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Can we share info on healthcare OUTSIDE the US?


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My husband broke his arm as a child (1982?), I broke mine (1983), and my middle son broke his (2005). In all three instances, we were seen at the hospital, had x-rays, surgery if necessary, and were casted and were home within 24 hours. At no additional costs beyond monthly insurance premiums.

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It really depends upon where you've been stationed though. I've experienced bad and wonderful.

 

I always heard that bases that had more brass had better care. I was at Eglin and Kadena. I went on-base at Eglin once, and self-paid off-base for the remaining 3 years I was there. At Kadena I went on-base, but even the HMO I had as a civilian after I returned to the States was better.

Edited by LizzyBee
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We will be your personal family of servants if that works better.

 

Hmmm....can you cook? I'm sick of cooking. :D

 

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. :)

 

Mine were both born in the same hospital as yours - love that place! Although, and this is the only "negative" I can think of - I spent both times in the 4 person wards, and they were busy and noisy. I was recovering from long labours and unexpected c-sections both times, and was pretty miserable. BUT BUT BUT - the whole time I kept thinking, because I spent the first 25 years of my life growing up in America, with no insurance in my 20s, "ALL THIS IS FREE!!! I had major surgery, a baby, baby care, nursing care, doctor care, medications, for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The nurses were very busy and I had to do some things myself (which made me a little nervous), but I knew I could call on them at any time or punch the button in an emergency, and I'd have necessary care. I was never so grateful as during those two births - thousands of dollars of care (in the States), for free. The individual taxes we pay for this would not begin to cover the costs we've incurred over the years, had we had to pay for our own medical costs.

 

I still stand by everything I said in the linked thread. I'm not brainwashed. On the other hand, washing my brain could be good - clears the way for some clear thinking. :D

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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.

I wouldn't be surprised to discover we're in the same province, from what you've described. I'll just say 'ditto' to everything but the being American part.

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.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Health care tax? No, not specifically. It comes out of the general taxation...so much of each tax dollar paid is allotted to health care. Its not like there's a 'Health Care - $X' deduction on our pay cheques in the same way that there's an 'Employment Insurance' deduction on our pay stubs.

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Please don't beat me with an internet stick, but I am curious to discover if any of countries discussed in this thread have a certain healthcare tax or something to that effect. How do other countries pay for all this service?

 

Health care tax? No, not specifically. It comes out of the general taxation...so much of each tax dollar paid is allotted to health care. Its not like there's a 'Health Care - $X' deduction on our pay cheques in the same way that there's an 'Employment Insurance' deduction on our pay stubs.

 

 

She's correct. Just like the US doesn't have a separate "military support tax" or a separate "infrastructure tax," Canada does not have separate taxes for those things or for health care. Health care is considered part of the general budget and taxes are apportioned to it accordingly. The only mandatory deductions we have on paycheques is CPP (Canada Pension Plan -- quite similar to Social Security) and EI (Employment Insurance -- which allows us to access benefits in the case of job loss). There is a minimum you have to make per year before they start deducting income tax. Self-employed people can opt in to these programs if they choose, including the option to pay income tax in installments instead of once a year at tax time.

 

The way we pay for it is by acknowledging that it is the responsibility of the government to provide health care services, and by acknowledging that the people must pay taxes to support services. Most Canadians don't really whine and moan about taxes very much. We know we get a lot for our money. The provinces know that in order to have the money to pay for these things, they have to work at promoting the economy that supports the jobs so that people are contributing enough taxes to support the systems. It's not rocket science. It's just a different way of managing money and viewing the nature and obligation of government and its people.

Edited by Audrey
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Please don't beat me with an internet stick, but I am curious to discover if any of countries discussed in this thread have a certain healthcare tax or something to that effect. How do other countries pay for all this service?

Australia does have a Medicare levy on their tax. you can pay less medicare levy by having private health insurance. the levey is only very small, and people under a certain income bracket don't have to pay it. But most of our government money comes from selling resources ( metals, minerals etc)

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My husband is British... once when we were in England visiting his family, my daughter got very sick; and we ended up in the emergency dept. with her.

