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Can we share info on healthcare OUTSIDE the US?


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As we all have healthcare on the mind, I would be interested in hearing from others about healthcare in other countries.

 

I'll start:

 

Insurance is hardly an issue. Those few who have it mostly have only hospitalization insurance.

 

I can go see a doctor 2 minutes from my house after calling 5 minutes ahead and it costs about $5.00.

 

I can go see a specialist in a major hospital during their outpatient hours (held every day) after calling a few hours in advance and the consultation costs about $8.00. We have used this for neurology, dermatology, pediatrics, plastic surgery, etc.

 

During a hospital stay, the cost of everything - from an asprin to the surgery itself is determined by what level of care you have chosen. For example, when DD broke her leg we were in the "executive level." This meant a private room in a very nice ward. Everything in the hosptial was more expensive because of that choice. A poor patient who came in and was treated at the general ward level would have been in a large room with other patients and would have had VERY cheap prices.

 

Private hospitals can and DO turn away emergency patients who they think will not be able to pay. Actually, to get admitted you have to show proof of ability to pay (a credit card) or put down cash up front.

 

Medication is EXTREMELy cheap due to government regulation on prices.

 

Doctors don't have to spend a fortune on their education - that is how they can afford to charge $5.00 per patient!

 

Government (Free) hospitals are extremely bad - dirty, overcrowded, poorly staffed.

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I have some experience with healthcare in Medellin, Colombia.

 

One time my dd (6 months at the time) screamed through the night and I thought that something may have been wrong with her. We called for an appointment that morning and saw a doctor in the early afternoon. It was some sort of weekend clinic that ended up being free.

 

I had my LASIK done there for about half the price that is charged here. My doctor is wonderful and I now see him every time I go to Colombia for my regular eye exams.

 

My husband went for a second opinion on his sleep apnea one time. The doctors there will routinely give you up to 30 minutes in a consultation. I always feel that it is the most thorough exam ever.

 

They do have health insurance there, but it is much cheaper. Most of the doctors that we have seen have had some sort of training in Europe or in the US. Hospitals are super clean and I think that I would feel more comfortable going for surgery there than here in the US.

 

Even veterinarians there are as good or better and so much cheaper.

 

Healthcare over there is one of the major reasons why my dh and I will be retiring to Colombia.

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Not me, but a friend's grandma. She was visiting in the Netherlands, fell, and broke her hip. Needed a hip replacement. The hospital treated her, no problem, but told her they would not do the replacement because she was too old. They told her they would care for her in the hospital. She was on a floor filled with older people who couldn't walk due to hip issues, but they were all too old for a hip replacement as per their treatment procedures. She was well cared for, but said most these people could have lived at home had they received the hip replacement. Instead they told her they had to stay at the hospital because of the medical rationing. Those were the words they used, according to her. Her family had to arrange for a medical flight home to the U.S. where she received her hip replacement. She went back to full activity. That was maybe 8 years ago, and she is still active. Certainly not too old for a hip replacement to be successful and worthwhile. So bottom line, she received the basic care she needed, but not the treatment that would solve the problem.

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I don't know too much here yet. But you can see a doctor for 30 pesos (less than 3 dollars). Medications don't require a prescription, so you can get what you know you need without having to pay for a doctor. They are also pretty cheap.

 

I don't know about hospital care here.

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So bottom line, she received the basic care she needed, but not the treatment that would solve the problem.

 

This is what we have heard from various relatives in various countries.

 

One example, *someone* in France needed back surgery for disc troubles that people *here* (USA) are diagnosed, receive surgery and most walk out of the office a new person. (I have several relatives who've had it done. A discectomy?? ) For him, his surgery was paid for and he even got a REALLY nice rehab/recovery time in the hills, but....he was on the wait list so long that he became so immobilized he was unable to work for WEEKS and ended up being bedridden for about 3 weeks leading up to his surgery.

 

So, he even got the treatment that solved his problem, but the path leading up to it caused them to be without an income for quite some time, and then the recovery/rehab for several weeks ALSO kept him from working. While it sounds nice, it *obviously* isn't something entirely necessary according to what we see here. Of course, maybe it was BECAUSE his condition deteriorated so much.... who knows?

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It's easiest for me to just link you to the columns I wrote about the topic last year.

