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13.3.09

The "Horrors" of Socialized Health Services

When people in the States talk about the 'horrors' of having socialized health services, they talk the most about the wait.

"Oh, you have to wait two hours to get seen about a broken leg!"

"Five hours to get my finger sewn back on."

Right.

I couldn't say much about emergency socialized medical services because I had never needed to use them. That is, until recently.

With fever, pain in my head, coughing like there is no tomorrow, I finally gave in and went to emergency. Not an emergency in some eyes, but I was at my worst point in a battle against a virus that has lasted a month so far. And so I went in, expecting to be there all night.

Not so.

I'd like to point out that I don't live in a small country town nor is the place I went to a small place that caters to a few. It's a major hospital and I live in a major suburb.

I went in, registered at the main desk, spoke with the triage nurse, had my vitals taken, spoke to a doctor twice about symptom details, had a chest x-ray taken, had a final meeting with the doctor and had my throat checked and got prescriptions as well as all my questions answered.

In the 'horrible' socialized medical system, you'd expect that to take ages, wouldn't you...

Nope. From the moment I walked in there to the moment I got back into the car, it took two hours all up.

I have waited for longer for lesser care in the States.

Score another point for socialized medicine...

2 comments:

Jeni said...

Theoretically, we don't have "socialized Health Services" here but if it the waiting time to be seen that people fear about socialized medicine then I'm thinking perhaps our local hospital is already on track then because I've never seen an ER so slow as this place is and has been for several years now too! Anyone living in this region of the US who has to go to our local hospital to the ER KNOWS full well, in advance, that regardless of whether the place is crazy busy with patients or having a very slow day, they know that they will still endure a long, long, very long, wait till they are seen, evaluated, tested if necessary (x-rays, etc.) before being sent out the door and can expect a nice big fat bill too down the road for having lost the better part of a day waiting for treatment!.So, my question is then, what would be the difference other than perhaps out-of-pocket expenses then?

JM said...

Where I used to live, my local wasn't exactly the epitome of speedy assessment, either. So I'm not sure why some people use the waiting period as a reason to hate/fear/whatever going over to a different type of health system. Especially one where they don't need to check your insurance company before deciding what treatment you'll get.