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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:36 PM
Original message
The Canadian Health System - A Visit to the Hospital
Edited on Wed Aug-29-07 02:59 PM by Canuckistanian
Last Wednesday, my wife told me that she fainted at work. She was standing up talking to someone when she got dizzy and felt herself start to lose consciousness. A nurse at the workplace (she works in a big government building) checked her out and thought she was OK, but recommended going to a doctor.

So, my wife decided to go to our local doctor's clinic on Friday. The clinic was canceled for the day, so we went to the nearby hospital emergency instead. It's a small, regional hospital but it serves about 50,000 people in the area.

I decided to make a note of the timing and other experiences, just for the purposes of making this eventual post.

Here's the timeline from when we walked in the door.

Waiting Room/Triage
My wife walked to the admitting, presented her health card, described her problem and sat down in the waiting room. Triage nurse called about 10 minutes later. Vital health signs taken. More waiting until the doctors could see her.

Total Waiting Room time: 25 minutes.


Examination
My wife was called in to the emerge floor. Waited about 5 minutes before the doctor got there. Examination proceeded. Many questions, vitals taken again. The doctor wanted some tests done - some blood work and an ECG.

Total Examination time: 20 minutes

Blood tests
Down the hospital corridor to the Blood lab. They were expecting my wife. She sat down and had her blood drawn right away. I didn't even sit down.

ECG Test
Down another hospital corridor to the ECG lab. Again, they were expecting my wife.
I sat down, started to read a National Geographic magazine (I think they're mandated by law in every doctor's office). I finished maybe three paragraphs of the article I was reading. We're off again.

Total Blood Test and ECG time: 10 minutes

Diagnosis
Back to admitting to see the doctor. Waited about 20 minutes to see the doctor again (remember, not a real emergency here). Doctor talked to her a while, saw nothing wrong with the tests, asked if my wife was under stress. Yes, she was, for reasons I won't get into here. No medications needed today. All done.

Total Diagnosis time: 30 minutes


All told, that was One Hour and 25 minutes for a non-emergency hospital visit. And everyone we encountered was a pleasant, courteous professional. And to me, this was an average visit. I've waited longer and I've waited for shorter times.

And except for the $3 parking fee, we left that hospital without paying a cent.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm so sorry for you
Suffering that way under the boot heel of socialism and so lacking in all the freedoms we enjoy here down in the Greatest Nation in the History of the Universe!

You had to pay $3! Good God! I'm outraged on your behalf.

(Surely no sarcasm indicator is needed.)
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes, we're so oppressed
It's a wonder we don't start a revolution, begging for HMO's and those wonderful insurance schemes!
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've had similar experiences...
some better, some worse. But parking in Oakville is usually more like $10 :)

Sid
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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. BEAT ME, WHIP ME, CHARGE ME $10 TO PARK!!!
I'll even pay in US funds if they are still at a higher exchanges.

Who do we have to FUCK to get decent health care in this country? We just got turned down for a better package (read: more expensive) because I have VERY MILD SCOLIOSIS, and Deb's Cholesterol is OVER 200.

BOY, we are really HIGH RISK ain't we kids?
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I didn't know you were from Oakville
I have an aunt and uncle living there. Maplegrove area.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. We're just west of Bronte harbour...
and love the area.

Sid
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buzzard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. Hi neighbour, my kids were born at Oakville Trafalgar and I have always
had pretty good experiences there in an emergency. I did however wait about 6 hours one New Year's Eve.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Howdy neighbour...
OTMH has been good to us too. I once had to get 3 stiches in my thumb - about as low priority case as there could possibly be - and was still in and out in less than an hour and a half.

Sometimes you just get lucky.

:hi:

Sid
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Hong Kong Cavalier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. But...but..but...socialized medicine is TEH EVIL!!!!1!!111
Blah blah blah blah stoopid socialist liburlz blah blah blah finest medical system in da world blah blah blah universal health care evil blah blah blah pick your own doctor blah blah blah <any other stupid arguments against single payer health care I missed> blah blah blah.

That should about cover it.

:evilgrin:

:hi:
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks for the reality check. Some of the hyperbole about universal healthcare
is truly over the top. :crazy:

(aside) Glad your wife was OK.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Yup, she's fine, thanks.
She was a bit anemic - bad diet, stress, hot weather.

It adds up.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. The local radio talkshow wingnut tries to scare people , saying that HILLARY is going to take over
and that when she gets her evil way and institutes socialized health care, "It will be like the postal clerk from hell in charge of your health care."

