation).

#68 Andrew Woburn on 02.02.14 at 9:00 pm

#182 angela on 02.01.14 at 9:18 pm
#155 Andrew Woburn on 02.01.14 at 3:59 pm
PS dont focus on the comments at ZH read the articles and question them
===============================
I agree that ZH raises issues that don’t show up in standard MSM and I value that. However I find their postings tend to be alarmist and, as you suggest, they need to be back checked against more balanced sites. The most recent example was the furore over the supposed Chinese currency crisis on Jan 31 which was, quite predictably, papered over by the PRC authorities.

The site posted here by kaganovich, http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/ looks good. The author is a British filmmaker, David Malone, who is both intelligent and appears to have good contacts in the London financial world. He has blogged for the Guardian which may be one of the few principled newspapers left in the world (even though I am not a leftie). I also like the Financial Times blog, http://ftalphaville.ft.com/, which often covers the issues raised in ZH in more depth.

I tend not to pay much attention any more to the gold bug sites because they are fixated on the idea that the US will go bankrupt next week because the Fed prints too much money. If they don’t understand that most money is created by bank loans and that the amount of money created by the Fed has not even replaced the decline in bank loans since the GFC, then they just don’t get it. Eventually they will be right about the value of the dollar because the US will not be able to continue indefinitely paying all its bills in its own currency and will have to deal with some of the same currency market discipline faced by other countries. When is another guess.

Like everybody that comes to Garth’s site, I no longer trust “authorities” so I am not dismissing your concerns. The things that worry me more than an imminent USD currency crash is the growing antagonism between China and Japan and the very murky world of derivatives. According to Malone’s posting, http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2014/01/on-death-and-derivatives/, each of JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank have around $70 trillion (“T” not “B”) in nominal derivative exposure. Granted these numbers represent the potential payout value of what amounts to a series of insurance contracts which are supposedly balanced by counterclaims against other parties. This is all carefully controlled by risk managers and computer programmers so nothing can go wrong. It is entirely coincidental that one of the recent banker suicides was a technology VP from JPMorgan and the other was a former risk manager from Deutsche Bank. I’d like to believe that quants have neatly hedged all these bets but then I remember the failure of Long Term Capital Management. I’d like to believe that senior bankers are actively managing their bonus-crazed financial cowboys but then I remember the London Whale.

#69 Julia on 02.02.14 at 9:01 pm

I just found out the other day that i have a tumour in my bladder. My wait time for surgery is only two weeks. I don’t have any risk factors for bladder cancer — i’ve never smoked or worked with chemicals and i’m not male, plus i’m barely over 50, have always had a healthy diet and have exercised all my life. Hopefully it’s benign and it will be out and done with. As Garth says, you never know what’s just around the corner or at the end of your driveway, or going on inside your organs.

What you do with money comes down to a balance between enjoying today and hopefully enjoying tomorrow. I think Garth is right that being liquid means you can do both. Just booked a spring week in Paris. I think the only way to get through difficulties in life is always having something to look forward to, which is why I’ve always saved for retirement. Hopefully i’ll get there.

Heal well Garth.

#70 DW on 02.02.14 at 9:10 pm

Garth, really appreciate the way you have continued to post your inspirational words of advise throughout your ordeal.

I always come here to listen to the truth about what is really happening with the economy and avoid the pitfalls that lie ahead.

Keep up the good work and in another month to six weeks you will be right as rain.

#71 Not 1st on 02.02.14 at 9:13 pm

Garth lets talk priorities. Canada spent 10s of billions in Afghanistan for nothing. That was enough money to build a new hospital in every major city in Canada. Harper & co spent 100 million to get a photo op in Israel. Here in sask instead of a modern children’s hospital we are gettin a 300 million dollar stadium for the Riders to use 9 times a year.

The money to fix the system is there we just choose to allow our elected officials to waste it.

#72 Ronaldo on 02.02.14 at 9:21 pm

#24 Angry realtor – you’re not very convincing.

#73 Silver on 02.02.14 at 9:22 pm

Best in healing Garth.

Sorry about the pain.
Please watch the painkillers… stuffs super addictive.
Advice froma real, and still alive Ex addict(12 years,clean31yrs)…
split the painkiller dose in half and divide the time in half… if you can lenghten the time between taking the second half do so. If it’s 4 hrs then try 5 or 6. You end up taking a lot less painkillers.
The high dose and long time between doses is for convenience in the market place. higher initial dose for a longer time effect. Don’t have to remember to take as often.
Hope that was understandable.
doing it this way you should be able to reduce the painkillers usage amount by about 30% or better.
In this field… I am an expert by experience.
You will use less drugs… and experience less withdrawel effects. And yes there are always some.

Mybe I could comment on the Nurse who dropped a needle at the Vag general in van and the gave the shot to the patient with it i watched…

All said heal well… glade your home.

Safe… what does an Amazon Nurses outfit look like…

Silver
I think it will be real busy out there…soon.
And its always nice to walk in the park while the rest of the world panics…

#74 WC on 02.02.14 at 9:26 pm

#61: Are you saying I should give up the healthcare I worked and saved for so that those that didn’t can get it?
————————————————————
Well if health care resources are finite then I would say yes you may have to give up some so others have access to basic health care. Of course we know health care is not finite so there is no reason everyone can’t get it. The questions is who will pay? I guess it will be guys like you who will have to buck up.

#75 Tripp on 02.02.14 at 9:33 pm

#66 TheCatFoodLady
#52 Linda Mulligan

Demographics and lifestyle are certainly playing a role but my opinion is we better deal with complacency, resistance to change and incompetence.

We are not radically different from Europe although they eat way better and walk/exercise more. Still, they offer more and better to the ones that need care.

If you go to Holland or Germany (countries that I know well) and tell them we have to wait half a year for an MRI and days for an orthopaedic surgery, they will probably not believe it.

Somehow related, few years ago I had some dental work done in Romania. I have not seen such a well equipped lab in Ottawa and the quality of the work was impeccable, for a fraction of the cost.

#76 Drug Ford on 02.02.14 at 9:34 pm

Hiya Garth,

Sorry to hear about your fall, buddy – bet it was some lefty that tripped you up!!

My brother asked me to pass along a statement since all the news lefties are after him for his jaywalking ticket in B.C. this weekend, so here it is:

“I cannot comment on a crosswalk that I have never seen or does not exist”
(RF)

Think that pretty much clears it up, and I can personally guarantee that!

P.S. Garth, if your painkillers aren’t doing the job, I may know some people…..Just sayin…..

#77 Nemesis on 02.02.14 at 9:56 pm

…”She boosted my confidence immeasurably by saying, “Holy shit” .”… – HonGT

Now that’s my kinda gal, you LuckySod…

Oh yes, AuldPol – was it like this?

http://youtu.be/KLuCzjqJUkY

#78 gladiator on 02.02.14 at 10:02 pm

@52 Linda Mulligan:
Very good observation on doctors sometimes having to lift patients by themselves. Between myself and my brother, my mother had a miscarriage from lifting a patient by herself while working the night shift in the hospital, and she was a doctor, not a nurse. It would have been a girl…

#79 Mike T. on 02.02.14 at 10:18 pm

LOL @ SM (from Friday/Saturday)

sorry, Sir. Imagine a world where everyone was a ‘smoking man’. Who would you fleece? You need the moops who go to slave school to become obedient to their owners….without them you do not exist.

Also, doctors save WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more people than they lose, so, there’s that. Are you going to stop driving b/c 2000 people in Canada lose their lives in traffic accidents?

Have a good time with the internet trained doctor/lawyer or whatever else you may need.

Don’t despair either, this reader is in full awareness of ‘the machine’ and how it operates. I like the path of least resistance.

GO SEABRONCOS

#80 wendi1 on 02.02.14 at 10:39 pm

You are better off at home, Garth. Lots of nasty, dirty diseases to catch at a hospital these days.

Good luck to you – get well soon.

#81 Smoking Man on 02.02.14 at 10:47 pm

#79 Mike T. on 02.02.14 at 10:18 pm
………

OK Mike just for you I’m going to take a course at University of Toronto..

Topic is marketing you book. 8 weeks.

What I love about the course is the selection criteria. 300 bucks but we will only accept you if you have a book ready for publication.

Bahahaha. Oldest trick in salesmen ship. Oh we might not take you……

What they don’t realize, I have no experience with profs or wide eyed stupid fellow students.

I will have no problem selling the book. I Don’t need the class. Last count 7 million read this pathetic
blog a year.

People in the class are going to be characters in my book..

As the would be novelists kiss the teachers ass. I’m observing them.

This is going to be so cool.

#82 Cristian on 02.02.14 at 10:48 pm

“Inevitably this protracted bulge of people will have a profound impact on facilities already straining to cope. It’s hard to see how higher personal and general taxes, health care user fees or restricted access to the system can be avoided.”

Precisely!
I work in healthcare and what I see makes me worry. A lot. That’s why I will probably get the hell out of Canada after retirement. There are places where they allow you to pay if you want to see a doctor sooner and I’d much rather do that than suffer for weeks and months like a lot of those I see daily.

#83 Shawn on 02.02.14 at 10:59 pm

What Utopia?

Not 1st at 60 responded to me as follows:

Sorry your vision of utopia doesn’t exist.

******************************************
This was when I argued (at 39) that his idea of denying medical access to those with high risk lifestyles was a slippery slope and not possible in a socialist medical system.

I never said socialized medicine was a utopia. In fact I pointed out that one aspect of it that I don’t like is this holier than though attitude that some nosy people get want to decide which behaviors are too risky and therefore should be excluded from medical access.

Far from utopia I am not sure is socialized medicine is the best. But it does work reasonably well in Canada.

Personally I have no qualms about paying for speedy access for myself and my family and if it’s not available in this country and it’s important I will be a medical tourist.

