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Forum > Miscellaneous > Canadian health care, or world wide ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Canadian health care, or world wide
Because reading about the US makes us a bit crazy
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
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Date: 11/24/13 12:07 PM

Here's the thing. I need to see my gynecologist and I can't get an appointment until April. A little frustrating, but since I am well and my concerns are nothing more than concerns, it is no big deal. When I needed a D & C right away, I got it.

We were out with friends last night and they were telling us about the night his bowel perforated. They went to emergency and withing TEN minutes he had all the tests, including an MRI, they needed to diagnose him. He had emergency laproscopic surgery the same night. He does have a bit of a wait to get the colostomy removed and his digestive system reconnected, but he is alive, feeling better than he has for two years, and happy.

Oh yes, and we all get to keep our savings accounts, our houses and have no problems with our insurance companies getting this stuff paid for. Now, he does have a huge issue with unemployment insurance, mostly due to his employer being stupid, but that is a whole other story.

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
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In reply to tourist <<
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Date: 11/24/13 12:47 PM

Thanks, Tourist.

Are you open to questions? Do you search out a health insurance company and pay them? Is the cost already embedded in and included in your taxes? Are there different levels of coverage, or, is it the same for everyone?

Also, some of our states have state income tax and some do not - other types of taxes and fees are levied for state income. Do all of your provinces tax the same?

No question here, just a comment. In Pennsylvania especially, in an older community with a good bus system, I often saw people who looked like they would have benefited from better access to medical care. Having had access to medical care to keep mobile makes me concious of others who have not been as fortunate. I wonder how it might be to observe folks at the bus stops near you - if there might be fewer people so obviously in need of orthopedic care.

Hope you don't mind the questions. If it is not a direction you want to pursue with this thread, I wll edit them out.
-- Edited on 11/24/13 12:55 PM --

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 11/24/13 12:58 PM

As someone whose savings was wiped out by chronic illness, I am wildly envious of the sanity of how the rest of the developed world approaches health care. And I had insurance most of the time. Copays, deductibles, drugs that weren't covered, etc still cost many thousands of dollars over the years.

We ration here: If you can't afford it, you don't get it--That's the most brutal rationing system there is.

Our health care outcomes are NOT anywhere near the best in the world, despite many claims to having the "best health care in the world." It is by far the most expensive.

I was in France in 2001 and broke a tooth, which resulted in a raging infected abscess. I was feverish and in quite a bit of pain. We visited some friends who called a Dr. who showed up AT THEIR APARTMENT, at 10:00 pm on a Friday night--about 45 minutes after we called. He gave me cipro (outrageously expensive in the US) codeine, and steroids to get me through the night and prescriptions for all three to last me until I could see a dentist in the US. The whole thing cost me about $80 USD, including a week's worth of medicines. And, needless to say, I was not on the French National Health plan.

13 years later, my mind is still blown at how simple and sensible the whole thing was.

That would never happen here.

And, Oh, yes--for awhile I bought medicines from Canadian pharmacies via the internet. I couldn't afford American prices, which were almost double.
-- Edited on 11/24/13 1:18 PM --

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to tlmck3 <<
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Date: 11/24/13 1:39 PM

DH and I have had similar experiences quite recently in France. We travel for months at a time in Europe, and do fall ill or injure ourselves now and then. Doctors make house calls and charge around twenty Euros for that service; it is the higher price for a foreigner not in their health care system, and they are always a little apologetic about having to charge that larger sum to foreigners.

The medications we have been prescribed over there are incredibly reasonably priced, too.

As you say, getting medical care over there is simple and economical.

Karla Kizer
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Date: 11/24/13 1:53 PM

My son broke a foot and developed a symptomatic hernia while playing soccer at a tournament in the Netherlands. He was x-rayed, examined, medicated and fitted with a cast - no charge.

My sister has a hand condition that is chronic, progressive and crippling. Years ago, she discovered that a doctor near Paris had developed a simple, quick treatment that can undo some of the crippling effects - at least for a while. She scheduled an appointment with him to coincide with her next trip to Paris. Cost: $150, and she left the office 30 minutes later, able to uncurl her affected fingers for the first time in a couple of years. Flash forward a few years. The condition was worsening, as expected, but the French doctor had trained a few US and Canadian doctors in the technique, so she scheduled an appointment with one who happened to practice 50 miles from her home in Florida. Same treatment, same method, less-experienced surgeon. Cost here: $5000 and Blue Cross Blue Shield wouldn't cover it. Back to Paris....

-- Edited on 11/24/13 2:00 PM --

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“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



Julkane
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Julkane  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/24/13 2:27 PM

All I can really say is be thankful you do not live in a third world country and not have access to healthcare at all.