 

You asked specifically about healthcare outside the US--if you only want to read about that, my experience in the UK is featured in column #2.

 

(Number One deals with our experiences with military health care, and number three is about a rat that ties it all together.)

 

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/03/reform-or-deform-part-one/

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/10/reform-or-deform-part-two/

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/17/reform-or-deform-part-three/

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We have experience in France and India.

 

The French health care system is very good, and I am always surprised when I hear Americans are worried about having a system like the French. We always got in to see the doctor right away, and only paid $30-40 U.S. dollars. Also, these were not 2 minute visits; the doctor spent as much time as she needed with us.

 

I think one reason the care is cheaper is that the doctor did everything herself: received the patient, did the treatment, took the money. No nurse or receptionist was involved. And the facility was a small waiting room with a bathroom, and her office.

 

I had a CAT scan when I was living there. The clinic where it was done looked like a low-income American clinic, but the personnel had the same training as in America, and the equipment was the same, so who cares what the building looks like. Fortunately the scan was normal, but if I had needed further treatment, we would have done it in France. The doctor was afraid I had an aneurism; I thought I had a brain tumor. It ended up just being a 3 week migraine, thankfully. I'm not sure of the total cost, but I think it was $200 - $400, likely cheaper than a scan in America.

 

Now for India . . . I can see why Westerners routinely come here for cheaper medical care. It really is good at private hospitals. Not fancy, but good, basic care. For a fraction of U.S. prices, you get good treatment. Now, I understand that is because the wages of nurses and other hospital staff are so low, and that is not something I feel great about, but just economically speaking, it is a good deal if you are lucky enough to be a Westerner with a Western income.

 

Our son was treated for leukemia (AML) last summer, and spent 4 mos. in the hospital, including a BMT. We spent $42,000. Yep, $42,000. If you know anyone who has been treated for AML in the U.S., ask them what their total cost was. A million, maybe (including the BMT)?

 

Now, once again, the care was basic. Chemo, some surgery (to insert ports), doctor and nursing care every day. Ds had a crank bed, and a small private room with a bathroom. The room did have a TV, and we bought him a Nintendo and brought him several books to pass the time. The food was good and healthy (he ate South Indian every day). The nurses were sweet and friendly, and all quite young. I really cannot say enough good about the hospital.

 

There was no playroom, only one half-time social worker for the whole hospital, and really nothing beyond basic care, but it got the job done. Dh has suggested this as a model for American hospitals, as a way to save money. You could choose to go the Hyatt route (mostly what seems to be available in America) or you could try a no frills hospital experience and save some money.

 

Now, for outpatient visits to the oncologist, we wait in line for an hour or two, and then see him for as long as we need, and like Cammie said, pay $8. I don't know what the doctor's salary is, but he travels abroad regularly, so I think he's doing fine.

 

Once again, I am very pleased with health care in France and India, and do not understand why many Americans are so scared of change in the American health care system, which I have read is the most expensive care system in the world.

 

And one more thing -- America is not the only country doing health care research. European countries do research, too. I think the American pharmaceutical and health care industries are scaring people into believing that they are the only ones capable of achieving breakthroughs. I don't believe that.

 

Dh and I were really hoping single payer would be the reform Obama chose to fight for. Single payer works really well in France. Maybe the new reform will lead to single payer eventually.

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Well, across Canada the system varies slightly from province to province. In mine, there are no premiums, no co-pays. We all get covered for most procedures and treatments. There is a big list somewhere that says what is covered. I'm not going to get into the nit-picking on that one. Suffice it to say that just about everything from having a c-section to have my son to my dear departed mother-in-law's extensive cancer treatments were all covered. The only thing I've done that wasn't covered was having an extra mole removed. I had to have one removed because it was suspicious, but I also wanted a normal one removed at the same time. It cost me $30.00 to have the other one removed at the same time as the suspicious one. Dental and optometric are not included in our province if you are over 18, but for under 18, the province will pay for one exam per calendar year. Dental work and glasses are either on your own dime, or you can get additional insurance for those 2 services.

 

We all have health cards and you have to show that for services. It is a single payer system. Some doctors are salaried to a hospital or clinic. Some doctors work as their own business on a fee-for-service basis (meaning, the doctors bill the province for services rendered to you). So, the options are pretty wide open for doctors to do business as they wish.