I simply point out that in a socialized medical system, medical urgency will decide who is treated first and certainly life-style risk (lifestyle prior to the fact) will not be involved in the decision.

Either mind your own business about your neighbor’s lifestyle choices or be willing to drop socialized medicine (and pay for your own treatment or insurance). Which will it be?

#84 UTSBLUE on 02.02.14 at 11:00 pm

Glad the surgery went well. Keep up the great work!

#85 Shawn on 02.02.14 at 11:09 pm

What The?

Bob Copeland asked me:

#39, Are you saying I should give up the healthcare I worked and saved for so that those that didn’t can get it?

*******************************************

Well, I never said anything of the sort but a key feature of socialized medicine is that it is paid for from tax dollars and everyone who needs it gets the same access (in theory). Access to medical care has absolutely no link to how hard anyone worked or the amount of taxes they paid. It’s collective taxes raised that matter in this case.

Do you live in Canada?

A system that depends on hard you worked and how much you paid is a user pay system. Possibly a good idea, but no connection to how things happen to work in Canada.

If you wish to argue with me, I ask that you start by quoting what I actually write. (and in context please)

P.S I did not click to your link which you never provided any introduction to, really.

#86 Derek R on 02.02.14 at 11:11 pm

#67 Frustrated Kiwi on 02.02.14 at 8:53 pm wrote:
Here in NZ, most(?) people have private insurance, which will pay for a private room in a private hospital, leaving space in the public hospitals for shared wards with high quality medical care, for those without insurance. When my father’s cancer got severe he was moved from the private system to the public because that’s where the better oncologists are.

That’s basically how it works in the UK too. Public system handles 90% of the work and has the high prestige posts for doctors. Private system handles cosmetic stuff and low-priority patients who aren’t prepared to wait their turn on the waiting lists. Both systems share the same doctors and some of the same expensive capital equipment (stuff like MRI scanners) but private system only gets to use doctors and equipment at times when the public system isn’t using them.

Each system fills the gaps in the other. So it seems to work.

#87 Smoking Man on 02.02.14 at 11:15 pm

#40 fisheman on 02.02.14 at 7:37 pm

No inside scope, coincidental.

Cap Markets doing fine….

#88 TS on 02.02.14 at 11:15 pm

Gath,

I was wondering on your opinion regarding stock market linked GICs that the big 5 banks are offering now.

Possibly a future blog on it? :)

#89 OttawaMike on 02.02.14 at 11:15 pm

#37 The Patient on 02.02.14 at 7:20 pm
Re: Motorcycle Shifters

Actually most of the Brit bikes and many Harleys were right sided shift until the US NHTS was established in the 70’s ordered standardized left side shift, right brake.

The albeit expensive Zero Electric Bike looks cool and eliminates shifts:
http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/motorcycles/

As for ZX11’s, I’ve had several. I’m riding a late 90’s one now. That engine takes the beating of the proverbial red headed step child and keeps on coming back for more. Just don’t let the oil go down by more than a litre. The early ZX’s have oil starvation issues.

Still haven’t heard what Turner traded for the VTX 13?

#90 raisemyrent on 02.02.14 at 11:19 pm

sh!t does happen. stupid people abound. don’t understand stop signs. smart people have moments, too.
got hit 10 days ago. my car is totalled. concussion didn’t show until 5-6 days in. anyone ever had one (rhetorical)? it’s frustratingly amusing to see yourself put your socks on inside-out.
no booze, no exercise, no tv, no reading, no writing (I’m dictating), no work, no driving, mm no everything else; I forget.

you need to be prepared. not like the bank says (featured a few posts ago), but really prepared. what does that mean? have cash. some in hand, some accessible. open LOCs. NO debt. try to have that car paid off (can’t imagine arguing over what I owe and what ICBC offers etc.). properly insured.

rant: learn to drive your car. really drive it. how does it break? can you control a slide? how about when one wheel comes off the axle? work on situational awareness. take a course in a controlled environment; that’s an investment we never talk about.
You may find yourself like me, drifting a car hit thrice away from a sidewalk with children on it, through a foggy/airbag windshield. I’m not special. I’m not unlucky. I’m lucky I was prepared. I haven’t always been.

release the buying power of whatever salary/income you have, so that cabs, upfront medical costs, etc. are not a big deal (can’t wait 1-2 years for the claim to settle). plus there’s always (in no particular order) car2go, friends, rentals, and the epic fail that we call the SkyTrain. oh, and the bus, but be prepared to feel like a lesser person before you board one. some of you will resent that, some of you will know what I mean. and by lesser, I mean someone who can afford a 2-zone pass for $170 by the way. That’s more than what I paid for full and ample coverage on my late BMW, for starters.
What would happen if your doctor gave you a disability note with no end date? Would you still get paid? Do you have benefits/insurance? We all know that I don’t mean EI.

Make it so that when sh!t happens, your main priority can in fact be your health, and then deal with terribly difficult things like “what new car am I going to get now?” at your own pace.

It can be done, on 5 figures a year; you don’t need to be a 1%er.

– drive safe, blog dogs. but be prepared, because sh!t will still happen.

I’m off to lie in my dark room again (literally).

Garth, thanks for the work you do, and all the best with the recovery.

I wish my short-term memory allowed me to post my concurring impressions of the healthcare system on this side of the land. Maybe some other time.

p.s. did anyone know that airbag gasses can burn you? got some nasty blisters meself even though I was wearing gloves and a dress shirt.

#91 OttawaMike on 02.02.14 at 11:28 pm

Amazons

The often here referred to mythical Amazons. What are they?
I assumed it was a reference to tall buxom women but after a visit to the local Bytown museum this weekend, it was discovered to be a unique local reference to Ottawa’s frontier Call girls.
After the building of the Rideau Canal, a large population of unemployed Irish and French labourers fought over the few lumbering jobs in a town with one of the highest ratio of taverns per population in N. America.

Our wonderful capital also had the honour of being the most lawless place in the entire British Empire from 1826-1845 with no police.So much so it resulted in a future re-branding as Ottawa.

Amazon looks like one of the colloquialisms our blog host took home from his tenure here as an MP.

#92 Ralph Cramdown on 02.02.14 at 11:36 pm

“Sorry your vision of utopia doesn’t exist.”

In Utopia, nobody needs a medical system.

Here in the real world, everybody is born naked, and death with dignity is mostly a myth. In between, you might get sick or injured.

Canada already has the best two-tier medical system in the world. We can wait for the very well regarded public system, or we can drive an hour (or maybe fly an hour) to the best for-pay private system in the world. As part of this Faustian bargain, our best doctors and nurses are constantly poached, and our richest and loudest citizens and doctors say we should have for-profit medicine (eh? Doctors aren’t wealthy here already?) right here.

I don’t want another tier in Canada, because we’d lose the best connected citizens as advocates for a better medical system, and the public system for the lower/middle class would end up looking like a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

“Are you saying I should give up the healthcare I worked and saved for so that those that didn’t can get it?”

I’m saying that you should recognize that your best decision was picking your parents, your second best was picking which particular chromosomes you borrowed from each of them, and your third best was choosing your birth country of citizenship. None of the decisions you’ve made since have had as great an effect on your health, wealth or welfare, though some may have had major impacts.

#93 chapter 9 on 02.02.14 at 11:50 pm

#35 INSPECTOR GADGET
Dr. Robert Hollinshead is a prominent Calgary orthopedic surgeon former clinical chief of orthopedics former pres. of AMA and he is fed up. He announced on Dec. 20/13 that he was opting out of the provincial health care system for two reasons. The fact that “TOO MANY YOUNG SURGEONS CAN’T FIND WORK” and “LONG WAIT TIMES”. The Alberta government is simply not providing funding for the infrastructure needed to handle the demand and as we are seeing it will only get worse.
And this is happening in Alberta our debt is only $7 billion how about Ontario and Quebec that have a combined debt closing in on HALF A TRILLION. Put a fork in those two provinces cause”they are done”
get well Garth

#94 Whinepegger on 02.02.14 at 11:51 pm

@ #63 Tripp

“#27 Cici,

You have a point, those are not quite success stories.

However Montreal should not be considered representative for the country. The Olympic stadium, Champlain bridge, collapsing overpasses, City hall corruption scandals and poor infrastructure are very much local issues.”

Don’t get out much, do you? It is NOT a local issue. That kind of crap goes on in every locale. Here in Winnipeg we have the Firehouse scandals, Investors Group Field, Police Headquarters and Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR), to mention only the latest bungles. All financial fiascoes, with mega-millions over budget on each project and no end in sight to the over runs on the CMHR. And to add to the joke – audits on these projects point no finger of blame. That’s just the way it goes.

This will not end well.

#95 Party On Garth on 02.03.14 at 12:01 am

Sorry to hear of your injury and discomfort. Speedy recovery.

#96 Smoking Man on 02.03.14 at 12:02 am

We all have a one way ticket toward death. We have but a microscopic sliver of time in the scheme of the big picture.

Why worry is how I roll. It’s abvious. Worry is an emotion programmed into you by people that require your Labour.

I fear no man God or beast.

I could care less about running, health, doing the right thing to prolong existence when I know a wheel flying of a truck could instantly end it.

Party till you drop is the only way to live.

#97 Drowning not waiving on 02.03.14 at 12:03 am

All the best in your recovery.

I’ve been there a few times. We may complain about the healthcare system but it has always been there for me when I really needed it. Yes, its not McDonalds – first in first out. The system must triage, as there are limited resources. And no you cannot buy yourself to the front of the line which frustrates rich people who are used to buying what they want. But hey, we do the best with what we’ve got and I can guarantee you its better than what they have down south. Enjoy the pain killers for how ever long they last.

#98 rower on 02.03.14 at 12:09 am

So glad to read that you came through surgery okay, Garth.

