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Thread: Sicko

  1. #41
    For strep throat, fever, you'd go to a walk-in clinic, wait up to 2 hours to see a doc and get a prescription. For CT/ MRI/ ultrasound it depends on the urgency. 3 to 6 months I'm guessing because I've only had them done in emergency situations. I know that if you don't want to wait, an ultrasound is $125, an MRI around $600 at a private clinic. Something like a hip/knee replacement can take up to a year.

  2. #42
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    Waiting lists

    Quote Originally Posted by Karla523
    For those of you who do live in countries with universal health care, can you give us an idea of what the "waiting list" times are like for various procedures? Is it easy to get a same day appointment for strep throat, fever etc? How long is the wait to have tonsils out? How long is the wait for CT/MRI for problems? I am not asking for those who are able to pay extra, but for the free coverage. If you can give me some examples, it would help me better understand how it works. I have heard about the waiting lists, but never from people who lived there. Thanks!
    Hi Karla.
    I have not seen the movie Sicko yet so I can’t comment too much about that one, but here are some answers from here;

    We have some waiting lists on planned procedures, not for emergencies of course. A few years back there was some concern about the waiting time for some procedures; in general this is not an issue anymore after the whole hospital system has been revised. We have also what one calls free choice of public hospitals (again not for emergencies of course). We have also some private clinics which can be used, and which also are for free if a doc is sending you there. We can also go abroad to other countries for surgeries if there are no acceptable procedures here for a particular treatment. This is also for free, but the treatment must then have been documented to be of gain for the patient. So, there are quite a few options.

    As for concrete waiting lists for some treatments, here are some, and remember we have a free choice of hospitals (more on that here, quality indicators can also be checked for hospitals), say if some does not want to wait the time at your local hospital at a given time for a given procedure;

    Strep throat/fever – call and go directly to your doc and sort it out (we have a system which provides each citizen with one particular and permanent doctor).

    CT – 1 week (see here).
    MR – 1 week (see here).
    Tonsils - 4 weeks (see here).
    Heart surgery (or percutaneous revascularization “PCI” – 2 weeks (see here).
    Hearth surgery (bypass “coronar bypass”) – 1 week (see here).
    Artificial replacement of hip joint “coxarthrose” – 4 weeks (see here).
    Arthroscopy – 2 weeks (see here).
    Cervical proplapse surgery – 1 week (see here). Examination, 10 weeks.
    EMG/neurography examination – 4 weeks (see here).
    X-ray thorax – 0 week (see here).
    X-ray/Examination colon – 1 week (see here).

    Just a few current time examples. And all is free of coverage.
    Hope it helps, Leif.

    Edit: One thing though as for the US system when it comes to a personal experience. If not for this system my SCI would have been T4 complete, but lucky me for that system my SCI just ended up for me being just T4 incomplete (it was a very rare and complex SCI situation). Well, I guess there was many lucky factors in play; the system we have over here knowing about some of the experts for cases like mine in the US and that they could send me to the US (free of charge, but I would have paid it myself regardless if not), and I tell you, the whole trip was pretty expensive (flights for me and sis, she going back and forth a couple of times, surgery and rehab etc. over there), but not only that, the system here also allowed me to have with me two neurosurgeons from here, cause as the professor here from our national hospital said; “I send them over with you to learn some from the procedure to take back with them”. The US surgeons btw were originally from Germany. So as for the US system, it is very good in many ways, e.g. for rare conditions and say for a small country like mine, because we can’t have specialists for every rare case. Thus the US being such a large country they can have specialists in many fields, which is a good thing (above that, we also take in foreign patients where we have capacity and experience)… So I personally had a very good experience with the US system, the surgery went perfect and the stay there after at the hospital and rehab was also very good. Clean and good facilities and very nice staff. Well when it comes to clean hospitals, some over here you can eat from the floor at. Can’t say that about a university hospital I first was at in Paris, holy molly, there was shit everywhere and the grumpy nurses was sitting smoking just over the corridor from the intensive care unit I was at, and buddy laying next to me with a big “turban” on his head after a brain surgery was pissing so much in his bed the urine was flowing over his bed like rivers onto the electrical motors under his bed -me just waiting for both of us to be electrocuted (lol). But, above that, I do understand some of the problems with the US system, insurance issues for example, like some of the Sicko movie kind of addresses I guess - buddy at the same room I had at one time at the hospital in the US, a nice old man "retired deputy sheriff", got his wife visiting him a few days after he ended up at the hospital, asking him what she should do with the bill for the ambulance that took him there?
    Last edited by Leif; 07-04-2007 at 07:43 AM.

