COM011 Post 4: I Need a Doctor!

Some of my coursemates may have noticed I’ve missed a few Blog posts and am now catching up. Well, a bit of background, I am an avid equestrian and was thrown from my horse and broke my right elbow. This made typing fairly difficult and I am only now beginning to regain my ability to write and type etc.

Anyway, this experience has led me to a lot of contemplation about the Canadian Healthcare System. I have to say, I can’t complain. Did I spend 6 hours in the ER with a broken elbow and no pain killers waiting for help? Yes. Did the attending physician seem at all invested in my care? No. Was my Orthopaedic Surgeon 2 hours late to every appointment? Yes. Was this all extremely annoying? Yes.

However, it was free. I paid a total of $30 between my sling and painkillers, so not totally free, but pretty close. My sister is about to have her second child, get another year of paid maternity leave. She won’t be leaving the hospital with a bill. Just her baby. I understand the waits are hard, and yes, there is a lot of room for improvement in the healthcare system. Is it as good as in Germany? Not by a long shot, but we pay lower taxes.

The next time you are angry or frustrated with the medical system here remind yourself that unlike in the US, you will get care. You will not go into debt over it. In the US, what I went through could have cost me anywhere from $500 – $3000. I make $14 an hour. That is a week and half to two months pay for a broken elbow, factoring in that I have been off work for the last month to heal. That is insanity.

Keep that in your head when you want to complain in the ER. You could be waiting in the ER and leave with a $3000 bill at the end. Could be worse.

2 thoughts on “COM011 Post 4: I Need a Doctor!

  1. I can relate. When I was in grade 6 I fractured my arm when I was racing my friend on our bikes lol. I remembered going to the ER and it took about 5 hours for them to put me in a cast. Same thing happened with my mother… the wait times are ridiculous but that is somewhat a fair trade for having it done for free.

  2. While I agree that if you get sick and have no health insurance in the states you are in a wold of hurt and possibly a lifetime of debt, but for those people that do have insurance the health care is pretty amazing. Because it is private they seem to be more accountable to the ‘consumer’. I believe that we are missing that in Canada. We should just be lucky and thankful that we get to see anybody at all.

    The fact that you were consistently waiting for 2 hours to see your orthopedic surgeon is arrogant and disrespectful. He is clearly not seeing you as an individual but somebody that will wait without question whenever he decides to show up.

    We were posted to the States and experienced 2 years of consumer driven health care. I felt like more of a partner in my own care and less of a ‘you’re lucky that I am bothering to see you’. They did a lot of things that cost the system a lot less: for example – being able to self refer for strept test administered by an LPN. If the result came back positive the RN called in a script for you for antibiotics. Here it is a 3-5 hour wait in an after hours clinic (possibly infecting others) while you wait for a fully trained Doctor to do something that a trained monkey could do.

    I love that we have a universal health care system but the consumer/client/patient has been lost in the mix.

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