I broke two bones in my foot a few years ago after falling down the stairs. The frustration with not being able to move or carry on with my regular routine was overwhelming at times. The frustration led me to do too much too fast and now I have a not so nice bump of bone in a different part of my foot due to too much pressure where it didn’t belong.

Curse at the tv, throw a rolled up paper towel, real estate flyer or ball at the wall, but give your body the time it needs to heal. Movement is good in stages.

Best wishes for a full recovery. Prince Edward County is a fantastic place to ride. Let me know when you are coming and I’ll have lunch waiting.

#99 Joe on 02.03.14 at 12:11 am

BCTV News a re known cartel RE pumper is doing a weeks worth of stories on the current (most expensive RE aka Vancouver)
Pump pump while the market dumps.

#100 Scalgary on 02.03.14 at 12:16 am

Get well soon Garth..!
Curious to know how Bandit reacted when seeing you limp (sorry!)…:):):)
Sending Healing thoughts on your way!

#101 Uh Oh Canada on 02.03.14 at 12:20 am

Garth,

As a get well present, I would like to present you with a handmade- you guessed it- squirrel hat. The fur came from local Montreal squirrels, so therefore I have added a fleur-de-lis on the front.

#102 Lee on 02.03.14 at 12:23 am

@ 83 Shawn

I think we should deny care to anyone not willing to wear specially designed bubble wrap suits since they clearly aren’t doing all they can to not get injured.

What does Not 1st have against Heliskiing and Spelunking anyway? At least while you’re heliskiing you won’t be driving in a car, those things are deathtraps.

‘We take risk not to escape life, but to keep life from escaping.’

#103 45north on 02.03.14 at 12:27 am

Ellen, whose job it was to tube me up for surgery said when she started there in 1985 a gunshot wound might be seen once every two years – and only then as the result of a hunting accident. “Now they are rolling here daily. It’s all drug wars.”

that got my attention

angry realtor : RE is falling apart right now seems to me that a real estate agent who comes out with a candid comment would be subject to severe sanctions except that an “angry realtor” cannot be identified.

Bob Copeland : I was told it’s against the law in Canada because maybe the slackers couldn’t afford it so the rich can’t have it.

dog in the manger
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dog_in_the_Manger

Andrew Woburn : The things that worry me more than an imminent USD currency crash is the growing antagonism between China and Japan and the very murky world of derivatives.

that’s two things. Of the two, the growing antagonism between China and Japan is what worries me.

#104 LS in Arbutus on 02.03.14 at 12:32 am

Court ordered sale on the west side, 2 blocks from my place…. never seen this in my ‘hood before:

http://www.realtylink.org/prop_search/Detail.cfm?areatitle=&ARPK=&ComID=&agentid=&MLS=V1044568&rowc=4&rowp=1&BCD=GV&imdp=9&RSPP=5&AIDL=27&SRTB=P_Price&ERTA=False&MNAGE=0&MXAGE=200&MNBT=0&MNBD=0&PTYTID=5&MNPRC=200000&MXPRC=99900000&SCTP=RS

#105 Infused with Opiates on 02.03.14 at 12:34 am

I have what you need…..

Gotta go, the Broncos are calling……

#106 WTFiswrong on 02.03.14 at 12:46 am

Why is nobody talking about the TTP ? Does anybody know what this is? Ross Perot said ” Do you hear that sucking sound ? Those are your jobs leaving this country” in regards to NAFTA . Well look this one up its been described as NAFTA on Steroids. If this passes we’ll be making the toys for Walmart to ship to China soon ! What kind of health care do you think we shall have then.

#107 Yuus bin Haad on 02.03.14 at 12:58 am

Pain masks pain – you don’t want the name of “big pharma” carved into your skin.

#108 tedfiftyfour on 02.03.14 at 1:02 am

Good time to have critical illness in place. for not a whole lot monthly premium you are covered for $50k $75K, sure takes the sting out of surprise health events especially if such an event was to interrupt your financial plans.

Good to know your on the mend and devoted to your blog dogs with no interruption to your posts.
You are a true warrior.

#109 Woke To The Sounds Of Horking on 02.03.14 at 1:31 am

For those mindlessly parroting the ‘Best health care system on Earth’ mantra, suck on this:
I’m an expat living in Bangkok, Thailand. My buddy went to an international-standard hospital to see what could be done about his bone spurs.
First, he saw a doctor IMMEDIATELY, as there aren’t so many drug war gang shootings in Bangkok or people slipping on ice, or people panicking over runny noses.
Second, a comprehensive slate of tests and x-rays using brand-new gear was done.
Third, doc says, ‘So do you want to undergo the surgery…TODAY?’ Buddy couldn’t believe it, so much so that he couldn’t take the surgery appointment same day.
(Incidentally, the bill was around $300 for the consult, tests, x-rays, etc.)

#110 would-be buyer on 02.03.14 at 1:34 am

Wow, average prices in Vancouver hit yet another record:
http://www.yattermatters.com/2014/02/vancouver-average-price-at-full-gallop/#more-36610

I have put off buying since 2005 because I thought we we’re in a bubble. This “bubble” has been relentless. If a crash does not occur, then I have been priced out of Vancouver. If a crash does not occur, I truly regret that I did not buy in 2010, when I first considered buy a SFH. I’d be 30% up and have no issue with a moderate correction.

You are now calling for a long drawn out correction. That’s crap to us in Vancouver. Had we bought 10 or even 5 years ago, we would have bought at much cheaper house prices with record low interest rates. It’s now too late for us.

#111 bill on 02.03.14 at 1:37 am

It will be far more pleasant at home.I am happy to hear the operation is over and done with.
I was puzzled by one of your comments though:
get care for Bandit?
did Bandit sustain an injury?
or was this more for walks and feeding while you convalesce ?
happy to hear its the brake side.

#112 Steve French on 02.03.14 at 2:07 am

*** DELETED ***

WT ?*F$#&* ?!

Not again?

Even SM gets past the censors. And his spelling is atrocious.

#113 Marco Polo on 02.03.14 at 2:26 am

Garth,

I hate to break the bad news, but the Harley will have to go. Replaced by a bike with sidecar to hold the busted leg. Or, better still, a Bombardier tricycle. You’ll look new age, hipster, and metrosexual all at the same time.

On a serious note, I notice the increasing number of ‘decent’ properties here in Edmonton that are on Comfree, or with a no-name agent from a no-name company. Maybe Loblaws will end up doing RE when this all declines.

Trouble is, if we’re to believe CREA stats, and prices have been always going up since 2009, wouldn’t a seller just dump it on a realtor and still make profits regardless?

It seems this is no longer the case. Real slummy properties are going to good realtors. Houses that don’t sell themselves, and need a professional. Beware of ‘quaint’ and ‘cozy’ these are buzzwords for ‘old’ and ‘drafty’.

#114 Annie on 02.03.14 at 2:31 am

Increasing money into healhcare will not make it better.
There are too many inefficiencies
To manage front line workers , there is a disproportionate number of highly paid managers who sit around at meetings day in and out.
As well , each meeting , the same items are brought up again and again because members did not do the work to follow up on the action plan.
I used to go to those meetings until,I retired.
I was one of the few that prepared and was ready .
It blew my mind how many others did nothing and got paid ver big bucks
Ever check out HospitalCEO salaries.?
Thing about all the front line staff you could hire on one CEO salary.
There is no need to have a CEO in every hospital in the GTA
The Alberta model has one for all the hospitals in the province.

#115 FATHER on 02.03.14 at 2:33 am

The great bearded one with cowboy boots on a vespa now that ain’t cool

#116 mpo on 02.03.14 at 2:54 am

Garth,

You have missed a great opportunity to be a medical pioneer/guinea pig here. Rather than waiting around under those miserable conditions, you could have jetted off to India, and been under the knife within a few days at most. The standard of care would have been more than satisfactory.
You never know, many others might have chosen to follow your path, and the government might then even choose to outsource some of its expensive patients.
It worked with BPO call centers, why not medicine? Maybe even a new acronym here….MPO.
Just think how much more interesting your blog would have been as well!

#117 Bailing in BC on 02.03.14 at 3:09 am

#69 Julia
Sorry to hear about your cancer. Best of luck to you with your treatment and recovery. Look after yourself and enjoy Paris.

Garth all the best to you for a speedy recovery. I’m not going to google fracture blisters, because frankly, I don’t want to know. I’m just going to imagine that they are horrendous and leave it at that.

#118 Jane 24 on 02.03.14 at 4:32 am

Yes Garth remember that old folk don’t bounce as well as young ones.

Anyway I told you guys that I would report back on my experiences at using an internet only RE agent for the sale of our house in England. First time experiment for us. Company is called house simple, check it on the web. They load your home on all the British property websites and there are a lot of them as agency MLS doesn’t exist here.

Anyway the results were:
2 weeks on market.
4 offers
sold for full list price
moving in 6 weeks.

Commission pre-paid up front was $919 Cdn on a $650,000 Cdn cost of the house. They include a sign and all arranging of viewing and offer negotiation and send a local professional photographer for the snaps. Best house photos we have ever had done. Open 8 am to 8pm, seven days a week too. Very impressive.

Now have an internet lawyer – front office in this county, back office in India and I’ll report on how that works too.

Something for the Canadian market to consider maybe.

#119 Buy? Curious? on 02.03.14 at 5:06 am

Garth, after reading that, I almost brought up my 2lbs of chicken wings. That’s horrible. I feel guilty now joking about how it seems that you’re outsourcing your photos to Eastern Europeans. Damn copyright laws! I hate them.