 

I used to be an american, and lived the first 29 years of my life there, so I know the system and how different it is from here. My husband and I, combined, pay less in federal and provincial taxes than I paid for myself, alone, in insurance premiums. If all I ever got for my tax money was healthcare, I'd still be miles ahead. As a mother now, I'd never go back. I don't have to check my bank balance if my kid is sick to see if I can afford the co-pay or deductible or out-of-pocket expense.

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While we were overseas we were military, but the reports I heard from the civilians weren't rosy. One hospital wouldn't give women in labor epidurals because of costs. Not medical reasons...costs.

 

However, when my dad was at MD Anderson in Houston, there were an incredible number of people from other countries there for treatment. It was amazing.

 

Cammy....the free hospitals sound horrid! Have you been in one just to see it?

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And one more thing -- America is not the only country doing health care research. European countries do research, too. I think the American pharmaceutical and health care industries are scaring people into believing that they are the only ones capable of achieving breakthroughs. I don't believe that.

 

Dh and I were really hoping single payer would be the reform Obama chose to fight for. Single payer works really well in France. Maybe the new reform will lead to single payer eventually.

 

I totally agree with this.

 

And I get REALLY sick of this country acting like homeopathics and herbal meds are quackery because the *FDA* (echo...echo...echo...) has not approved of them, when the German E Commission HAS studied herbals and there is TONS of info about them. And France in particular makes large use of homeopathics with GOOD results!

 

Okay, rant off. :)

Edited by MSPolly
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While we were overseas we were military, but the reports I heard from the civilians weren't rosy. One hospital wouldn't give women in labor epidurals because of costs. Not medical reasons...costs.

 

I had two babies in Germany (in 1998 and 2001). The care that I received was of the highest quality. The hospitals that I stayed in (a Catholic hospital and a university hospital) were very forward thinking-(eta) they had birthing tubs, special birthing chairs, you could get acupuncture, etc. The thing is, they don't believe that medicated birth results in the best outcome for mom and baby. If mom is not progressing well, is too tense, anything like that then they will consider an epidural but that is due to their medical philosophy, not cost.

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While we were overseas we were military, but the reports I heard from the civilians weren't rosy. One hospital wouldn't give women in labor epidurals because of costs. Not medical reasons...costs.

 

However, when my dad was at MD Anderson in Houston, there were an incredible number of people from other countries there for treatment. It was amazing.

 

Cammy....the free hospitals sound horrid! Have you been in one just to see it?

 

 

No, I haven't - the news reports are enough. And I do everything possible to make sure that the people who work in my house don't have to either. My maid's daughter was bit by a dog last year. We immediately took her to the best private hospital in town. She was seen immediately, received all the proper shots and care. Now, this would not have happened unless I was there to guarantee payment. Also, if she had gone to the government hospital they would not have had the proper rabies injections to give her. Since we don't provide "benefits" to those who work for us, I feel the least I can do is pay for medical issues as the arise for the families.

 

There are lots of problems with the system here but they do manage to keep it much cheaper than the US.

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I had two babies in Germany (in 1998 and 2001). The care that I received was of the highest quality. The hospitals that I stayed in (a Catholic hospital and a university hospital) were very forward thinking-(eta) they had birthing tubs, special birthing chairs, you could get acupuncture, etc. The thing is, they don't believe that medicated birth results in the best outcome for mom and baby. If mom is not progressing well, is too tense, anything like that then they will consider an epidural but that is due to their medical philosophy, not cost.

 

I tend to agree. :) But this hospital withheld epidurals because they couldn't afford them. Yikes. Was there a military hospital on base or did you not have a choice?

 

Hey...are you pulling an all-nighter or are you CONUS?:001_smile:

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I tend to agree. :) But this hospital withheld epidurals because they couldn't afford them. Yikes. Was there a military hospital on base or did you not have a choice?

 

Hey...are you pulling an all-nighter or are you CONUS?:001_smile:

 

We lived on tiny posts, no military hospital unless you wanted to drive 90 minutes. I wouldn't have made it with my son!

