Okay the first statistic is useless, but you knew that.
The second two, a couple of things:
1) There's no differentiation as to what kind of surgery/inpatient admission these people are waiting for, and from what I read, virtually all of it is elective(I only say "virtually" to give the benefit of doubt), and:
2) You fail to make any comparisons to waits for these types of situations here in the US. It's amazing how one-sided conditions look when you only present one side. I know for a fact equivalent numbers of Americans wait similar amounts of time, but in our case it's because the insurance industry is doing the rationing.
I'll let one of my Canadian piano nerd friends speak for her system. I'd bet money Mary E would second what this woman has to say down the line:
Here's what I posted in the other place in regards to Health care. I, too, get tired of defending my thoughts on it. American's don't want or like our system - and I'm ok with that. You don't have to like it. I'm not sure why every discussion about your medical system has to revolve around attacking ours, but whatever.
Now, from my other post:
Thanks for the information. I knew it wasn't an easy road for us, either, but most of my knowledge on the topic is about Tommy Douglas, who brought universal health care to Saskatchewan - the father of Canadian health care. He's also remarkably well known for a Canadian politician, especially considering he didn't get involved in politics at the federal level. It shows how much we value our health care system, on the whole, since Canadians don't tend to know a whole lot about political history.
As far as our health care system goes, it is one of the things that I think defines Canada. It is consistently listed as one of the high priority items among Canadians at election time. Most Canadians are very proud of our system. It has flaws, of course, but I think a lot of the things that people blame on our universal health care model are actually functions of other things (geography being the big one).
When I was pregnant with Liam, the OB I was referred to had his offices in one of the finest hospitals in the country. Googling his name provided site after site referencing him in research studies. When I went to my first appointment, I noticed something interesting. One woman was there, hugely pregnant with another young child in tow, and obviously wasn't very well off. To the other side of me was a woman that I recognized - the daughter of a well-known and very successful Toronto business man. I recognized her because she and her father had been on the cover of a Canadian news magazine a couple weeks before when the daughter had launched a new company. Both of these women were seeing the same doctor and getting the exact same level of care, despite the fact that their annual incomes had a 7 figure difference between them. The same thing happened when I gave birth - the maternity floor was a complete cross-section of society. All of them were given the same level of care - and the care was excellent. That's important to me.
There's some grumbling about wait-times. In Toronto (and other urban areas), the grumbling is less. Doctors want to work there, and there are a lot of them. In my area, there's a doctor shortage. The entire area is declining in population and relies heavily on manufacturing and other industrial jobs. Doctors don't want to work here, and so they don't come here. To make it worse, until very recently, we didn't have a medical school here. So doctors had to make a conscious decision to move here. Recently, a local university, in partnership with the provincial government and another university with a med school, started a med school here. The thought is that if people come here to attend med school, it increases the odds that they will practice here when their training is complete. People talk about the fact that getting a family doctor here is nearly impossible - but that has nothing to do with universal health care. It's geography. And they are working to fix that. As a temporary solution, they are offering financial incentives to doctors who want to move to this area to practice - one of my students this year moved into the area because his dad took one of these offers.
Sick Kids in Toronto is one of the best childrens hospitals in the world. And they offer a couple of procedures that aren't offered at other hospitals - or only in one or two other hospitals in Canada. If a child in Manitoba, for example, needs one of these procedures, they fly the family to Sick Kids and put the family up in a residence designed for the purpose. And everything - from the procedure to the accommodations and living expenses of the family - is covered by our universal health care. If there is a procedure that isn't offered in Canada, but is offered at hospitals in the States, then they'll do the same thing. And it doesn't matter if you can afford it - it's covered if it is a necessary procedure. (Edit to add: I know that the idea of using and paying for care from another state or province is a bad thing in a lot of eyes, but I'd much rather everyone have access to the necessary care than not, regardless of income).
Even in this area, with the doctor shortage, the wait times for most procedures isn't horrible. I had a strange mass on my leg a couple years ago. I called my family doc and got in within a few days. He scheduled an ultrasound for a couple weeks later. He was pretty confident that it was nothing, but just wanted to check and be sure. From me calling to make the appointment to confirmation that it was, indeed, "nothing", was about 3 weeks. Liam had an issue that was more of an emergency situation. I called for an appointment, went straight to the doc, and had him in ultrasound a couple hours later.
My friend is going through a wait time issue right now. Her family has been quick to blame our system for it. Her cousin (in her mid-20s) had an aneurysm a couple months back, so the entire family went for tests to see if they also had existing aneurysm lying in wait (notice - the entire family went for these tests - anyone of 1st cousin or closer in relationship - as a preventative and on the universal health care dime). My friend does have one - in the same spot. There's a second test that she needs to go for, and it's been scheduled for the fall. She's livid that she has to wait for so long. But here's the thing - the aneurysm is so small that they wouldn't do anything except monitor it. It's half the size of what they consider operable. The test is simply to find out a bit more about it. It's not going to lead to surgery or treatment because it's just not big enough. She'll have another test before that to make sure that it hasn't grown. She'll have tests every 3 months to monitor it for the rest of her life, or until the risk increases. Her brother, on the other hand, has the same aneurysm. But his is very close to operable size. He got scheduled for the second test within a month of the first one, and already has a tentative surgery date for less than a month after that. It's not an issue of universal health care extending the wait time - the docs are making decisions based on level of risk. And her brother will get brain surgery done at no cost to him - as a preventative. The entire family was screened - as a preventative. And at no cost to them. While I understand that she's scared and she wants answers now, she's not waiting because the system is broken. She's waiting because medically, she can wait. Her brother can't wait as long, because his is more advanced, so he's getting in much faster. (Edit to add: they had a cancellation at the hospital where she was scheduled for this test - she got it done two weeks ago)
I guess the point of all this is that our doctors and hospitals provide excellent care - and they provide it to everyone, regardless of income. As I said, that's important to me. We also provide a lot of preventative treatment. Many of these preventatives wouldn't happen under a pay system for most people, because they wouldn't spend the money. I like knowing that when a little kid in a poor family is sick, that parents can take them to the doctor without thinking about whether or not they'll be able to pay the bill. And I like that they will have the same treatment options available to them as the multi-millionaire who COULD pay the bill. I get that this is the very reason that some people don't want universal health care in the US. But I've been on the other side of this - I've stayed in hospital and had surgery done at a time when I didn't have much money and wouldn't have had medical insurance if I lived in the US. Under medicare in the US, I would have had to wait until it became a medical emergency to get it dealt with because I couldn't afford to pay for it. I think medical care should be based on need - not on whether or not the patient can afford it.
This "shortage" you cite is more a problem of locale; most of the doctors are in urban centers. The Canadian government is working to create incentives for doctors to follow the need more. BFD.