Though, like most of your posts, it got me thinking. You mentioned that (and I’m paraphrasing) that the biggest danger to old geezers like yourself is running out of money. But what about the geezers that have way TOO MUCH money? You can’t take it with you. What’s the point of making all that money? I know you’re not one of those A-hole 1%ers like that douchebag, Tommy Perkins who compared 1%ers to Jews in Nazi Germany, but you’re closer to them than most people are (financially speaking), what are you going to do with it. Anyone who gives their inheritence to charity is stupid and can safely assume that their legacey will be that their work was for nothing. You must have $10million or so kicking around. Why don’t you travel, get some hookers/nurses and live it up before you really get old and can’t do anything? But stay away from booze! That sheet is nasty! I have no idea why that gateway drug is legal. Smoke pot or better yet, get yourself a vapourizer! You inhale less carbon and you save so much money! Money that you can use to tip the nurses with!

Get well, my older brotha from anotha mutha!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzuvQXDUybE

#120 Forzudo on 02.03.14 at 7:12 am

Main Stream Media: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rethinking-the-home-ownership-dream-1.2519201

#121 late learner on 02.03.14 at 7:20 am

I am having a rental pain. Moving from one bedroom to twod bedroom as the child is getting bigger.
Viewed a place on JAN 15. Previous tennant had a cat and I am allergic to cat. Landlord promised to clean everything throughly and we signed the contract with a moving date on Feb 1st. Tennent moved on Jan 26. When we went to get the key on Feb 1st, nothing was cleaned. Things were falling apart. When i commented, land lord said that he expected perevious tennent was supposed to cleaned and promised to clean by today. We went there and it is still not move in ready–spider on the celling, cat stench in the carpet, rusty bathroom. etc….we signed a one year lease 15 days ago on a promise that it would be cleaned. I could not move in yet—was suppose to move in Feb 1st—because it in not cleaned by our standard.
Dont know what to do. I live in Surrey. thinking of letting go of deposit and cancelling of the contract because i am allergic to cat. I have taken the key but not moved in yet and paying the rent at both places. How strong is my case if my let go of my depost—yes it is that bad.

#122 Adam Smith on 02.03.14 at 7:32 am

Garth! I’m a big fan of yours. You are basically the reason I’m not going to buy a big house even though society says I should.

Please though, tell me what I should think about this:

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

This guy is the father of Reaganomics and I feel his words have weight. What does it mean that the US government is shorting gold? Should I start buying yuan or euros or what? I need your assistance, my broken kneed friend. Help the youth! Nobody else is.

#123 RVP on 02.03.14 at 7:44 am

@ pinstripe#8:

“Harpo et al have created policies to cushion the Canadian worker whereas the US decimated the middle class by eliminating the high paying jobs by moving those jobs off shore where the pay and benefits were a fraction of the US pay and benefits. ”

Is this comment meant to be sarcastic? The Conservatives are standing up for Canadian workers and oppose the offshoring of jobs? Have you heard of something called the Temporary Foreign Worker program?

#124 RVP on 02.03.14 at 7:54 am

In BC under the BC Liberals, Public-Private Partnerships when you really dig always seem to be about subsidizing private profit with public money–great solution for our healthcare system! The BC Liberals just finished spending mega bucks on a new wing of the Surrey Memorial Hospital with a new Emergency Room. Within one week of the new ER opening up, patients were being treated in hallways and closets. Oh yeah, P3s will solve healthcare alright. If you believe that, I’ve got a P3 toll bridge to sell you.

#125 RVP on 02.03.14 at 8:09 am

Doesn’t our problem with health care go back to baby boomers’ greed? During their prime earning years in the 80s and 90s they cut taxes to such a degree that now that they are entering their golden years and becoming more dependent on society, the social programs that elderly people rely on (healthcare, CPP) are underfunded right at a time when the biggest demographic bulge is going to increase demand for these programs. The baby boomers also jacked up tuition rates for the younger generations (we got affordable education but that doesn’t mean the young should) and offshored jobs and made every job something that is credentialized that you have to go to school for. They depressed entry level wages. The supported house inflation policies. They basically severely crippled the younger generations ability to be productive workers who pay taxes that support things like health care and CPP. I see the baby boomer health care crisis as a crisis generated by the boomers themselves as a side effect of their greed in the 80s and 90s when they simply wanted to take too much out of the system without putting enough back in so that future generations would be able to support them.

#126 Sean on 02.03.14 at 8:48 am

Good to hear you’re on the mend, Garth.. cripes, what a ride!

As someone who now lives abroad, enjoying very good private health care (at a cost of course)… it sometimes seems to me that we frame the discussion with a local lack of objectivity.

We all agree that Canada has very good health care, but that the system is overwhelmed to the point of being almost broken. With the benefit of vantage, I would suggest that the outcomes are good primarily because Canadians are competent, hard working, caring people… there is absolutely nothing that suggests that those same traits would not exist in a semi-private system. It is not BECAUSE of a socialist system that our doctors and nurses are caring and are professional, it is because they are CANADIAN!

#127 live within your means on 02.03.14 at 9:21 am

#49 Bob Copeland on 02.02.14 at 8:15 pm
I wish you all the best in your recovery. ….. A full body MRI scan saved my life. It showed 2 anurisms in my aorta. I paid for the scan due to a newspaper article. Insurance wouldn’t cover it because “I didn’t need it”.
I found out from a Canadian doctor that there’s a 12+ month wait for an elected MRI scan. I offered to buy one and set up a business doing scans. Here we can get a $99 scan and the results are sent to your doctor. I was told it’s against the law in Canada because maybe the slackers couldn’t afford it so the rich can’t have it.

…………………….

You can get an MRI at a private clinic where I live in Canada. Eleven years ago I was willing to pay for one – $1000.+ then. Specialist said it would not help in my case. I go for CT scans regularly. Province now has it’s own MRI but am sure the waiting list is long.

I got an appt. w/an ortho surgeon for my back within 2 months but have no idea how long the wait time would be for an operation. It would be a last resort for me tho. My Blue Cross coverage only pays $500. annually for physio/chiro services but I can afford to pay the remainder. We do have dental & vision care w/them too but it has it’s limits. We have a Seniors’ Pharmacare Program when you reach 65. I pay an annual premium plus a co-payment for prescription drugs, etc. & can deduct these from my income taxes, IIRC. Haven’t done our taxes for a few years now.

BTW, I remember when Canada didn’t have a medicare system. You were up the creek without a paddle unless you worked for a company who had a plan or could afford to pay for private insurance. I’ll take the system we currently have even with all it’s wrinkles.

Next door neighbour’s son went to India for knee surgery last year due to the long wait list here. Had excellent service & care after. He did lots of research & it was far cheaper than getting it done in the US even with the travel costs.

#128 -=jwk=- on 02.03.14 at 9:33 am

had to respond to the troll, sorry.
@ #13

We would be better off learning from the world leaders, mostly European countries. They succeed to provide better hospital conditions, way shorter waiting times and high quality of care for less money. All these countries, no exception, have a public-private system.>

Absolutely, totally, false. No exception. The only country that is (arguably) better than Canada is netherlands. They are so small (geography and population) they have a single nation wide computer system that everyones uses, paid for by taxes from the general pool. That gives them an continuity of care advantage. Ontario was attempting to do the same, but it a weird hands off way that will never work. The other countries with private components (germany, uk best examples) show the wealthy get great service, the poor lousy which average out to about Canada numbers…

#129 jess on 02.03.14 at 9:43 am

volume vs quality —

away from reimbursing hospitals on a fee-for-service
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/01/10/maryland-changes-unique-hospital-rate-system/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21611-skills-gap-a-convenient-myth

#130 Castaway on 02.03.14 at 9:44 am

#13 Tripp on 02.02.14 at 6:15 pm
We tirelessly compare our healthcare sytem with the one in US in a war of the losers.

We would be better off learning from the world leaders, mostly European countries. They succeed to provide better hospital conditions, way shorter waiting times and high quality of care for less money. All these countries, no exception, have a public-private system.

It is time for Canada to take the ideology and the emotions out of healthcare. The longer we keep the status quo, the more serious the consequences.

#27 Cici on 02.02.14 at 6:55 pm
#12 Tripp,

Unfortunately, what works well in Europe will fail in North America, because our version of capitalism is downright savage, and their are no rules or regulations to oversee corruption on the back tax payers.

Great post Tripp. Your closing point is only reinforced by Cici’s typical emotional response.

What most people fail to realize is that with the coming shift in demographics it will be impossible for the Cnd, or any government, to fund healthcare via taxes. Even if they tax everyone 100%! This will be further compounded as life expectancy increases.

A new approach is needed. If you think the wait lines and burdens on the health practitioners are bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet! We need some leadership in govt. First step, accept that our system is not the best in the world. Not even close.

#131 jess on 02.03.14 at 9:51 am

68 Andrew Woburn

you might like to read this one

Jamie Dimon’s $10 Million Raise is a “Common Sense” Fraud Reward
Posted on February 1, 2014 by Devin Smith | 2 Comments
By William K. Black

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/

#132 Tripp on 02.03.14 at 9:54 am

#94 Whinepegger

I do get out, even out of N. america on a regular basis.

Never been to Winnipeg, however I was under the impression that you guys are somewhat better in Pacific and Western. Sorry to hear it isn’t so.

#133 James on 02.03.14 at 10:15 am

#110 would-be buyer

Thats your fault for believing the bubble hype. High demand areas are well high demand.

#134 cj on 02.03.14 at 10:26 am

New home starts plunged 9.8% in December. Permits for future starts fell 3.0%. New home sales fell 7% to 414,000, considerably worse than the consensus forecast of 455,000.

Existing home sales in the 4th quarter were down 27.9% from the same quarter of 2012. Mortgage applications continued their sharp decline since last May, ending December at the lowest level in 13 years.

This week it was reported that Pending Home Sales plunged 8.7% in December, to the lowest level in two years.