 

We're stationed in Hawaii at the moment. :)

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Here the system is very much like in the States, except maybe easier to use. We have health insurance, a portion comes out of dh's monthly salary; we have a co-pay for each dr or hospital visit. Some drugs are covered, some aren't. Most treatments are covered, most major hospitals and clinics (although they have a website to check and make sure). Because the majority of the employees at dh's work (and, actually, most of the workforce in the UAE) are expats, our insurance is also a global insurance. When ds got into a bike accident when we were visiting home one year, we took him to the hospital in the States; they gave me a bill, I gave that to my employer when we got home and promptly received a check covering the costs.

 

There is also a decent public health system; my mom fell when she was visiting here one year and needed stitches, I took her to the local public hospital. They wrote down her name (spelled wrong), but nothing else -- no phone or contact info at all. It was all free, and good treatment. The maternity hospital I went to for dd in Abu Dhabi had minimal fees for the overnight stay at delivery, but since then I hear they have started charging a package fee to include a limited number of ultrasounds, etc. When I went there was, like, a US$5 fee for each visit during pregnancy that included any tests. It is also a public hospital, maternity was not covered on dh's insurance then (I think it is now, hopefully I won't find out first hand :tongue_smilie: ).

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In Australia, you can go to a doctor for free, if you have a health care card, which people on low incomes get. The rest of us generally pay a "gap" fee over and above what the government pays the doctor. I went last week and it cost me about $60, $30 of which I will get back.

 

Many pharmaeuticals are subsidised heavily and don't cost much. Many common blood tests are free but some cost. Xrays etc can be free if a doctor has asked for them.

 

Hospitals vary. You can definitely get free public care in a public hospital, and in my experience, it has always been excellent care. I have heard that there is some extremely expensive medical equipment that is only available in the public system. Of course, you don't usually get your own room, unless you are lucky. I had 2 babies through the public system, for free- one in a normal ward. It wasnt what I wanted at the time (I was too early for the public birthing centre), but I can't really fault the care. The 2nd was at a public birthing centre in the country where we were literally the only people there at the time of ds's birth, and I had the same midwife through the pregnancy and for the birth.

 

You can choose private care at a public hospital, I believe, and private care at one of many private hospitals. It is a LOT more expensive. The government really encourages everyone to get at least minimum private health insurance, with incentives. We can afford a high level at the moment, so we pay for it and get lots of things subsidised, like dental. And if any of us needed emergency hospitalisation we could go private.

 

All children can get free dental treatment in Ausralia, but they use mercury amalgums for fillings, unfortunately, so if my kids need a filling we go private for composite fillings, and the govenment pays nothing.

 

Overall, I think most Australians appreciate our system, even though it is always underpaid and overworked . I haven't heard of issues of people being discriminated against- honestly I have the utmost respect for doctors and nurses in public hospitals- they are under tremendous stress yet manage to not take it out on the patients! If one is poor here, or struggling, or a single mum...they are looked after with our system.

 

Unfortunately our system is also prejudiced against "natural" health care and geared toward supporting multinational pharmaceutical companies...but there is a huge natural health movement nonetheless, and private health insurance often subsidises visits to chiropractors, naturopaths etc.

Edited by Peela
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All children can get free dental treatment in Ausralia, but they use mercury amalgums for fillings, unfortunately, so if my kids need a filling we go private for composite fillings, and the govenment pays nothing.

 

.

I have used the free dental program for my children. they have got the white composite fillings, not mercury ones.

 

I have only had good experiences with the public health system in Australia. I am not going to comment any more than that, as last time there was a thread ASKING for people other than Americans to talk about their health system, All the people who responded were SLAMED as commies , and brainwashed cadged people with no freedom.

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I am an American living in the UK.

 

Some differences I've noticed:

 

1. When you go in for a doctor's visit, you sit down eye level with the doctor and have a conversation first thing. I've come in with typed lists of notes and suspected diagnosis and the doctors were pleased that I took an interest rather than offended that I was doing "their job".

 

2. Should you get ill out of hours, there is a help line to call to determine what needs to be done. I've found the help line to be wonderful. They take a long time to make sure every base is covered.

 

3. If I was too sick to get to the doctor's office, one would come to me. During the height of the H1N1 scare, they were advising people not to go into the doctor's office with flu symptoms and were there need of medical care, a doctor would come to you.