I think he tries to jinx things for Dems, constantly predicts that the Dem candidate is a shoo-in to win. He did it with GORE and KERRY. I mean actually taking office, not just winning "elections."
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. OK, here's one for y ou.
A RW columnist at the Milwaukee Journal wrote about the Canadian couple having quadruplets that had to go to a hospital in Montana because none of the Canadian hospitals in their province
had room in their pediatric facilities. Do you know what was up with that?

The columnist of course claimed that this "proved" that the Canadian system fails where our system is so wonderful.

What I want to know is who paid the bill for the Canadian couple?
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. The Alberta government paid for everything
And the reason given for the couple's having to go to MT. was that Calgary hospitals are overloaded, due to the big oil boom that's going on there.

But that problem seems to be isolated to Alberta. And health care is the responsibility of the provinces.

The oil boom has led to a severe housing problem in some towns. You have guys making over 100,000/year, living in dormitories because no apartments or houses have been built to make up for the demand.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thanks. I wish I had known that when I saw the blurb he wrote.
I'm sure some other wingers made comments along his lines. Now I'll know how to answer them.

Good to hear your wife is OK. Sounds like excellent care to me.

Of course, here you can have great health care as long as you can pay for it. I'm one of the lucky ones. My husband belongs to AFSCME and works for the city of New Haven. While he doesn't make a pile of dough, his union fights like hell for great health care benefits. Even tho I am old enough for Medicare part B, I declined it because I can partake of his health care benefits for only $74 a month and that includes dental and some prescription coverage. I don't know what I'll do when he retires, tho...
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warren pease Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
14. I'm still screwing around with that follow-up article on Canadian health care...
I think you may have a starring role in the next one. Mind if I use your experience, as well as words directly from your post when appropriate?

Oh, and if you didn't see the first one, here 'tis: http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2294.sh...

Meanwhile, I'll be making my monthly Blue Cross premium payment of $519 later today, along with an identical amount for my wife. That's a hell of a lot of parking fees.

So take that, you socialist swineherd; we're priming the pump of the mighty US economy and keeping this great country free of the taint of universal-access, single-payer health care. Wow! I got a little patriotic rush just typing that line.


:evilgrin:


wp
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. By all means, use it.
Happy to help.

I've seen your page and I would have contributed to it as well. My experience was the same as the others.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
18. But, but, but ...
It is so much better here where significant amounts of the population have NO access to health-care :sarcasm:
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. and in Great Britain you get that $3 back
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. We can write it off on our taxes
Same thing with prescriptions. If we have no drug plan, we pay for prescriptions, then deduct from our income on the tax forms.

Almost any kind of healthcare costs can be written off.
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
20. Pick your own doctor *bullshit* I live in VA and want to see a Dr. in CA...is insurance
gonna pay my airfare??? I think not... see your own doc indeed!!! Hell, if he has a DR degree it IS my doc!
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
22. I pay $95/month for Medicare (A & B). I'm a fairly high end user and like it.
Yet I continue to hear the "socialized medicine" strawman trotted out in discussions about universal healthcare, or Medicare for all, in America. Makes you want to go "Agggh".

Medicare works, for the most part. (Aside) Reimbursement rates need to be updated to current cost of business/cost of living. They're out of date. But, overall, a broad based source of healthcare for millions of retired/disabled Americans.

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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. I agree, pinto, the Medicare system is pretty efficient.....I think everybody
should have access to it!
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
23. A couple of years ago, I had some elevated liver enzymes indicating damage.
Edited on Wed Aug-29-07 04:06 PM by Evoman
Went to the doctor, waited ten minutes, and then got in. He gave me a physical, then sent me to a lab for blood tests. Two days later they phoned me and told me I had a slight elevation in a liver enzyme, but that it was no big deal. But they sent me to a specialist anyways...I waited a week (since there was no rush). I also got an ultrasound, because the docs wanted to make sure I was okay.

I was. The levels are down to normal now. I had been sick earlier and took some strong meds, so they figured that the damage may have been because of that. I felt sort of guilty that they did so much for something that was so small. But what a great system. I got this all completely free. Which is not to say the Canadian system is perfect or even near perfect. But its a hell of a lot better than the american alternative.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-29-07 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
25. Damn, socialized medicine sucks huh?
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-30-07 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
26. I had a similar experience last year ...
I'm in British Columbia. After an unexplained dizzy spell one morning, I went to the local emergency room, where they set me up for an electrocardiogram. There was hardly anyone waiting, so I was seen pretty quickly. I recall that it was all over in a couple of hours, because I got home well before lunch. Found out later that the tests would have cost around $200-$300 if not for public health insurance.
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