Housing’s cheerleaders, mostly from within the industry, are blaming it on a lack of inventory, not enough homes available.

That excuse doesn’t make any sense at all given that the average number of days a home sat on the market last month increased from 56 days to 72 days.

A shortage of available homes for sale would have those that are available moving much more quickly, not significantly slower, if demand was still there.

A more likely explanation comes from the National Association of Realtors ‘Home Affordability Index’. It has dropped to a five-year low, as incomes are not keeping up with increases in mortgage rates, home prices, and other home ownership costs. Forbes reports “experts predict the trend will continue in 2014”.

Let’s hope the numbers begin to turn around, since the housing recovery was one of the strongest aspects of the economy last year, boosting household wealth and therefore confidence, and creating the biggest gains in jobs creation.

#135 cj on 02.03.14 at 10:27 am

that info was for the US…if things slow down in there that could potentially expedite things here

#136 desperatehouseseeker on 02.03.14 at 10:56 am

Well so far put offer on three different properties in northern Brampton area (north of Bovaird) all three sold above asking and with in 5 Days on market. This year is shaping out to be the same as previous years , bidding wars. It seems there is an endless supply of buyers even this year.

#137 live within your means on 02.03.14 at 10:59 am

#69 Julia on 02.02.14 at 9:01 pm
I just found out the other day that i have a tumour in my bladder. My wait time for surgery is only two weeks.
………………….

All the best for a good outcome. Enjoy that week in Paris. Such a beautiful city.

#138 Franco on 02.03.14 at 11:09 am

Whatever happened to the Utopian future we were promised back in early High School?

#139 Herb on 02.03.14 at 11:22 am

#91 Ottawa Mike,

so how did Ottawa wind up as “the place fun forgot”?

#140 Tripp on 02.03.14 at 11:29 am

#128 -=jwk=-

Troll??! jwk, I worked and/or lived in Holland, Germany and Romania for years. First hand experience with the German healthcare made me believe they are well ahead of us. Yes, their rich may get even better care, but what do you think our rich are getting? Months of waiting on some never-ending list? No jwk, they also hop in a car or on a plane and go to Mayo, Cleveland, NY or Syracuse. Some even go to Europe or Asia. So yes, our rich also spend their money on healthcare, it is just happening outside of the country because they have near zero options to do it in Canada; we all loose at the benefit of countries that have private care.

However my personal experience (just like yours) can only generate anecdotal evidence, therefore you may want to check some facts and figures:

http://www.iedm.org/files/presentation220213.pdf

http://healthydebate.ca/2012/02/topic/innovation/how-does-canada-compare

http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_339.pdf

http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-best-health-care-system-the-numbers-say-otherwise/article5577290/

#141 Daisy Mae on 02.03.14 at 11:29 am

#39 Bob Copeland: “Insurance wouldn’t cover it because “I didn’t need it”.”

************************

You can now prove that you DID need the MRI. Perhaps you can be reimbursed?

#142 eddy on 02.03.14 at 11:46 am

@#13 Tripp on 02.02.14 at 6:15 pm

We tirelessly compare our healthcare sytem with the one in US in a war of the losers.

We would be better off learning from the world leaders, mostly European countries. They succeed to provide better hospital conditions, way shorter waiting times and high quality of care for less money. All these countries, no exception, have a public-private system.

—–

this is an interesting blog-

http://balvis.com/nic/?p=913

#143 G Man on 02.03.14 at 11:58 am

You need to wash down those pills with Canadian Whisky. Afterall, 200 years ago that is all any doctor had. Good for pain, lighting fires, sterilizing wounds, running a car, and such – and that may be the case a few years from now.

#144 recharts on 02.03.14 at 11:59 am

Summary of the fabricated bidding wars in To

http://i.imgur.com/KcFD1ix.jpg

Avg price for properties sold 7% over asking price was 752K :-)) :-)) That is so lame for bidding wars, not even the To Average price

#145 :):(Ying Yang on 02.03.14 at 12:06 pm

#96 Smoking Man on 02.03.14 at 12:02 am
We all have a one way ticket toward death. We have but a microscopic sliver of time in the scheme of the big picture.
Why worry is how I roll. It’s abvious. Worry is an emotion programmed into you by people that require your Labour.
I fear no man God or beast.
I could care less about running, health, doing the right thing to prolong existence when I know a wheel flying of a truck could instantly end it.
Party till you drop is the only way to live.
……………………………………………………………………

Happy Chinese New Year Smoking Man. I had to fly out to be with the Parents for New Year. We watched floats on Pender Street out in Vancouver. The Year of the horse. Keep that in mind when trading this year! How is the writing course going? By the way don’t’ party like Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It may be fun but your not going to like the ending.

#146 say it ain't so on 02.03.14 at 12:25 pm

i’m wondering, as the DOW breaks it’s uptrend line from 2009, as it breaks down below it’s 200 day MA, as it forms non-confirming peaks and momentum collapses … , as economic numbers from the US get worse and worse.. are you going to keep telling people to buy stocks? or are you going to be honest with them ?

I never did. — Garth

#147 Herb on 02.03.14 at 12:36 pm

Glad it’s over but the healing, Garth, but you are a Bad News Bear!

First, you show how easy it is to put yourself almost out of commission pursuing an innocuous activity. Then you write up your trials and tribulations as a patient in the Centre of the Universe. Well, I’m supposed to move there (or to a place near there) this year.

Breathing the same air as Rob Ford and Smoking Man would be bad enough, but standing-room-only ERs and extended waits for essential treatment could be deal breakers in the relocation decision of a budding wrinkly. There are things I detest about the Nation’s Capital, but the healthcare I’ve experienced here is not one of them.

Incidentally, Sunnybrook is the first hospital I was ever admitted to. It was a military hospital then, with all the clockwork that implies. And I remember fondly the long, pleasant walks past it from Mt. Pleasant up the hill to No. 6 Personnel Depot during the summer I enrolled there.

#148 aprilNewwest on 02.03.14 at 12:39 pm

cj #134 – Why would we want “the numbers to turn around” when most home prices are massively over inflated?

#149 PJ on 02.03.14 at 12:51 pm

Dow -1000 points since taper has begun. Worse to come.
Panic in the market will force Yellen to reverse taper, and will increase QE. Fun times ahead.

#150 Bottoms_Up on 02.03.14 at 12:57 pm

#121 late learner on 02.03.14 at 7:20 am
———————————————
Don’t move in and threaten to take the landlord to court if they don’t return your deposit.

#151 Rabbit One on 02.03.14 at 1:04 pm

#140 Tripp, #130 Castaway

How frustrating to explain Medi care system outside Canada, that is the biggest problems in this country.

Agreed with Tripp’s comment.
>It is time for Canada to take the ideology and the emotions out of healthcare.

Some peple get offended to hear Canada is not the number one.

We can take baby steps.

With current system and law, it is diffecult to implement public & private services, but small user fees (just about OTC drug fee, like $5 to $10) should reduce long wait time on any walk in clinic.
(for those in low-income category, to waive or refund of the fees, something like that)

Also problems might be some family doctors hesitate to refer patients to specialists.
Friends of mine, needed to see family doctors so many times and complained how much they suffered before they get to sit at specilist’s office.
Also, many specilists’ office hours are so limited, like 2~3 days a week, closes at 2pm.
Causing long wait time just to see speclialists.
(My family’s non-emergency – but necessary – doctor’s appointment was 8 month away, and it was recently cancelled by dorctors’ office and told to extend another 2 month. I live in B.C.)

Since we cannot knock on specialist’s door in current system, family doctor’s job is to assess patients, refer as fast as possible to the right specialists, specialists to work longer hours, more accesible, (probably cheaper to government), what do you think..?

#152 OttawaMike on 02.03.14 at 1:10 pm

#139 Herb on 02.03.14 at 11:22 am

#91 Ottawa Mike,

so how did Ottawa wind up as “the place fun forgot”?
——————————————————–
Herb,
Ottawa used up its entire fun allotment in the first half of the 1800’s during the Bytown era.

It has no more to give.

#153 James on 02.03.14 at 1:12 pm

#144 recharts on 02.03.14 at 11:59 am

What is the point? Rates are staying low for a very long time until it won’t (ie 10years). The best bet is going into housing when rates are which means price will continue move higher until the rate of increase slows down.

#154 Bottoms_Up on 02.03.14 at 1:14 pm

#69 Julia on 02.02.14 at 9:01 pm
————————————————
Hi Julia, sorry to hear about the bladder tumour they found. As you said, hopefully it’s removable and/or curable.

You’ve probably found lots of information, but here is a site that clearly outlines some of the causative agents.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/bladder/riskfactors/

#155 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 02.03.14 at 1:15 pm

If you need a lawyer for an accident, this guy is certainly motivated.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/02/03/jamie_casino_super_bowl_ad_local_savannah_attorney_runs_epic_2_minute_commercial.html

#156 pinstripe on 02.03.14 at 1:17 pm

#123..RVP posted

The Conservatives are standing up for Canadian workers and oppose the offshoring of jobs? Have you heard of something called the Temporary Foreign Worker program?

———————————————————–

It depends on which side of the fence the eyeballs are focused with their observation.

The facts are that it is Big Money vs Labour. If it wasn’t for the Strong Union position in Canada, the middle class labour force would be identical to the US, where a tradesman is earning about 15 dollars per hour with minimum benefits. In Fort Mac, the TFW are brought in to replace high pay workers with overall lower pay and minimum benefits with all of their paycheck going out of the country.

Yes, Harpo et al is not moving jobs offshore, but he cannot stop the movement of jobs to the US. Harpo will do whatever Big Money dictates and to crush the middle class is an unwritten objective. The progress is slow but steady.

The main metric for a politician is to get re-elected. Standing up for the worker is not a metric for Harpo et al.