 

4. I'm in Wales so prescriptions are also free.

 

5. I have a specific problem that developed during my last two pregnancies called symphysis pubis dysfunction. It was painful (still is), and crippling during my pregnancies. I had one doctor completely blow me off and found it really hard to get care or even information back in the states. Since coming here, the second I mention it to a doctor, they know what I'm talking about. They are shocked that I did not recieve more treatment during pregnancy and I am booked in to see a physical therapist who specializes in spd next month.

 

6. Yes, there are waiting lists and it is a drag. But in a true emergency, there would be no wait.

 

7. The focus is more on preventative care rather than medical solutions. While I wouldn't say it's holistic medicine, there is a different focus. There are government programs to help with mental illness, stopping smoking, alcohol abuse, ect.

 

Now, ask me about the UK home education situation, I may not be so positive. I have friends who wouldn't dream of emigrating to the US simply because of our health care system.

 

And yes, there are horror stories of things that got screwed up, people dying ect. That happens everywhere. Socialized medicine or not. It is horrible each and every time a medical mistake happens. Simply horrible.

 

I'm looking forward to many things about my upcoming move back to the states. I will miss so much about the UK, though. My friends I've met here, the sheer breathtaking beauty of things, and the medical system will all be sorely missed.

 

I'm lucky. My spouse has a job that no matter what we will have insurance and I won't have to worry about paying for basic medical care. But, I'm eager to get things taken care of here in the UK before we go back that I don't know if insurance will cover. (My son's $1200 orthodics that need replacing for one. Insurance does not cover that.)

 

:)

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We were in the Netherlands for nearly six years (in France now). In the last 1.5 years, dh was hospitalized three times. The third time was when he needed surgery for a herniated disk; the wait from the time he saw the GP to the time he saw the neurologist was two weeks, then four days for the MRI, then two to three weeks for the surgery. We never saw a bill, just confirmation that insurance had paid up.

In comparison, my dd was hospitalized once in the US overnight. We gave the hospital all our insurance information (regular and travel) and put the insurance people in contact with the hospital. After that, I received bills and threatening letters for nearly a year. The hospital, doctors and ambulance were not coordinated, the hospital would not get in touch with my insurance because they couldn't make international calls, etc., etc. My insurance company told me that they processed US claims first because US hospitals were such a nuisance to deal with. My insurance paid every cent of the claim.

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This is what we have heard from various relatives in various countries.

 

One example, *someone* in France needed back surgery for disc troubles that people *here* (USA) are diagnosed, receive surgery and most walk out of the office a new person. (I have several relatives who've had it done. A discectomy?? ) For him, his surgery was paid for and he even got a REALLY nice rehab/recovery time in the hills, but....he was on the wait list so long that he became so immobilized he was unable to work for WEEKS and ended up being bedridden for about 3 weeks leading up to his surgery.

 

So, he even got the treatment that solved his problem, but the path leading up to it caused them to be without an income for quite some time, and then the recovery/rehab for several weeks ALSO kept him from working. While it sounds nice, it *obviously* isn't something entirely necessary according to what we see here. Of course, maybe it was BECAUSE his condition deteriorated so much.... who knows?

 

Interesting, when I was a child we almost lost our house because my fathers back needed surgery and my father had left IBM with no insurance while he looked for another job. Bad timing but it almost wiped my family out financially. It did wipe us out emotionally. Not wanting to be any more argumentative then this already sounds but lots of folks don't walk out of disc surgery. For a real good read on other Healthcare in other countries read TR Reed's book where he had his shoulder diagnosed in several countries.

 

The problems you descibe with having to wait for surgery can also be solved with spending more money on the system, we spend about 40% more on healthcare then France and by mosy measurements our care is not as good nor does it cover everyone.

Edited by monk17
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I have only had good experiences with the public health system in Australia. I am not going to comment any more than that, as last time there was a thread ASKING for people other than Americans to talk about their health system, All the people who responded were SLAMED as commies , and brainwashed cadged people with no freedom.

Ditto. So if you want my experience, do a search.

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It's easiest for me to just link you to the columns I wrote about the topic last year.

 

You asked specifically about healthcare outside the US--if you only want to read about that, my experience in the UK is featured in column #2.

 

(Number One deals with our experiences with military health care, and number three is about a rat that ties it all together.)