  3. #43
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/transfor...public_mn.html

    $30 cash to have a form signed yesterday by a clinic physician (I filled it out, he just signed it). $20 cash the week before for a note. I waited less than ten minutes each time to see a doctor who just got here from South Africa. The clinic is on the same block where I live and I was able to just wheel there. My own family physician would have taken 2-6 weeks to get into see; but he's quite busy with his family practice. I pay $100/yr for my family physician for free notes, no charge for missed appointments and phone-call refills at the pharmacy. David can get into his doctor within two days, but he's about to retire and there's a doctor shortage in Windsor-Essex County.

    The waiting started about a decade ago when the NDP put a cap on how much doctors could earn. Then they started leaving Canada to the States, where they could make more money. Nurses followed.

    I live in a city of just over 200,000 ... we were reduced to two 'super-hospitals' from four about a decade ago as well. There is one emergency physician available in each hospital; so that's two for the whole city; from the early evening until the morning. Anything requiring a specialty will be called in for consult - there's always someone on call. The rest of the time, there's several clinics at any given location in the city. It costs nothing to go and receive treatment. Some medications may not be covered if you're on government assistance. There was talk in this country of a national pharmaceutical coverage last year ... but I've not heard any more of it. (I'd be in favour of dental coverage).

    The only problem with waiting - and I'm guilty of this - is not going. You wait until your health problem is really bad before you go and see someone. You may find yourself at home wondering if you really have an emergency as that wait could take 12hrs ... then they may not have a bed to admit you to so you might stay in emerge for a couple of days.

    It's still better than the American system though. I'd be penniless by now even still working, especially with these pressure sores. I buy medical dressings for them, but am reimbursed by my benefits provider at work for the full cost, less a $10 co-pay per year. I was on homecare, which is a free service funded by our tax dollars, but they deemed me independent enough to change the dressings myself - which was true - so I'm on my own. $2 co-pay for any medications I'm prescribed.

    Christopher is right - when the shit hits the fan, it works. Unfortunately we are lack for neurologists and other specialities, so if a trauma case comes in, they are sometimes sent to Detroit Receiving Hospital - paid for by OHIP (tax dollars), because we don't have the specialized personnel ... but a border city is different.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  4. #44
    What is the coverage like for mental health care in your areas? Is there a limit placed on the number of visits to therapists/psychiatrists? Is there a long wait to get mental therapy if needed? Can you decide on your own that you need it or do you have to be evaluated by a third party?

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by christopher
    For strep throat, fever, you'd go to a walk-in clinic, wait up to 2 hours to see a doc and get a prescription. For CT/ MRI/ ultrasound it depends on the urgency. 3 to 6 months I'm guessing because I've only had them done in emergency situations. I know that if you don't want to wait, an ultrasound is $125, an MRI around $600 at a private clinic. Something like a hip/knee replacement can take up to a year.

    MRI's here cost between 900-1400 plus fees for the radiologist if you are a cash pay. The insurance company however pays aprox $450 for the procedure with discount.

    If my kids are real sick after hours, I can take them to a speciality Urgent Care Center and have a co-pay of $50, the insurance pays the rest. I took a child there once for severe asthma and they deemed it non-emergency (doctor sent us). The insurance refused to cover it because of the diagnostic code. Listed 1st was bronchitis (non-emergency even with 102 fever) and asthma 2nd. It took a year to get coverage. If they had billed as Bronchial asthma, it would have been covered minus the $50.

    Another time my son had a staph abcess on his knee with red streak going up the leg and swelling. We were sent to Urgent care. We ended up paying 100% because they would not cover the "surgical procedure" of lancing the abcess in the Urgent Care. We would have had to go to a surgeon despite the red streak and swelling.

    There are waits here too. Boys need school physical and shots to return to school. Called in APril, first appt is Sept 24th. Our doctor has us on a wait list. Insurance says they must be done by primary care doctor, no one else.
    Our insurance companies spend more time trying not to cover you than covering you.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  6. #46
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Mental Health is another story. It's easy to 'fall through the cracks' in the system.

    My niece was just diagnosed as having some sort of bipolarism. She spent from January until March in hospital, coming and going as she pleased. This was after a second suicide attempt. The last month was in an actual psychiatric hospital, more like a prison as she compared it, and she left soon after. She is on government assistance, as it's classified as a disability, and therefore able to get her medications paid for.