#157 Tripp on 02.03.14 at 1:19 pm

#142 eddy

Eddy, interesting and heartbreaking blog. I can relate since I had close relatives with cancer.

Europe has over 700 million people in 50+6 countries, with various degrees of development. If you check my links above you will notice that most of the top scoring countries are from Europe; that does not mean all of the countries on the continent have a great healthcare.

#158 Godth on 02.03.14 at 1:32 pm

#138 Franco

Whatever happened to the Utopian future we were promised back in early High School?
——————————————————
Coming in 2045
http://2045.com/manifest/

#159 bentoverpayingtaxes on 02.03.14 at 1:37 pm

Not possible to feel sorry for you mate…as you are the co-author of your own misery. You refuse to recognize the truth about why it takes you and other Canadians weeks, months and even years for healthcare. You’re damned lucky you didn’t have to face an amputation because of the delay.

The nurse says innocently “You should have never got blisters. Ideally you should have been to the OR within 2-3 days and had your fracture fixed… way before the blistering. I’m very sorry but the system failed you. ”

While at the same time voting her union card for higher wages and more perks….so that more than 100% of all revenue goes to them instead of the health care system.

But you still refuse to voice what every Canadian knows…that we are getting ripped off by the unions enforcement ( with a liberal appointed judiciary) of a collusion that has brought about and maintains the farce of a health care system.

You were only lucky you didn’t have an amputation forced on you…..what about the thousands of patients who die every year due to this fiasco? And yet you stay quiet after having being fortunate enough to have been granted a voice? You maintain the status quo in favour of the very people whose pension scheme would have sawed off your leg instead of taking a dime less ? Next time I hear the unions bellyache about the system being underfunded I’m going to reply by saying that the current broken system is OK with Garth.

#160 john on 02.03.14 at 1:42 pm

136 desperatehouseseeker

Lmfao who are you kidding?
Nothing is selling in brampton and prices keep falling and if you want to sell (we know you do) you will have to reduce your price. Even after price reductions you may not sell. Lol brampton bidding wars…you are killing me.

#161 recharts on 02.03.14 at 1:44 pm

Summary of the fabricated bidding wars in To

http://i.imgur.com/KcFD1ix.jpg

Avg price for properties sold 7% over asking price was 752K :-)) :-)) That is so lame for bidding wars, not even the To Average price

Funny thing: homes that sold for < 95% of the asking $ had a higher avg price $1,092M http://i.imgur.com/EGFeDE6.jpg

#162 Dupcheck on 02.03.14 at 2:00 pm

Looks like the market hatched a chicken today. It is funny how the election of the new bank governor sends the markets 250 points down. People forget the governor is just a puppet. The rules are set by others, the puppet just reads the memo. Good opportunity to buy I guess.

#163 Time has come today on 02.03.14 at 2:02 pm

If you think hospitals are bad, visit a care home.

You may want to have a hot load with your own name on it, just in case you ever end up in one.

There is no soft landing.

#164 PoltawaDiva on 02.03.14 at 2:05 pm

There is no doubt that better use can be made of available health care dollars. Two years ago I sprained my ankle at 4:00 pm (yes, I confess, it was a stupident). By 7:00 it was swollen and very painful, so got driven to Georgetown hospital ER to have it xrayed to see if it was broken. By 8:00 was seen by nurse, info taken, etc. etc. True, they were experiencing their usual busy times. Didn’t get to see a doctor until 10:00, who informed me that their xrays close down for the night at 9:00. Go to your primary care physician tomorrow to get a requisition slip to get an xray at a lab (or come back to ER!!!).
Not only did I waste 3 hours in the ER (hey, my time doesn’t have any value), but OHIP paid for my visit to the doctor for that piece of paper. I could have been 1./ xrayed at 8:00, and then waited to see the doctor, or 2./the hospital MD could have issued me the requisition for an xray. Too simple?

#165 frank le skank on 02.03.14 at 2:06 pm

Your on-going commitment to this blog is commendable and greatly appreciated for addicts such as myself. Thanks for the free information and not exposing us to a constant barrage pop-ups and online marketing.

#166 TnT on 02.03.14 at 2:10 pm

#121 late learner

Don’t sweat the small stuff in life..

No one will ever clean to your specifications better than you anyways, and in a few days you won’t even think about it…

#167 45north on 02.03.14 at 2:11 pm

Sean I would suggest that the outcomes are good primarily because Canadians are competent, hard working, caring people… there is absolutely nothing that suggests that those same traits would not exist in a semi-private system.

every time I hear a politician pronounce some new caring system I think the result will be the opposite. Once the policy is declared then laws are written and a bureaucracy is put in place to write regulations and put the program in operation. Rules are contested and court cases are decided. Rules are re-written, bureaucracy adapts. The body of laws, regulations gets bigger, costs go up.

cj: This week it was reported that Pending Home Sales plunged 8.7% in December, to the lowest level in two years.

you know this is the first time I have ever heard of “pending sales” in Canada. Mark Hanson writing about the US talks about pending sales all the time. I don’t believe there are any stats on pending sales?

#168 TnT on 02.03.14 at 2:13 pm

#110 would-be buyer

You Sir have been Garthed….

#169 Old Man on 02.03.14 at 2:25 pm

I had no idea that the surgery was delayed and what is taking place in hospitals today. In 2000 needed minor eye surgery for a cataract; lens replacement; and the surgeon adjusted my eye for perfect vision with this waiting list for about 12 months. Here is my tip for the day, and pay attention, as my surgeon was the best, so all wanted him thus the waiting list. I placed myself on stand-by for a cancellation, and it happens fast so lots of running around within 24 hours for preparation like a military exercise. I was moved from one year to an immediate status the next day to get things done, and even had to hire a nurse to meet me at the hospital for the taxi ride home as could not leave without an escort.

#170 Nurse Prof on 02.03.14 at 2:27 pm

I practiced nursing and then taught nursing for *mumble, mumble* years and now I’m a retired wrinkly boomer. The most expensive item on the bill of any hospital stay is nursing care. That’s why the health system wants to get rid of as many nurses as possible and replace them with six-week wonders who do one task only, such as “med techs” who pass pills and “bath techs” who give baths. I’ve worked with such people in the States and Canada. At first, all of us RNs thought, “Isn’t this GREAT?? No more baths!” and then they fired half of the nurses. Those of us who were left had to spend most of our time running after those “techs” and asking, “How did the dressing in 301 look?” and “When you gave the digoxin to 320, was the pulse above 60?” and being told, “I do baths, lady, nothing else.” I didn’t have time to even go into the rooms of all the patients I had been assigned. I hope no one died, but I have no way of knowing.

Now, my former students tell me things are even worse. RNs are being replaced by LPNs and aides. These are great people, but are being asked to do things they are not trained to do. Fewer nurses, sicker patients, and outsourced services like food and the cleaning of OR instruments.

Garth, you should never have had to suffer as you did. You should have been in surgery for open reduction and internal fixation within a few hours of your accident. You could have thrown a blood clot out of that mess that, had it landed in your heart would have been an MI, in your lung would have been a pulmonary embolus, and in your brain, would have been a stroke. Any one of these could have killed you. You’re damn lucky, my friend.

But you could still die from this. The risk of infection is extremely high because they waited so long and because the blisters burst. I hope they put you on serious antibiotics, and I hope that none of the organisms that are now growing inside your leg are resistant super-bugs. They sent you home quickly so that any complications now could be blamed on you. Take your temperature three times a day. Pay attention when the dressing is changed. Look for redness, another sign of infection, and feel it for heat. If the leg begins to hurt A LOT more and throb when you hold it down below the level of your heart, TELL SOMEONE, because they’ll have to change the antibiotics. This is serious, Garth, and no one is going to be on your side. You’re going to have to practice medicine on your own, without a license, in order to get through this safely.

#171 happity on 02.03.14 at 2:42 pm

God speed garth.

By the way, the USA stock market renaissance is looking pretty sore today, you think it’s still just a natural correction of something more?

30% gain last yer. Why not a correction this year? — Garth

#172 Sheane Wallace on 02.03.14 at 2:47 pm

It seems the stock market would drop easily from now on with at least another 10-15 %. Could be more. Unless some major announcement of more QE comes out. As for positive news there is none expected.

The question is: Should I convert to Swiss frank and a little gold and sit on the sidelines?

There is blood on the emerging markets.

Then buy. What a classic question. — Garth

#173 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 02.03.14 at 2:58 pm

Speedy recovery mon ami! The only consolation is that you are in Canada and you did get prompt access to a much needed surgical solution. My brothers wife had a heart attack in Florida. They live there, he has dual citizenship and she is American by birth. He has a fairly comprehensive health care package. She was in the hospital for two weeks and two days. One week in ICU. They decided to do a few stints and told her that perhaps a by-pass in the future for her. Total cost $485,793.23. Did you notice the 0.23 cents that they had to total in there? As if it made a difference. My brothers program paid for everything except $8000.00 deductible. However she has had to go for constant checkups and stress tests, heart tests, and who knows whatever other test they can think of . Each one of those tests, NOT COVERED! Each one of those tests clocks in around $1000.00 to $1200.00. The specialist visits NOT COVERED! Each time you see one of these guys that basically tells you your pooched, $400.00 to $600.00. So far after the heart attack the post costs are approaching around $14000.00. My brother said thank God he has his health care plan. Oh yes I forgot as of January every year they have an automatic deductible of around $2000.00 that just starts on some of the GP stuff for your everyday crap. Yes you have choices in the USA for heath care, it is very good care, however if you do not have the correct health care package then your screwed. Ive often said we should privatize our system but make it mandatory that hospitals and doctors have a minimum level of care and wait times for those who can not afford any other costs. In other words nobody should have to suffer an inordinate amount of time waiting for healthcare issues to be resolved. Only mortal issues should be exempt from the free market system. Oh well just an idea!

