Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Everyday I thank the good Lord that I live in Canada. Sure, it's colder here in the Nation's Capitol and we pay more taxes than our neighbors to the south but we have one thing that is better. A huge thing. We have health care.

In the past 5 years, I have seen 7 different specialists and 2 family doctors. I have had scores of x-rays, CT's, allergy tests and blood draws. And it all has cost me nothing. The only medical services I have paid for are my physio visits, cortisone shots (because I did not have them done in a hospital) 1 specialized blood test, and my prescriptions. All of which is covered by our medical insurance.We are lucky. Our insurance provider covers 100% of our medical bills, without any deductible. When the time comes for my hip and knee replacements, OHIP will cover the surgery and our insurance will cover the hospital stay, medications and physio visits. Say what you want about Canadian health care, but if you have a serious health problem, it is a Godsend.

If I was living in the US, my RA and resulting lung issues would cost us a fortune. Currently, my monthly prescriptions are approximately $700/month. I go to physio 1 to 2 times a week at $50/visit; I have monthly blood work and see my Rheumatologist every 3 months. I also see my Family Doctor every couple of months for some complication or another. If it weren't for our health care coverage, we'd be in the poor house!

I have read other American blogs, where the writer has complained about having to jump through hoops for their HMO to approve the medication that was ordered by their doctor. I've read about people begging their HMO's to allow then to even see a doctor, or have a medical test performed. Recently, I came across New Knees for Lisa. Lisa has RA and desperately needs knee replacements for both knees. Her insurance deductible is $7600. She has had to resort to relying on the kindness of internet strangers to raise funds so that she can walk pain free again. Then there are those, who don't have insurance. Those who can't pay for even the basic medical care. I can't even begin to imagine how these people with serious health issues cope.

Yes Canada has their health care woes. We have doctor and nurse shortages. Waiting lists for CT's and MRI's are miles long. I even had to wait a year to see a Rheumatologist. But I'd take all that, to know that I can afford my medical care. If I had to add that stress to the stress of having RA and MCS, I don't think I could take it. Being sick is hard enough. Not being able to afford treatment is a whole lot worse. My Canadian readers, remember that the next time you complain about your medical care. Be thankful that you have it.

1 Comment:

  1. mallen said...
    Hi. I heard about your story through RAWarrior. I am also Canadian and very thankful for the healthcare here. Yes, there are waiting woes, but I'd definately take that over having to choose to buy meds or buy food. Most of the cost of my meds is covered through odsp.

    God bless, Mallen
    (Southwestern Ontario)

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