 

We were taken up immediately. She had to be admitted to the hospital. They gave her IV fluids, and were very interested in trying to figure out what was wrong. This was before she was diagnosed with the chronic disease she suffers from--- and they were actually quite interested in trying to figure out what exactly was wrong.

 

We'd been to numerous specialists in the states who had misdiagnosed her --- and had we had the time, I would have been happy to have them try and figure out what was going on.

 

But... we were on vacation, and honestly just wanted her treated for her dehydration/ current ailment.

 

Anyway, they were fantastic with her. When it was time for us to leave, they bid us farewell. No bill. No mention of money. Even though I knew that health care was/is free in England, I was still waiting for a bill to show up weeks later.

 

Oh.. and I'd pay much more in taxes to get free health care.

 

..Laura

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Australia does have a Medicare levy on their tax. you can pay less medicare levy by having private health insurance. the levey is only very small, and people under a certain income bracket don't have to pay it. But most of our government money comes from selling resources ( metals, minerals etc)

I forgot to add that Australia might have a medicare levy, but we don't pay some of the taxes that America has , like the school tax. we don't have that tax here. we don't have to pay a state tax either.. so every country has a different way of taxing, and you have to look at the whole, not just pick out on e tax, or one thing. I don't think we pay any more taxes in Australia than people pay in America, and we have health coverage.

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. I don't think we pay any more taxes in Australia than people pay in America, and we have health coverage.

 

I did the math once comparing someone living in my province of Canada with an American with cheap/moderate monthly health insurance payment. I tried a few different tax brackets. What the Canadian paid in taxes generally came out the same as the American or cheaper. Even when I had the Canadian paying provincial taxes and the American not paying state taxes. I was surprised but I guess I shouldn't have been. Things will be cheaper when a group pools their money and/or when there's just one large insurer as opposed to many smaller ones.

 

Of course the US is much cheaper if you choose not to have health insurance and stay fairly healthy.

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Our experience in Italy was so so but I guarantee you if I ever wanted a boob job or tummy tuck that is where I would go. :D

 

The experience in Germany was horrible but am not sure it would have been better in the any where else. I think it may have been the doctor's faulty.

 

Austria was scary! We stayed with a friend for several months and saw what she went through with her child. For some reason her daughter woke up paralyzed from the waist down. 2 months of doctors and excuses and no one had a clue. She put her on a plane to the US and within 12 hours of landing they had a diagnosis and surgery the next day. She is fine now.

 

As has been mentioned before Military bases vary greatly. Some are wonderful and you receive excellent care. Some are horrible and you receive nothing.

 

I am not sure how the quality of care will change in the US now. The quality of care was never my issue with the Health Care bill.

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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.

 

Or give her any quality of life.

 

It would be interesting to figure out the cost of the replacement vs. the cost of medical care, nursing home stay, etc. for those past 8 (+ more ahead) years.

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Is this something you hadn't experienced in the US? That's something I take for granted.:confused:

 

 

We had been taking her to specialists for years in the States before that incident in England--- so, we were definitely looking for answers and there were specialists trying to help. I just thought it was interesting that the doctors in the emergency dept. were trying to get to the bottom of what was going on with her. They took a keen interest in trying to help beyond what I expected them to do (ie. give her IV fluids and send her home)

 

..Laura

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When I was preparing to have surgery on a torn ACL I did a lot of research. Folks in other countries like Britain and Australia talked about being unable to get an MRI. One guy said that he had to have surgery to find out if his ACL was torn and then have the surgery if it was. MRI's were not used to help w/diagnosis and he might have had to go through unnecessary surgery.

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Interesting thread! I'll work my way through all the responses, but ...

 

Oman:

I have forgotten what a lot of things cost already. Expatriates had to use to the private hospital, except in an emergency. DS was admitted to a local state hospital - 2 days there, including abdominal surgery, cost us about US$650. I am not sure what locals paid. DD had 2 days in the private hospital with an appendecomy, and the cost was about US$2500.