#174 Westcdn on 02.03.14 at 3:13 pm

I thought this Fear & Greed Index was interesting. http://money.cnn.com/data/fear-and-greed/
A quote – “buy when people are selling” comes to mind however I will wait until I see market sediment turn well into positive territory. There has been a slew of poor global economic news recently and I was burned by the Great Financial Crisis. Good time to have cash available – lets see what February brings.

#175 The Patient on 02.03.14 at 3:46 pm

#89 OttawaMike

“Just don’t let the oil go down by more than a litre.”

Mike, are you crazy? I don’t let it go down by more than a few heaping tablespoons. You don’t get 200,000+ kms out of that sublime motor without spoiling it with loving affection. Enjoy that bike of yours. It’s one of The Great Ones…

P.S. Glad to hear it’s brakeside, Garth.

#176 Sheane Wallace on 02.03.14 at 4:15 pm

Then buy. What a classic question. — Garth
——————————
Buy emerging markets? Now?

I bought at much lower prices, the question is should I sell now to protect my profits. To buy I must leverage (get loan) but in this environment…

#177 Old Man on 02.03.14 at 4:29 pm

Mr. Turner is right, as just got off the phone with Bonnie who comes to my residence to cut my hair for like $23.00, and no can do as she is scheduled for heart surgery. She has rolled all her clients off to a gal called Lois, as went to hair dressing school together, and get a pass as will tell her am not an old pervert, and pay in cash; so can phone Lois after 4:00 PM. and all is well. Now had to email the grocery guy as set up a mutual business deal with Bonnie for a kickback in business, so now have to deal with Lois; damn its hard to make an honest dollar anymore :)

#178 Contentment on 02.03.14 at 4:42 pm

#43 Smoking Man’s Old Man on 02.02.14 at 7:48 pm

I do agree and I feel the same contentment, too.

However, were ‘contentment’ to gain a foothold among a wider (than the 1%) audience, our consumption-driven, capitalist economy would likely grind to a halt. After all, what’s the use of money and credit if nobody wants to buy anything.

Alwyn

#179 Dupcheck on 02.03.14 at 4:44 pm

Stock market does what it does. It is there to serve us not to tell us what to do. If you are in for the long term, there is nothing to worry about. Today’s drop is based on speculation no real numbers.

#180 Shawn on 02.03.14 at 4:48 pm

Failure to listen?

146 say it ain’t so asks:

(Garth) are you going to keep telling people to buy stocks?

*****************************************
People constantly put words into other people’s comments and then argue as to they disagree with the things that the targeted person never said in the first place. It seems to be a low level of reading comprehension.

As Garth responded he never tells people to “buy stocks”. I believe a reasonable summary of what he has always been saying here is, get an advisor to design a balanced portfolio custom made for you, stick with that and don’t buy individual stocks.

Yet he is frequently “accused” of saying buy stocks.

P.S. I bought some stocks today. I like to buy things that are on sale. But I won’t get in a hurry.

I have good and news and bad news:

“Possible bargains ahead in the stock market”.

#181 Shocking News... on 02.03.14 at 4:58 pm

CTV actually put this on their front page? No more house pumping? No more bidding war seminars? LOL

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/home-prices-10-per-cent-overvalued-td-estimates-1.1668352

#182 Humtpy Dumpty on 02.03.14 at 5:02 pm

Overboard and Over Monitor

It’s been called one of the most stylish neighbourhoods in the world, and is a favoured niche of the city for artists, hipsters, young professionals and community activists alike. But this dynamic and progressive area is also among the most watched areas in the country for far different reasons — the movements of those who pass through this 1.9-kilometre strip with their Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-enabled devices are being tracked and recorded.

There are 15 sensors in different businesses along Queen Street West that scan for signals emitted by such wireless devices, said Rob Sysak, executive director of the West Queen West Business Improvement Association.

These sensors, in this case made by Toronto-based Turnstyle Solutions, can follow a smartphone, tablet or laptop’s signal to track that consumer’s exact path. Whether they linger by the shoe rack or make their way to the register in the Fresh Collective clothing store, decide to head to Dark Horse Espresso Bar next, or return to the area in the future, these smartphone-sized devices are tracking it all.

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/02/01/its-creepy-location-based-marketing-is-following-you-whether-you-like-it-or-not/?__lsa=563d-abc0

#183 Steven on 02.03.14 at 5:08 pm

What is going on with Canadian medicine? Is this the USSR or something? Garths leg should have been fixed ASAP. Perhaps Canada’s governments have forgotten that the well being of Canadians has priority over the defence and well being of foriegners.

#184 maggie on 02.03.14 at 5:34 pm

garth, when is this stock market ‘correction’ going to be done? looking to buy some stuff on sale

#185 Ronaldo on 02.03.14 at 5:37 pm

#174 – WestCdn –

”I will wait until I see market sediment turn well into positive territory.”

I’m going to wait for the sediment to settle as well (lol). They call our kind bottom feeders. A ways to go yet.

#186 Ronaldo on 02.03.14 at 6:07 pm

And to give you an idea on what is happening with Okanagan Real Estate. Friends just sold their home after 6 months on the market. A couple open houses, one low ball offer at assessed value was turned down. No further offers. This was a house that would have sold back in the highs of 08 for around $550,000. Three price reductions and same people came back with an offer about 10,000 over previous and finally sold with a counter offer at 11.5% over assessment or $150,000 less than the high of 09. Only two other homes sold on that block in early part of 2013 year for 2014 assessed value. Spring should see a flood of listings. Thing is that back in the mid 90’s there was a raft of retirees from the east retired to the Okanagan and now they find themselves strapped with these monster homes that nobody wants or can afford but since they have doubled in value even at the recent prices, it matters not that they drop a few thousand. This is what is going to crash the prices.

#187 Ronaldo on 02.03.14 at 6:15 pm

#149 PJ on 02.03.14 at 12:51 pm

”Dow -1000 points since taper has begun. Worse to come.
Panic in the market will force Yellen to reverse taper, and will increase QE. Fun times ahead.”

The whole intent of Bernanke was to produce the illusion of wealth (”wealth effect”)with a rising stock market since people would feel all warm and fuzzy seeing their portfolios rising and would head out to Walmart and the other box stores to spend the little that they have left after losing 30 – 70% of the value of their homes. Too bad it didn’t work. Oh well, we’ll just pass the problem on to Janet then she can take the blame.

#188 Suede on 02.03.14 at 6:22 pm

new SFH record prices Jan 2014 in Vancouver

Must be the Yanks buying because they’re 10% richer in the last two months.

#189 Old Man on 02.03.14 at 6:32 pm

#183 Steven – decades ago in Canada had this leg problem in my youth with a full cast, and stayed for a few weeks in the hospital. The first room was a double with a truck driver, and we got wheel chairs and held races down the hallway, and nobody said a word, but all is placed on record. I would go alone and visit all in the ward to cheer them up, especially the cute girl in the next room, and all was recorded for my doc on a chart to see, a one Dr. E. Wilson.

Then was moved into a private room and my biker friends came roaring in to the hospital with a 24 to party, and not a word was said but placed on my chart as well; things have changed, as there was a time in life that nurses and staff would turn an eye for a bad boy, as all was well as they just laughed. My room was at the end of the ward, and had lots of fun, and that gal next to mine got together in life and hooked up months later :)

My Doctor must have given the green light, as was impressed that every morning took my wheelchair to visit all patients on the ward; it was all on my chart, and he was watching me as a young person, and found out many months later why he gave me a pass.

#190 Smoking Man on 02.03.14 at 6:43 pm

Ying Yang

Happy new year of the house.

Not taking a creative writing class I have that shit down to a science.
I’m taking a market your book course at UOT..

Two reasons, one, I going to find a young gogo eyed chic to fix my technical errors for free.

Two, I need to experience the University feel. Never been.

I want to see how close my assumptions are to reality.

I need book food. When Smokey and Blithe meet up in Vegas and they are at a university Sponsored event, and convention.

I can’t wait to do psychological war far with the instructor at UOT

Ps at Seneca this week laying on more chapters…

#191 Soylent Green is People on 02.03.14 at 7:01 pm

I don’t understand GT always seems to say USA is booming… booming for who? And how long can it last?

………………….

In Manhattan, the upscale clothing retailer Barneys will replace the bankrupt discounter Loehmann’s, whose Chelsea store closes in a few weeks. Across the country, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants are struggling, while fine-dining chains like Capital Grille are thriving. And at General Electric, the increase in demand for high-end dishwashers and refrigerators dwarfs sales growth of mass-market models.

As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.
Featured Comment
John Graubard
New York

In a few years the consumer choice will be Neiman Marcus or WalMart.

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If there is any doubt, the speed at which companies are adapting to the new consumer landscape serves as very convincing evidence. Within top consulting firms and among Wall Street analysts, the shift is being described with a frankness more often associated with left-wing academics than business experts.
More at the Top

The top 5 percent of earners accounted for almost 40 percent of personal consumption expenditures in 2012, up from 27 percent in 1992. Largely driven by this increase, consumption among the top 20 percent grew to more than 60 percent over the same period.

Share of personal consumption expenditures

TOP 5 PERCENT OF EARNERS

27.0%

1992

1997

2002

2007

38.0%

2012

0%

10

20

30

TOP 20 PERCENT OF EARNERS

53.4%

1992

1997

2002

2007

61.0%

2012

0%

10

20

30

40

50

60

BOTTOM 80 PERCENT OF EARNERS

46.6%

1992

1997

2002

2007

39.0%

2012

0%

10

20

30
Source: Institute for New Economic Thinking

“Those consumers who have capital like real estate and stocks and are in the top 20 percent are feeling pretty good,” said John G. Maxwell, head of the global retail and consumer practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/business/the-middle-class-is-steadily-eroding-just-ask-the-business-world.html?_r=0

.