 

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/03/reform-or-deform-part-one/

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/10/reform-or-deform-part-two/

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/17/reform-or-deform-part-three/

 

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your posts, especially the rat story :tongue_smilie:

 

Alison

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I have used the free dental program for my children. they have got the white composite fillings, not mercury ones.

 

Yes, I have heard some dentists will do it. Unfortunately ours wont.

 

I have only had good experiences with the public health system in Australia. I am not going to comment any more than that, as last time there was a thread ASKING for people other than Americans to talk about their health system, All the people who responded were SLAMED as commies , and brainwashed cadged people with no freedom.

 

:lol::lol::lol: Yes, I remember that one too. I learned a lot about ...well, I learned a lot :) I don't tend to take it personally though, and, well, its kind of humorous to watch.

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She was well cared for, but said most these people could have lived at home had they received the hip replacement. Instead they told her they had to stay at the hospital because of the medical rationing.

 

You would think that many years spent in hospital would be more expensive than the operation.

 

Laura

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We've used quite a lot of healthcare over the years. My mom was just in the emergency room a few weeks back for stroke-like symptoms. She had a huge number of tests done (including an MRI, a cardiogram, etc.) and was also able to access a stroke prevention clinic for further tests. Everything was done either on the day she went to the ER or the few days following - no waits - and since we're in Canada she didn't have to worry about paying for any of it.

 

I have had four births - three that were induced and included hospitalization before the birth. Three births in Canada, one in the United Kingdom. Through these experiences I've been under the care of an OB, I've had numerous ultrasounds, time in hospital, not to mention the births themselves and I've always felt extraordinarily well cared for (and I've never even thought about how much those things may have cost).

 

I have a fabulous family doctor and we've been referred to specialists when needed. A recent example of this was two weeks ago when dd injured her knee during Taekwon-do. We saw our family doctor and he referred us to a specialist. The specialist called that afternoon and we set up an appointment for the next day. The specialist wanted an x-ray done and we were able to get that done the following day.

 

Maybe I'm naive, but I can't imagine better care than what we already get.

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Free like -oh, I don't know - road maintenance. Yes, your taxes paid for that road. No, you don't have pay a fee every time you drive somewhere, and decide whether you can afford to drive today or not. That kind of free. Which is nice when your child is sick in the middle of the night.

Edited by KathyBC
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I totally agree with this.

 

And I get REALLY sick of this country acting like homeopathics and herbal meds are quackery because the *FDA* (echo...echo...echo...) has not approved of them, when the German E Commission HAS studied herbals and there is TONS of info about them. And France in particular makes large use of homeopathics with GOOD results!

 

Okay, rant off. :)

 

E Commission is incredible!

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Last fall, a co-worker's sister was teaching at a university in Canada for a semester and had to hospitalized with blood clots in her legs. She spent more than 2 days on a gurney in the ER before a room became available. As soon as she could travel, she returned to Fairbanks and was hospitalized there where she received much better care (iho, of course).

 

A friend of mine used to live in Ireland. She needed a test that is routine in the US but would take 6 months to get there. She asked her doctor what he thought she should do, and he told her to return to the US to get the test.

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It's easiest for me to just link you to the columns I wrote about the topic last year.

 

You asked specifically about healthcare outside the US--if you only want to read about that, my experience in the UK is featured in column #2.

 

(Number One deals with our experiences with military health care, and number three is about a rat that ties it all together.)

 

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/03/reform-or-deform-part-one/

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/10/reform-or-deform-part-two/

http://www.kariapted.com/2009/08/17/reform-or-deform-part-three/

 

My experience as a military dependent was similar to yours. Bureaucracy and inefficiency at its best.

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Like others have said, this question has been asked before and many of us were told that we were brainwashed because we liked our systems. This is the last I have to say on the subject.

 

 

True, but I noticed the most vociferous of name-callers from that thread are on a... shall we say... lengthy imposed posting hiatus. :D

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Like others have said, this question has been asked before and many of us were told that we were brainwashed because we liked our systems. This is the last I have to say on the subject.

 

Thanks for the link. My ds has been asking how health care is done in other countries. I appreciate those that commented here and on the other thread.

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Thanks for the link. My ds has been asking how health care is done in other countries. I appreciate those that commented here and on the other thread.