    Now she's in a rut because if she finds employment at age 22, she'll be cut off from assistance. Then she will be unable to afford her medications ... odds of her finding a job with drug benefits are nil considering she dropped of out college (but then again so did I).

    She saw social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc for free while in hospital. Canadian Mental Health Association offers counselling as well, although I'm not sure how many visits are free. From here, I'm not sure of the situation ... but while in hospital mostly everything would be free.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  7. #47
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    [QUOTE=Leif]Hi Karla.
    I have not seen the movie Sicko yet so I can’t comment too much about that one, but here are some answers from here;

    We have some waiting lists on planned procedures, not for emergencies of course. A few years back there was some concern about the waiting time for some procedures; in general this is not an issue anymore after the whole hospital system has been revised. We have also what one calls free choice of public hospitals (again not for emergencies of course). We have also some private clinics which can be used, and which also are for free if a doc is sending you there. We can also go abroad to other countries for surgeries if there are no acceptable procedures here for a particular treatment. This is also for free, but the treatment must then have been documented to be of gain for the patient. So, there are quite a few options.

    As for concrete waiting lists for some treatments, here are some, and remember we have a free choice of hospitals (more on that here, quality indicators can also be checked for hospitals), say if some does not want to wait the time at your local hospital at a given time for a given procedure;

    Strep throat/fever – call and go directly to your doc and sort it out (we have a system which provides each citizen with one particular and permanent doctor).

    CT – 1 week (see here).
    MR – 1 week (see here).
    Tonsils - 4 weeks (see here).
    Heart surgery (or percutaneous revascularization “PCI” – 2 weeks (see here).
    Hearth surgery (bypass “coronar bypass”) – 1 week (see here).
    Artificial replacement of hip joint “coxarthrose” – 4 weeks (see here).
    Arthroscopy – 2 weeks (see here).
    Cervical proplapse surgery – 1 week (see here). Examination, 10 weeks.
    EMG/neurography examination – 4 weeks (see here).
    X-ray thorax – 0 week (see [URL="http://www.frittsykehusvalg I first was at in Paris, holy molly, there was shit everywhere and the grumpy nurses was sitting smoking just over the corridor from the intensive care unit I was at, and buddy laying next to me with a big “turban” on his head after a brain surgery was pissing so much in his bed the urine was flowing over his bed like rivers onto the electrical motors under his bed -me just waiting for both of us to be electrocuted (lol).

    lol leif ...a big turban on his head after a brain surgery.
    • Dum spiro, spero.
      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

  8. #48
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesecake
    There are waits here too. Boys need school physical and shots to return to school. Called in APril, first appt is Sept 24th. Our doctor has us on a wait list. Insurance says they must be done by primary care doctor, no one else.
    You might wait a week in Southwestern Ontario ... but a physician can charge you for it. I've seen $80 ... but I've not had one done lately.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  9. #49
    In the US, an average stay these days are 2-3 days to "stabalize". Then you go home for your family to deal with. The cost of the medications are astronomical as well if you are not insured.
    Psychiatrist give the meds, med evals are 15 minutes once a month or every 3 months. Therapists see you 1 time a week on average for 30 appts a year. Hopsital care for mental illness is also capped at 30 per year. SOme states are puting in "parity" so a serious mental illness like bipolar, schizophrenia, etc. must be treated like the health problem it is with no caps.
    If they deem it "behavioral" their is no parity.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer
    You might wait a week in Southwestern Ontario ... but a physician can charge you for it. I've seen $80 ... but I've not had one done lately.
    My insurance has me pay a co-pay. The fees are limited because physicals are mandatory for school. Once they hit 18, my policy says a physical once every 3 -5 years. When I was 45, I could get a physical once every 3 years. Mamograms, pap smears, etc are also limited. No mamogram until a baseline at 40. I had to fight like crazy at 37 when I found a mass.

    When my son was born 9 years ago, at 4 in the morning, the discharge planner came to my room to discharge me at 11 pm that night, less than 24 hrs later. It was a high risk pregnancy with complications. I had to throw out the new state law for 48 hours minimum if mom requested it. If I had not done that my son would have stayed and I would have gone home. They called it Drive through delievery.

    And just as an FYI, when I had my SCI,I received no rehab as I was uninsured and could not access any program. I fell through the cracks big time.

    Yes, health care in the US is grand

    PS sorry for typos my "g" key is not really working.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

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