Borderline Medicine

Comparing U.S. And Canadian Health Care - Narrated and hosted by Walter Cronkite

With the U.S. struggling to control soaring health care costs and 37 million Americans not covered by health insurance, the Canadian system of national health insurance looks attractive. This documentary takes a close look at how health care is delivered on both sides of the border.

The film begins by comparing prenatal care in both countries. A San Diego woman who has insurance through Medicaid called sixty obstetricians and could not find one who would care for her. In Vancouver, a high-risk obstetric patient faces no financial barriers in having a closely monitored pregnancy. While routine medical care is more accessible in Canada, there are often waiting lists for elective surgery. Canadian patients with coronary artery disease often cross the border for surgery in the U.S.

The last section examines the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In British Columbia mammograms are covered by insurance and there is a population screening program which may reduce breast cancer mortality by as much as a third. Yet high technology diagnostic procedures are much more available in the U.S., and Canadian patients may be subjected to older, more dangerous diagnostic tests.

To complement the powerful patient stories, health care experts and business leaders like Lee Iococca comment on the medical and financial implications of both systems.


American Psychiatric Association, 1992
American Public Health Association,1991
Blue Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival, 1991
Gold Award, Houston International Film Festival, 1991
CINE Gold Eagle, 1991


"A powerful program that ultimately paints a frightening portrait of U.S. medical care and its availability to those who can pay." - Booklist
"This superb production is highly recommended for health care professionals and health care economist/administrators, and students in health care." - Choice


Type Price
Streaming Access (1-year) $149.00
Streaming Access (3-year) $299.00
Streaming Access (Perpetual) $499.00
DVD $295.00
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