 

You are welcome. If he wants more details about Sweden or the UK feel free to PM me. I'm just not in the mood to discuss it again. My blood pressure doesn't need it:D

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I did notice that but I still wont go over it again. Most because I am feeling VERY lazy today:lol:

 

And there's your blood pressure (mentioned in previous post), too! Preventative care is a good thing. :001_smile:

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Last fall, a co-worker's sister was teaching at a university in Canada for a semester and had to hospitalized with blood clots in her legs. She spent more than 2 days on a gurney in the ER before a room became available. As soon as she could travel, she returned to Fairbanks and was hospitalized there where she received much better care (iho, of course).

 

A friend of mine used to live in Ireland. She needed a test that is routine in the US but would take 6 months to get there. She asked her doctor what he thought she should do, and he told her to return to the US to get the test.

 

I have a friend who suffers from RA. He was in desperate need of treatment, and it took the insurance company three mos. to approve the treatment that his doctors were recommending. In the meantime he could barely function at home due to the RA.

 

Just to say that you can find similar stories right here in the U.S.

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Interesting, when I was a child we almost lost our house because my fathers back needed surgery and my father had left IBM with no insurance while he looked for another job. Bad timing but it almost wiped my family out financially. It did wipe us out emotionally. Not wanting to be any more argumentative then this already sounds but lots of folks don't walk out of disc surgery. For a real good read on other Healthcare in other countries read TR Reed's book where he had his shoulder diagnosed in several countries.

 

The problems you descibe with having to wait for surgery can also be solved with spending more money on the system, we spend about 40% more on healthcare then France and by mosy measurements our care is not as good nor does it cover everyone.

 

Yep! Things have come a long way since then! I'm very sorry for your family! Out of 7 people very close to me who've had this surgery, only ONE didn't see immediate results. He had to have it done a second time before he did.

 

My dh is European. He has generations of family in Holland and France as well as Indonesia, Australia and Canada. Some real horror stories and then some real good ones out of all of them. I have close friends in Germany who love it there and a cousin in England who says it's hit and miss. A friend *here* from Wales who chose to come *here* to practice medicine. So....a real mixed bag. As it is everywhere isn't it? ;)

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My experience here in Canada has generally been excellent. My experiences are probably detailed in the mentioned threads.

 

One things that's always puzzled me though is the talk of how the US system allows choice. But then I hear stories of how you can't choose just any doctor to visit because of insurance concerns which simply seems weird to me. When I need to visit a hospital for a test or something my doctor asks me which one I want to go too. When I've needed an OB/GYN while pregnant my doctor asked which one I preferred in order to refer me to one of my choice. If I had a problem with my doctor I could call up any local clinic and get an appointment.

 

I think there are a LOT of myths in the US about what UHC has to be and at times, a puzzling lack of curiousity about what UHC in the US could be if the discussion were allowed to really and honestly take place.

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I had two babies in Germany (in 1998 and 2001). The care that I received was of the highest quality. The hospitals that I stayed in (a Catholic hospital and a university hospital) were very forward thinking-(eta) they had birthing tubs, special birthing chairs, you could get acupuncture, etc. The thing is, they don't believe that medicated birth results in the best outcome for mom and baby. If mom is not progressing well, is too tense, anything like that then they will consider an epidural but that is due to their medical philosophy, not cost.

 

My two were born in Halifax here in Nova Scotia. Both were good experiences although with my son it was a little better because we used our private insurance to upgrade to a private room (the first time I was in a four person ward room afterwards). But the birthing rooms were fantastic with a rocking chair, easy chair, cable tv, lots of room for visitors, etc.

 

I wish I could see the images some people here conjure when they imagine what UHC must look like. I'm betting they'd be surprised if they had actual experience with it. :)

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I think there are a LOT of myths in the US about what UHC has to be and at times, a puzzling lack of curiousity about what UHC in the US could be if the discussion were allowed to really and honestly take place.

 

I think you are right. I get REALLY frustrated at the lack of ability to have an *honest discussion*. It is hard to even ask an honest question without someone jumping to assume you have an agenda behind it.

 

It's too bad. I imagine the same thing happens in our gov't.

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Yes, I have heard some dentists will do it. Unfortunately ours wont.

 

 

 

:lol::lol::lol: Yes, I remember that one too. I learned a lot about ...well, I learned a lot :) I don't tend to take it personally though, and, well, its kind of humorous to watch.

