Erin, it is actually my DH who is the Canadian! I love him. He has really appreciated his medical care here, so far just a general practioner/family physician. He lived in Kingston, ON and said that for 3 of the 10 years he lived there he didn't have a family doctor because none in the area had openings for new patients and the doctor he had when arrived retired. He just went to walk in clinics to get his health care. Also he loves the fact that although he has to pay a $20 copay to see the doctor, he actually gets to "see the doctor" and take care of all his concerns in one shot. His Dear Mother who just had a recurrence of breast cancer showing up in her hip, ribs, and skull was told at her last appointment, "Sorry we can only talk about 2 concerns today. If you have a third, you will need to make another appointment." The cancer doctor is 2 hours away from where they live in the sticks of Ontario. Come back? What? Both DH and I have excellent health care coverage through our jobs. If we didn't, my response may be different but given our situation, it has been good. As a kid I didn't have health insurance, my parents would pay out of pocket for health care if we were really sick. We survived but I am sure we could have been better if we had more access to health care.
Now on the area of maternity leave, Canadians and other countries have it RIGHT! One year of maternity leave would be the bomb. I get paid leave of 6 weeks and 6 more weeks of unpaid leave. I was so hoping for a April or May baby so I could have my 6 weeks of paid leave, then summer vacation as a teacher. No such luck for 2012 but 2013 has promise.