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Bernie Sanders tells 'gentle' Canadians to 'be a little bit louder' in health care debate

Senator Bernie Sanders told Canadians that they should defend their health care system and that drug companies were ripping them off.

Sanders is currently trying to change the current profit driven health care system and his Medicare for All act proposes a singe payer tax funded system that provides universal coverage to 323 million Americans.

The single payer 'Medicare for All' would be run by one public system rather than multi payer, which offers coverage through multiple private or public sources.

But, Sanders was in Ontario over the weekend with a delegation of American health-care providers to look at how Canada operates it's single payer health care system. Speaking at the University of Toronto the senator was back in full campaign mode.

"I know that Canadians are well-known throughout the world as gentle and kind people. Be a little bit louder." he said.

Sanders told the capacity crowd that when you guarantee health care to all people, "stand up and defend that all over the world".

Can universal health care work?

Supporters of universal health care have also championed the UK's National Health Service, a scheme that will celebrate its 70th birthday next year.

But in recent years both systems have been criticized for poor standards of care. An OECD report back in 2015 found that the current quality of care in the NHS is falling behind many other countries. While according to a report by the Fraser Institute earlier this year 63,000 Canadians had to leave the country to get medical treatment because it was unavailable or waiting times were too long.

Most of these patients went to the US for either surgery or other operations, the research said. High costs have resulted in the country becoming the leader in new treatments and technologies for conditions such as cancer.

Sanders told the crowd in Toronto to not fixate on the systems shortcomings arguing that the 50-year-old Canadian health care system is "innovative" and sets a ''strong example'' for the U.S.