I agree it was hilarious. And no, I didn't take it personally. I just couldn't believe how thorougher propaganda can be. it was an eye opener for me!

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Well, is it really free? This I cannot believe.

 

Like Peela said, it's free in some situations, and those who don't get it all free do get some of it back from Medicare. When it comes to hospital treatment, we can go to Emergency up at the hospital and pay not a cent. We usually have to wait a few hours, but if you have a sick baby you get to queue jump. The only money I had to pay to have either of my children was for the diabetes emeter during my second pregnancy. Too many people forgot to return them so they stopped lending. I was kind of bummed that I returned the one I borrowed for my first pregnancy! The only complaint I'd have about my medical care during pregnancy was that there was too much of it. I had to argue with the obstetrician and the diabetes educator all the time to make them leave me alone!

 

Rosie

 

P.S Free means paid for via taxes, which means free for me because I don't pay any.

P.P.S The weirdest thing for me was to learn that you Americans can't choose your own GP. I can go see any one I like.

Edited by Rosie_0801
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Well, is it really free? This I cannot believe.

 

Yes, like Rosie said, it is actually free for many, many people. I used to have a health care card for years. Once I was disqualified from having one once our income went up, the most annoying thing was having to pay for visiting the doctor (although it is still subsidised) and paying more to go to the movies.

But perhaps (and forgive me if I am wrong), your question was referring to the hidden costs in taxes and other more abstract, idealistic costs, ( I can only recall the posts from months ago- I am not going to open the recent threads other than this one) and I am not going to go there, because I like the system we have. I like that my single mother friends, whose partners pay absolute minimum maintenance, dont have to consider whether they can afford to take their child to the doctor when they get sick.

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I can share my experience both good and bad here in Australia.

 

I had all 3 of my babies through a private OBGYN at a private hospital and it did cost me out of my pocket, even with full private health insurance. The care was excellent and the costs were very reasonable and i had the care i wanted, the way i wanted.

 

My son broke his arm and we attended at emergency at our local hospital (which was in the country, remote) it was x-rayed and cast at no cost and we were referred to the major childrens hospital for followup incase it needed straightening (also at no cost). They were going to write us a letter and have us come down in 14 days time to check if it needed straightening. That wait wasn't acceptable to me so i took him to the private hospital and he was seen the next morning and it was straightened and cast that afternoon. We stayed overnight in a private room and received follow up care. That was an expensive way to deal with a broken arm but the 'free' option would have seen his arm already set before it was straightened and the orthopedic surgeon we saw was VERY concerned we would have to wait for the kind of break he had.

 

I take my kids to the Dr at no charge when they are sick. We have been through emergency at the public hospital and even received medications out of hours at no charge. When i want to see the Dr the charge where i go is about $42 i get back about $30 so that isn't too bad for a good visit that isn't rushed.

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I can share my experience both good and bad here in Australia.

 

I had all 3 of my babies through a private OBGYN at a private hospital and it did cost me out of my pocket, even with full private health insurance. The care was excellent and the costs were very reasonable and i had the care i wanted, the way i wanted.

 

My son broke his arm and we attended at emergency at our local hospital (which was in the country, remote) it was x-rayed and cast at no cost and we were referred to the major childrens hospital for followup incase it needed straightening (also at no cost). They were going to write us a letter and have us come down in 14 days time to check if it needed straightening. That wait wasn't acceptable to me so i took him to the private hospital and he was seen the next morning and it was straightened and cast that afternoon. We stayed overnight in a private room and received follow up care. That was an expensive way to deal with a broken arm but the 'free' option would have seen his arm already set before it was straightened and the orthopedic surgeon we saw was VERY concerned we would have to wait for the kind of break he had.

 

I take my kids to the Dr at no charge when they are sick. We have been through emergency at the public hospital and even received medications out of hours at no charge. When i want to see the Dr the charge where i go is about $42 i get back about $30 so that isn't too bad for a good visit that isn't rushed.

 

The waits seem comparable here if you don't have private insurance. Someone from church broke her ankle on a Monday. She went to the ER where it was x-rayed, bandaged up, and she was referred to an orthopaedist. It was a week and a half later before she found someone to put the cast on because she didn't have the money to pay for it up front. Now she has several thousand in medical bills (and she is still unemployed, which is why she no longer had insurance.)

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