" the vaunted Canadian healthcare system"
- 17 hour average wait time in the Emergency Room
While I can't argue with you about the other ones, this one here is utter bullshit. If you stumble into the Emergency Room with an emergency, you will be treated accordingly. What people complain about is having to wait 17 hours in the ER because they sprained an ankle.
On one occasion, I ended up in the ER with a life-threatening acute heart condition. I was brought in an ambulance, and the doctor was actually waiting for me rather than me waiting for him... that's like negative wait time. On a second occasion (not so long after the first episode), I also had heart troubles but I managed to get to the ER on my own, and the nurse that does the triage sent me right into a room where a doctor arrived within 2 minutes. That is what the emergency room is about. Emergencies.
The fact that people end up in the ER for very trivial stuff is a symptom of a system that is utterly broken in many other ways (lack of family doctors, long waiting lists for specialists, and so on), but the ER itself is the one thing in the whole system that works exactly as intended, but it receives too much undeserved flak because that's what the population actually see, while they do not understand the failings of the bigger system above it.
Two trips to the ER which saved my life, a heart surgery that stabilized my condition, allows me a high quality of life and lets me contribute to society, all that without paying a dime. That is what the vaunted Canadian healthcare system is all about. By getting me back on my feet as a productive member of society, I have already paid back way more in income tax and other fiscal contributions than what the whole ordeal could have cost, so it is a net gain for society.