 

South Africa:

If you were on a reasonable income, you would have private health insurance, and use a private hospital. If not, you would use a state hospital, and pay on a sliding scale based on income. When we were in SA (6 years ago) health care for children under 6 was free at state hospitals. State hospitals had problems, and you wouldn't use one unless you had to.

 

Australia:

 

Medicare is Australia’s universal health care system introduced in 1984 to provide eligible Australian residents with affordable, accessible and high-quality health care.

Medicare was established based on the understanding that all Australians should contribute to the cost of health care according to their ability to pay. It is financed through progressive income tax and an income-related Medicare levy.

Medicare provides access to:

 

  • free treatment as a public (Medicare) patient in a public hospital, and
  • free or subsidised treatment by medical practitioners including general practitioners, specialists, participating optometrists or dentists (for specified services only)

We aren't "eligible Australian residents" yet, so we have private health insurance.

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I just got through discussing this with my son's neurologist. The dr. really wants my son to have an MRI at some point in the future.

 

We are in the Uk

 

I wonder if there were other things going on in the MRI story that weren't related to the poster?

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I wonder if there were other things going on in the MRI story that weren't related to the poster?

 

Dh is being sent for an MRI. He has tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which is normally not dangerous but rarely can be a symptom of something more worrying. So they are going to check it out. In the UK.

 

I wonder if some of the stories of difficulties getting treatment in the UK are rather old. The government has invested heavily in the service over the last ten years, so things look rather different now.

 

Laura

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We are in the UK.

 

My general experience of NHS GPs is pretty negative. They often seem too busy to care. They don't have a great deal of time allotted to each patient. When we lived in London it was very hard to even get appointments unless you were seriously unwell. Its better here in Devon but you can still wait a couple of weeks though they try and see young children quickly. The system of health visitors is pretty terrible, i don't know another mum who doesn't think their health visitor is useless, we stopped using their services.

 

My experience of hospital has been a lot better, the doctors there were helpful and efficient, my son has a few health issues and it hasn't been as much of a struggle to get help as I though it would be. Our only trip to accident and emergency with my son when he was one, was a good experience (as much as it could be). We were dealt with very quickly.

 

The only department that I found a huge disappointment in hospital was the maternity department which was just plain awful. Understaffed and just about everything that could be broken was (lights, bed, gas and air tube, and other things) and it was far from clean in some areas. I couldn't wait to get out of there. It was a completely different experience to my first home birth attended by lovely community midwives and with home visits from the doctor as needed.

 

Even with the bad bits of the NHS, knowing it is there to use for free whenever we need it, particularly for my kids, is great. I think the preventative care elements are good and my mum has made use of lots of these programs.

 

I have come to the conclusion that NHS dentists are only any use for check ups and we are starting to favour private dentists if anything actually needs doing. My son has some dental problems and getting a referral to a special care dentist has been hard and slow and because the regular nhs dentist pretty much refuses to do anything other than look, I have had to fill in the gaps with private dentists to stop things getting worse as best I can.

 

I think the NHS is a system that needs you to be pro-active.

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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.

 

There's a very basic difference here though. In LizzyBee's two examples, it was the availability and access (time) involved in receiving care that was delayed or unavailable.

 

In your example, it was a matter of insurance and who would be paying for the treatment.

 

I'm "picking on" these two posts because I think that's often what gets lost in the health care debate overall.

 

That's also why it's really unfortunate that simple and direct fixes to health insurance weren't debated realistically and haven't been addressed in the legislation. Health insurance is now under the auspices of the federal government. Anyone who's ever applied for a job with the federal gov't knows what the wait times can be.

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I never read the other threads about healthcare; but found this one interesting. I was just wondering how the elderly fare in the healthcare systems outside the US. Probably because I'm about to turn 54, and as I'm reading I'm thinking that so many (NOT all) of the examples here are usually problems which younger people deal with - versus chronic type things or old age kinds of issues.

 

 

I mentioned my mother-in-law. She battled colon cancer for over 10 years. Never waited for a procedure and received nearly every treatment one could give for such a cancer -- radiation, chemo, several surgeries. IMO, she received better care for her cancer than my mother did for hers a few years before in the US.

