Skip to comments.The Doctor Will See You Now, eh! (Health Care Nightmare)
Posted on 01/18/2011 4:04:33 AM PST by 1010RD
The following is a guest commentary about one person's experience with the Canadian Health Care system, so often used as a model of efficiency and low costs, and what the US should seek to emulate - Shanghai Dan
Health care systems beware; Canadas system is not all its made out to be. We dont have Canadian government health insurance so we have to pay for everything, but thats OK and we came on our mission expecting to do so. In fact, we havent been to a doctor for years except for a medical every year or two and we didnt expect to need one on our mission. Wrong!
I developed a burning tingling sensation on my upper back that started to move to my left side and around to my chest and then it stopped. My good friend, Google, suggested shingles, but there are no blisters and other tale-tale signs except for a sensitive burning painful skin, with an occasional bolt of lightening that causes me to wince and gasp for breath, but quickly passes on. Tylenol extra, helps me get by, but only lasts for a couple of hours instead of six.
So I decide its time to see a doctor, but over here it is a form of socialized medicine, plus doctors are in short supply because they are so poorly paid. So my Canadian friends told me to go to the emergency room of the closest hospital. I got there at 8 am and waited in a line of musical chairs. The triage office sees you first one at a time so when the person at the head of the line is called in, all the 20 or so people move up one chair. It took me an hour and a half to finally get my number from the triage nurse so that I could start waiting for my turn to see an actual doctor.
The problem is that every ambulance patient goes to the head of the line and rightly so, but it does suggest that the best way to arrive at the hospital is by ambulance even if you just have a hangnail. While I am waiting in this tiny room with 20 others, No. 18 has a heart attack right there in front of us. Well, all heaven breaks loose with lights flashing and bells ringing and horns tooting and in sweep doctors, nurses, technicians and whatever, who strip him and fibrillate him right there in front of us on the bare cold floor.
They rush him away and in comes the mop lady to clean up the floor and we all quickly lift up our feet to prevent our shoe shine from being ruined. At least half of the people that were waiting in line were so traumatized by it all that they just disappeared. Or maybe they were fibrillated. You know how it is in the TV show ERstand back the doctor yells, but it was so crowded in there that there was no back. If we had all been holding hands in the circle we would have all been electrocuted on the spot.
So the rest of us return to our seats and start where we left off coughing on each other again or just sit quietly grimacing and holding with two hands the piece of anatomy that hurts most. I wondered a dozen times what I was doing there and wanted to give my place in line to those who were bleeding all over or throwing up. I was also amazed that not one person had brought a newspaper or book to read while waiting. They just sat there staring straight ahead and enduring. I kept trying to figure out what they were looking at, but when I traced their line of vision it ended at a fly speck on the wall. No one smiled and no one even talked about last nights hockey game. I couldnt even concentrate on my book trying to figure out how many different diseases were floating back and forth in that tiny reception room and whether my nose hairs were sufficient to stop a virus from contaminating me.
Mind you everything in the hospital was spotlessly clean; like most hospitals, it was only the bodies in there that were a source of contamination, contagion, and infection. Some of us were preoccupied looking at this 300 lb guy being analyzed by the triage nurse stripped down to his waist in front of us all to prove to the nurse he needed help and he needed it now. I wasnt very anxious to be stripped to my garmies and worse, right there in front of 39 eyes--one persons eye was bandaged up!
So its finally my turn. The nurse doesnt speak one word of English and here I am dressed in suit and tie looking like a professor of languages. She gives me this weird look and rushes off to find help. A lady returns, obviously not a nurse, and says to me, do you realize youll have to wait over there, she said pointing, with this number Im about to give you for at least 8 hours until a doctor can see you, and if we get too busy with ambulance cases youll have to come again tomorrow at 4 am. I looked at over there and there were about 50 people with that same glazed look waiting their turn.
I was amazed that both of my counselors in the temple presidency had waited all day in that same kind of line a few months previously (for different reasons). It is the ONLY way you get free medical help. I asked the lady if there were any doctors in the hospital that moonlighted and who were willing to see private patients. She said no, but I should go to a private clinic and there was one within walking distance from the hospital.
The private clinic was more professional, but even here there were 40 plus people waiting for their number to appear on a big screen. At least there was no triage here, if you could afford it you just had to wait your turn. The receptionist asked for $40 cash which went into an envelope without a receipt. I thought it was for her lunch, but apparently it was a deposit in case I fled before seeing the doctor, because later it was subtracted from my bill.
There were eight doctors and eight doors in the waiting room with a large number on each. When your number came up off you raced through that particular door not knowing or caring who the doctor was. Before my number came up I had to wait another 4 hours. My doctor was a cute young girl who appeared to be in her teens, maybe even a MIA Maid, but she wore a white jacket and a stethoscope around her neck so she must have made it through medical school. You can be sure I wasnt going to strip down in front of her without her dad being in the room.
And guess what? She only spoke French. Doesnt every doctor in the world have to learn English? Well, not in Russia and not in Quebec. And by the way, she too was puzzled why I had symptoms of shingles but no lesions. She went out and consulted with the rest of the MIA Maid class who were also doctors and they all agreed it was shingles with a difference!
To make my wait worth my time she arranged for a chest x-ray which only took 10 minutes and $60 cash. Im sure I didnt need this x-ray but her best friend obviously had to make her monthly payment on her medical school loan. Every service in this clinic could only be paid in cashno credit cards, checks etc, just cash and in advance of the service rendered. The whole experience was not all that expensive as I got out of there with a cash payment of $110.00 plus $117.00 for medication, but it was very expensive if you count my time. I guess itll be a real deal if I end up having shingles, otherwise I may be back in line next week to do it all over again.