#192 Soylent Green is People on 02.03.14 at 7:02 pm

Whoops… sorry, I accidentally posted way more than I thought I was pasting….

#193 Doug in London on 02.03.14 at 7:06 pm

@angry realtor, post #24:
I don’t recall Garth saying he wanted the real estate industry in the GTA to stop, but rather has been giving good reasons for why it will. When real estate slows down, in the short run it will cause trouble but in the long run it will be the BEST thing to happen in the city’s entire history, and the best thing to happen to Canada since Confederation in 1867. Prices will come back to being within sight of reality with a good powerful telescope, making the GTA more competitive as a place to do business. At present, if I was an investor looking for a place to locate a business, more sensible places like Windsor, Detroit, or Buffalo come to mind and DEFINITELY NOT priced out of the market Toronto.

What about all those construction workers? They should have seen the writing on the wall, knowing the industry was running on borrowed time, and be ready to move if finding work in the future requires it. There are lots of jobs for construction trades in Alberta, Northern BC, and more in Labrador if the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project is a go. Don’t want to move? Wake up to reality, many people in my generation (I’m 53 years old now) have had to move around. I moved when I accepted a job in Timmins many years ago, and was prepared to move to much farther away places like Hudson Hope, BC or Gillam, Manitoba. There are a lot of people from the Atlantic Provinces working in the oil and gas industry in Alberta, and have been for many years. By freeing up these experienced trades people for jobs that aren’t yet filled in these places, it will be a good thing for the Canadian economy, creating more growth and more tax revenue to help pay for our already over stressed (and soon to get worse) health care system.

On a different topic best wishes, Garth, for a good recovery.

#194 espressobob on 02.03.14 at 7:10 pm

Things I’ve learned reading ‘the greater fool’

1) Don’t buy overpriced RE.

2) Build a balanced & diversified portfolio and rebalance.

3) Use low cost ETF’s, no individual stocks or mutual funds.

4) ‘Buy’ when the herd panics!

5) Don’t wear floursheims on icy pavement when walking dog.

OK got it.

#195 Obvious Truth on 02.03.14 at 7:24 pm

Another nibble today for me like some others here. Not saying anyone else should be buying because I could easily become a seller if we get panic. Have been keeping an eye on yen and Nikkei. My thesis has been that the carry trade is causing this. But who really knows. In the end it probably doesn’t matter.

Garth’s system works because you rebalance and buy or sell mechanically. No emotion or bias. Of course he helps with some macro trends among other things. He’s been waiting for a sale and told us. The young lady he helped a few days ago is going to look like a financial wizard to her friends.

#196 TheCatFoodLady on 02.03.14 at 7:41 pm

#170 – Nurse Prof: I thought I could be blunt…LOL You’re right though & I’d love to think the homes care nurses have given him this info. Because yes, still a lot of risks associated with his injury & the broken facture blisters – big alarms bells for a higher risk of future problems.

For those asking what the hell is happening with Canadian health care? Garth’s description of events IS what’s happening with Canadian health care.

Where you live matters – some areas have none of certain specialities or specific treatment capabilities. You’re stuck travelling away from home – sometimes to a different province. No matter where anyone lives, collectively it’s getting worse – access to care, competent care, care that’s not fragmented into a number of ‘task specialists’ who don’t have a clue what’s going on with other aspects of treatment that MATTER & should be considered together.

You MUST be prepared to be your own advocate or to advocate for family & friends. Ask questions, demand, (as politely as you wish but demand), answers. If a loved one is hospitalized, try to ensure a family member of friend is always there or as close to that as you can manage.

Learn what criteria you must meet to be discharged, meet them & get out before you catch something. Make sure the 13 home health care workers you’ll see in 20 visits all follow the same protocols. Nurse Prof listed the clear signals you’ll see or experience for infection or other problems. There are others, easily found online. Know them. They may save your life. Insist on being discharged with a written copy of your surgical summary – if you have to go to emerg, the docs there at least have a point of reference.

Shit happens – I face planted into ice today – nothing injured but a bit of skin & my already shrinking dignity. I could have broken something & was relieved – most of all because there was no need to “access rthe health care system”.

Unfair to state Garth is giving the health care system a bye. I suspect he’s not had much reason to deal with inpatient type stuff & until you do, you have no idea of the potential horrors that can result.

Screwed by housing, screwed by health care – don’t get me started on the looming infrastructure funding fiascos that are already overdue.

#197 LateToTheParty on 02.03.14 at 7:55 pm

Thanks Garth, now you have me terrified of unexpected medical issues. A lot of what we take for granted seems to be not an outright lie, but a truth stretched so far it’s in serious danger of just breaking. And it looks like it’s getting stretched further.

What your experience here demonstrates is the supreme importance of having a family/spouse you can rely on and some money in the bank. I guess the lessons are be nice to the person you sleep with and keep a good portion of the shit you own in a near-liquid form.

#198 EB on 02.03.14 at 7:56 pm

#189 Smoking Man on 02.03.14 at 6:43 pm
“I can’t wait to do psychological war far with the instructor at UOT”

FYI he/she will probably be a frazzled teaching slave trying to pick up enough courses to make ends meet, not a member of the Anti-Randian Illuminati.

#199 Smoking Man on 02.03.14 at 8:03 pm

#147 Herb on 02.03.14 at 12:36 pm

You are so going to be a character in my book.

It’s what you always wanted anyway….

Any point you want me to make on your behalf……

#200 bigtown on 02.03.14 at 8:33 pm

God Bless Garth and a speedy recovery to you …I appreciate good financial advise and the blog is very powerful and cheerful and informative.

There is a way for Canada to make our PUBLIC care better and cheaper and faster but we must turn our back on the club we are now a member of: Cuba. Only Cuba has a single payer system and we know they are in poor shape.

There is a way…we can do like most of the civilized world and have BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC systems like EUROPE AND JAPAN. In Germany the doctor will not go on vacation due to fear his patient will go to another doctor so there are no lines in Germany and everybody gets good quality timely care with NO WAITS.

Hard to let go of the status quo but only when Canadians understands having a European system with both public and private care is the answer to our overpriced and mediocre service we TOLERATE. Our system is excellent for those who are employed by it but very low quality for the end users or the consumers of health care.

#201 say it ain't so on 02.03.14 at 8:35 pm

30% gain last yer. Why not a correction this year? — Garth
___________________________________

by April, you gains from last year will have evaporated

this is a bear market in the making. US economy is crumbling.

It isn’t. But I’m not sure about you. — Garth

#202 dog'slife on 02.03.14 at 8:37 pm

Garth,
I’m guessing you’re not being facetious when you say people own $850,000 homes and over extending themselves with no savings. My question is, what is the current percentage of homeowners doing this in Ontario and the rest of the country?

PS Gosh, I wonder if the reason why there are so many hot female physiotherapists is because… male doctors do the hiring??? Who says you can’t go far on good looks.

#203 jess on 02.03.14 at 8:39 pm

“sovereign raiders” read the transcript
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11418

#204 waitin on 02.03.14 at 8:47 pm

My two cents worth on heath care. Good news (well not really if you get one) but treatment for kidney stones in Vancouver at VGH is awesome. I had one 30 years ago and got prompt treatment although surgical. Had another bout last year and was treated with lithotripsy (ultrasound) a (very long) couple of days after diagnosis. Wonderful nurses, technicians and doctor and a well run department that rolled people in and out like clockwork. Had to go back a couple of weeks later to for a second blast, but then was all clear. At least part of the system works.

#205 maxx on 02.03.14 at 9:45 pm

#114 Annie on 02.03.14 at 2:31 am

Couldn’t agree more.

Purging a healthy 50% or more of middle and upper management fat, not solely at hospitals, would solve funding “crises” in a hurry. We have plenty of talented resources, however the distribution of taxpayer money for their acquisition, retention and deployment is horribly missallocated. Gargantuan waste…………on armies of management and bean counter’s salaries and perks.

Hardly a week goes by without MSM exposing another corporate scam, government spending scandal or provincial/ municipal vanity project swallowing tons of taxpayer money to no effect.

In a citizen’s hour of need, medicine is thin on the ground, fraught with worry about waiting times for tests, surgery and related costs. Less risky investments at age 65+ yield next to zero and life essentials increase by multiples of the rate of inflation, making the prospect of illness frightening in the extreme.

#206 Cici on 02.03.14 at 10:55 pm

#130 Castaway

Whatever, is name-calling the best you can come up with? Not very level-headed or objective. So who’s calling who emotional?

Quebec is not the only place to have experienced problems with public-private partnerships. And they’ve had tons of problems with them in Britain, surely you’ve read a news paper in the last ten years?

If not, here’s a litty ditty from the Globe & Mail:

“A P3 works essentially like leasing a car or TV, rather than paying cash up front. At the end of the day, governments pay substantially more, but if something goes wrong, someone else is responsible.”

And by the way, don’t put words in my mouth…I never said the Canadian system was perfect, but I don’t think bleeding taxpayers to enrich a private system serving only the wealthy is a very good way to go.

#207 Cici on 02.03.14 at 10:56 pm

Full article:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/the-hidden-price-of-public-private-partnerships/article4611798/

#208 Danforth on 02.04.14 at 11:38 am

145 Galley is in a “…emerging but dodgy west-end Toronto hood…“?

I know the area, used to rent a few streets over. This is prime prime prime. The Roncesvalles strip is totally gentrified now. Hardly ‘dodgy’.

#209 CanamC on 02.04.14 at 2:02 pm

Time for a $54 hospital visit fee, just like a ride in the ambulance.

#210 MUFEMILF on 02.05.14 at 3:06 pm

O.M.G. You scared me. THANK YOU. I needed that.
Get well soon.