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Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
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In reply to Julkane <<
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Date: 11/24/13 2:37 PM

My first thought is "Like Cuba?"

A country that has a suberb healthcare system with superb medical practitioners.

But I'm just very touchy about the entire subject of the US's (non) medical system. Too many friends have been left destitute due to having the misfortune to become ill.

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

MrsMarkov
MrsMarkov
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Date: 11/24/13 2:42 PM

I'm a relative newcomer to "socialized medicine" and I have mixed feelings about it. I find that it's easy enough to get an appointment with a general practitioner, but each appointment is only for 10 minutes. You can only see specialists after getting a referral from your general practitioner. After they issue a referral, you receive a letter after a few months informing you of your appointment time. As a foreigner, I've been on the receiving end of nasty comments and attitude from doctors about not speaking and understanding enough Danish for a medical consultation to be conducted entirely in Danish. This put me off, but this is not necessarily an indictment of the system as a whole. Ostensibly, Danish people get treated better.

My main criticism of this system is the way ambulances are run. Hospitals often refuse to send an ambulance for what they deem aren't life threatening, and instruct people to take a taxi. Well, what if they can't pay for the taxi? That's not the hospital's problem. Also, while taxi drivers are trained in sygetransport, which roughly translates to "sick transport," they often refuse to take people who seem like they'll mess up the upholstery.

Lastly, the government insurance, which by my understanding is automatic with a CPR number (social security number equivalent), does not cover medicine. I don't know if medication is somewhat subsidized, but for anyone with chronic illness, medicine is a huge expense. You often see elderly Danes at the pharmacy handing over huge handfuls of cash. I don't see how they can claim that everyone has access to healthcare, when this seems to me to be a huge hole in the system. Medicine dispensed by the hospital is free, but you only receive medication while you're there and only enough to cover your stay/visit. So I guess if you have to take a pill daily, you could conceivably visit the hospital daily to get the pill gratis.

So, I guess overall, my feelings aren't so mixed on the Danish application of socialized medicine - they're rather negative. But the Danes seem to love it, and they're paying for it through the nose, so that's got to be worth something.

LynnRowe
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 11/24/13 2:47 PM

No, we don't search out medical insurance. As Canadians, we are insured. We search out our doctors.

Some provinces, such as BC, have a monthly insurance fee, usually paid by employers. Mine, as a single person, is $64 per month.

Other provinces have no fees at all.

Healthcare costs are embedded in our income taxes, resulting in an average 2% higher tax rate than in the US. However, Canadian disposable income is on average far higher than the US, and is rising at 11% compared to 5% in the US.

I personally have never had to wait beyond 3-4 days for any appointments, and had no wait time at all when tests discovered I had cancer. A specialist laser surgeon was flown from Toronto to Winnipeg the following day. Cost to me for the tests and laser surgery; zero.


------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

Margasweet

Margasweet  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/24/13 2:54 PM

I was the first person in my family to have developed breast cancer (age 43, 11 years ago). DH and I are pretty frugal, and we'd managed to save about $10,000 outside of retirement savings, intending to repair our old house. The cancer treatment added up to about $50,000, and that whole $10,000 went to pay the co-pays and deductibles. We were lucky to have good insurance and to have savings, otherwise we would have been in really big trouble.

The long=term result of my cancer was that DH could not change jobs. He had some offers that might have been interesting and career-expanding work, but could not take them because I would not have been covered by a new health insurance plan due to a pre-existing condition. The health insurance system limited DH's career because of my bad luck in getting ill-- this was not good for us or for the country as a whole! How many people cannot afford to try something new, become entrepreneurs, change jobs-- because of insurance?

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2007 fabric in: 7 1/2 yards; sewn: 7 yds
2008 fabric in, 23 yards; sewn 20 yds; given away 6 yds
2009 fabric in 41 1/4 yds, sewn 29 yds, given away 22 1/2 yds
2010 fabric in 91 1/2 yds, sewn 27 yds, given away 1 1/2 yds;
2011 fabric in: 55 yd.; sewn: 21 yd; given away: 20 yd
2012 fabric in: 60 1/4 yd., sewn 25 1/4 yds, given away 16 yds, thrown away 3 yds scraps; UFOs completed: 7
2013 fabric in: 28 yds; sewn: 25.7 yds.; given away: 5 1/2 yd.s; projects 8, UFOs 4

2014 fabric in: 34.5 yd
2014 fabric sewn: 8 1/2 yd
2014 fabric given away: 8 1/2 yd
2014 projects completed: striped maxi skirt
2014 projects started:
2014 UFOs completed: 8 (5 small gift bags, pieced & quilted table runner, maxi dress, silk infinity scarf)

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