I cant even scold my two counselors for sending me to the hospitals emergency room. After all, this is the way you do it in Canada and in any case, they had warned me to take a book. Everyone knows and accepts that a trip to the doctor is a one or two day event. Ill never complain again when I get back home. Ill even feel a bit cheated if my very own personal doctor sees me too fast. Plus, I may even throw in an extra $10 of co-pay; if itll help my aging Provo doctor finish paying for medical school before he dies.
Members of favored classes and groups.
Registered Democrats who voted in last election verified by data link between voting records and health care records.
Registered Democrats who are given a lecture about the need to support Dear Leader.
Patients who accept an opportunity for instant Democrat registration.
Republicans willing to repent.
All others put in cost saving category as scored by HHS Health Czar. Come back next year for reassessment.
FAST EDDIE'S CANCER CLINIC AND MORTUARY
Actually there is a great vaccine, Zostavax, to prevent shingles or at least keep it from being a multi-year nightmare of pain. Ins may or may not pay for it, but it is about the best ins one can buy if you have to pay for it.
I heard a story recently about some woman in Canada calling in to some talk show (Rosie O’Donuts?).
She need some sort of gastric-bypass surgery.
She was on a waiting-list.
The wait just for the first consultation with a doctor was SEVEN YEARS.
They told her that as things progressed it might stretch out to nine years.
That’s just for the first doctor visit.
“What Obamacare will be like in 25 years or sooner.”
If people want “free healthcare” we should give it to them. In fact, I think the best way to fix the private healthcare system is to divide medicine into two groups - people who pay, and people who do not pay.
Right now, as one system, the people who do not pay are destroying the system for people who pay - through increasing cost. Without Obama care.
Private insurance costs so much, in large part, because non-payers, including those on medicaid/medicare off load their costs onto people who do pay - whether through insurance or cas. So things cannot, and will not stay the same - regardless of whether obama care is repealed.
Free the private healthcare system from carrying the costs for people who do not pay, and you will get a system that is better and more affordable.
Those who can’t or won’t pay will be in the public system - and will get what the “public” decides to fund for them. They’ll wait in line much like the story of the Canadian system.
The rest will get what they pay for.
The takeaway for this story is not about Canadian Public Healthcare, it’s the success of the concept of private clinics - the deficiencies of the public healthcare system encourage those who can to seek private care.
That is how you encourage people to become insured.
The reason that a few people in the U.S. aren’t terribly disturbed by Obamacare is varied. Some of it is they’re original Obamabots and Obamacrats who worship the ground that he walks on; and there are those who think “it can’t possibly get as bad here as is depicted in this article” simply because they’ve been spoiled by having it so good for so long as Americans. Also, people have been accustomed to being able to squawk loud enough about the President and the Government; but we have all seen that Obama and his administration are selectively tone deaf to the cries of the people. As it regresses, it may one day be too late to turn this runaway train around.
Hopefully, they defibrillated him.
I just experienced it here in Texas.
My son (32 years old with myotonic muscular dystrophy)is covered under both medicaid since he can not obtain any type of insurance due to the nature of his disease.
The Sunday before last he had a severe bowel obstruction and we went to the hospital emergency room due to the day and the fact that on Sunday the doctor’s office was closed.
It turned out almost exactly as described in the article and it was over 10 hours before he was actually placed in a bed in the hospital.
Worse yet, he was in the hospital for more than 6 days and no one could tell us exactly what was the cause (and cure) for his affliction, nor would they ever call you back if requested.
We had an extra-ordinary amount of X-rays and catscans with no apparent medicine or other actions beyond a tube inserted through his nose into his stomach for 3 of the 6 days. Other than that, he simply languished in the hospital until I raised enough hell to convince them to release him if he was well enough to go home.
It then dawned on me that all of the time he was in the hospital, along with all of the tests and cost of the room was to pad the easy money they would make from our medicaid system. They were simply “milking” the system by using the “cash cows” that entered through the emergency room...nothing more!
That's all well and good for Zostavax, but you DO have to see a doctor, to be diagnosed and receive a prescription.
And while we're on the subject, Zostavax, and other medicines exist because research and development pharmaceutical companies made the investment to create such a medicine. Zostavax wasn't developed as a "generic" drug, nor was it developed by a government entity. It was developed by a private company, who knew there was a medical need, and also knew that by supplying said product, they might create a profit for their time, effort, and risk.
Does anyone think that under Obamacare, such incentives will exist, and that pharmaceutical companies will take financial risks to develop innovative medicines? Why would they?
Exactly, although there’s nothing new about it. That’s Dem 101.
“Don’t worry if they’re Democrats or Republicans. Give them service and they’ll become Democrats.” - Richard J. Daley
He’s the first Mayor Daley.
Love Niven and you’re right.
Thanks very much for the tip. I’ve forwarded it already.
Thanks, I will ask my doctor about it. I am already in enough pain, I don’t want any more.
A friend of mine spent 6 hours in a hallway until her appendix exploded. No pain meds, no nothing.
It wasn’t until she passed out from the pain and her husband started screaming that they did anything for her. And she has BC/BS.
OK, the Moose represents Canadian health care, but what does the frog represent?
That’s the direction we’re heading. We’ve got the best medical system in the world.
I hate when it gets measured by percent of GDP spending, as if that’s a real measure. We spend more on it because we consume more of it.
That’s due to government skewing the market. Let’s return to the market and get government out of health care.
The intervention by government enables free riders to force their bad decisions on us.