 

Recently our neighbour was diagnosed with ALS. Now, unfortunately, there is no real treatment or cure for this devastating disease. Yet, he is still receiving therapies to help him manage the stages of the disease and sees a doctor whenever he wants (and he wants to a lot -- he's scared and has a lot of questions).

 

My elderly father-in-law has multiple "age-related" issues for which he receives on-going treatment/prescriptions/therapies. For us, in the rural areas, one problem is getting to the more unusual treatments -- most of which are concentrated in the 2 major cities of the province. We now have a somewhat closer hospital that does a lot of cancer treatments and advanced testing, but that's still an hour away. From my experience with my dad in the US who lived in a rural area as well, I don't think that's a UHC problem, so much as a geographic problem all around. However, we do choose to live out here, so we learn to deal with it.

Edited by Audrey
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I never read the other threads about healthcare; but found this one interesting. I was just wondering how the elderly fare in the healthcare systems outside the US. Probably because I'm about to turn 54, and as I'm reading I'm thinking that so many (NOT all) of the examples here are usually problems which younger people deal with - versus chronic type things or old age kinds of issues.

 

I worked in the aged care system in Australia before homeschooling.

Elderly people do receive things like hip replacements etc. I personally know one lady in her 80's who fell and broke her hip, she received a hip replacement, when she recovered from the operation ( a few weeks), she was flown back to her small town, and ambulance picked her up from the airport, and took her home and put her into her own bed. shehad a nurse come and check on her every few days, as well as home help come and clean her house/check on her twice a week. ALL of this was covered, all she had to pay was hire of equipment like shower chairs, and $3.50 per home help visit.

 

The local hospital in the small town near where I live ( population 2500)has a high dependency nursing home attached to the hospital, it has a low dependency residential unit behind the hospital, and a retirement village across the road. Of course all this is not for free, but it is subsidized for people who cannot afford it.

for frail people who need a little help to stay in their own home , there is home help, where trained Personal Carers come to their homes as often as needed, and preform such tasks as shower, prepare meals, make sure medication has been taken, check on general well being, and clean the house. All with the purpose of keeping the elderly at home as long as possible. this isn't free, they pay $3.50 per visit, If they have a gold pension card, than all service is free( these have been issued to ex service men/ women from wars)

 

of course, you don't have a choice of specialist when using the public heath system, so some people get private health insurance because they want to choose. I have never got private health insurance, as I live way out in the country, and there is only a limited choice of specialists that come up here. It would be the same specialist if I had private or public.

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I never read the other threads about healthcare; but found this one interesting. I was just wondering how the elderly fare in the healthcare systems outside the US. Probably because I'm about to turn 54, and as I'm reading I'm thinking that so many (NOT all) of the examples here are usually problems which younger people deal with - versus chronic type things or old age kinds of issues.

 

I| don't know that it's much different for seniors in terms of the quality of care. I do know that waiting times for hip replacements can be a problems but in my province at least it seems pretty good. My parents have no complaints and they've dealt with issues in recent years from diverticulitis to prostate cancer. Same with my in-laws and husband's grandparents and the issues there have been things included kidney disease and lung problems. I do know that seniors have a provincially funded drug plan here (whereas those of us who are younger either pay or purchase private insurance to help with those costs) and home visit programs.

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I| don't know that it's much different for seniors in terms of the quality of care. I do know that waiting times for hip replacements can be a problems but in my province at least it seems pretty good. My parents have no complaints and they've dealt with issues in recent years from diverticulitis to prostate cancer. Same with my in-laws and husband's grandparents and the issues there have been things included kidney disease and lung problems. I do know that seniors have a provincially funded drug plan here (whereas those of us who are younger either pay or purchase private insurance to help with those costs) and home visit programs.

 

 

Ah yes! I forgot about home care. That is part of the health care system in my province, too. You don't have to be a senior to receive home care visits, but you do need a doctor's rec for it. They do some basic care like changing dressings/bandages, helping with some physical needs, even helping you with some light housekeeping sometimes. I don't know all the ins and out of the program, but it gets a lot of praise from people who use it.

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