Saturday, 22 April 2006

out of towner

I've been in Canada five years. It's amazing how many things I've assimilated and take for granted.

I can read scatterings of French now, since so much of it is posted everywhere. I convert the Celsius scale into Farenheit, and kilometres into miles. But I do it automatically, and it doesn't trip me up.

I know what a serviette and a chesterfield are, call the lunch meal 'dinner' , and have given up completely on understanding their political system.

I also have the blessing of socialized medicine. Yes, there are some things really, really wrong with it and the waiting lists for some things are horrendous BUT at any time I can go to my doctor or any emergency room and have really good health care. We do have secondary insurance (through B's work) and that covers things like dental and co-pay on medicines, but even if I was stone broke, this wouldn't hamper me getting help.

I've started to forget how it was before I moved here. Which is why things like this make me so angry.

A friend of mine in one of the southern states went to her emergency room with crazily-high blood pressure and crippling back pain. Her blood pressure was so high she was immediately taken in. Everyone was concerned and caring, until they found out that my friend doesn't have health insurance. At that point they told her they thought she had a ruptured disk, but that they couldn't do an MRI or any tests on it because she didn't have health insurance. There was no question of payments or any billing procedure, no sliding scale or referral to a free clinic, nothing.
They sent her home with a couple of pain-relievers and told her to take ibuprophen and put a bag of frozen peas on it.

A bag of frozen peas.

I love my homeland. But Canada's health system (as creaky and overburdened as it is) is worlds better than a bag of frozen vegetables and an aspirin.


Anonymous said...

Sorry i missed your birthday
Remember you have friends in NS
as well as from away.
Give me a call sometime now that
i am back in business i am chained
to the stove LOL

wordgirl said...

Amen! Well said...and it needed to be said. I'm so very tired of people talking about how much worse "socialized medicine" is. How can that be?

Spanglish said...

My father is a physician, and even HE believes that socialized medicine is better. He lived in Canada for a few years before immigrating to the U.S. I don't know why so many people here get so spooked by the concept. It just keeps getting worse... even when we think it can't get any lower.

Frozen peas and aspirin. Nice.

stay-at-home mommy said...

My best friend moved to the US from Canada 10 years ago and she's *still* in shock about the difference between the health care systems. My jaw nearly hit the floor when she explained the concept of co-payment to me. I had never before heard of forking over ten bucks just to get in to see the doctor!

Angela said...

I don't know what to say.

The fact you are so upset about this makes me cry. After 3 am and I am laying here in bed tearing up.


Suse said...

Wow, so in America only the rich get their illnesses treated? Foo, that sucks.

(And you didn't know what a serviette was? What did you wipe your lips with in the States?)

Oh, and happy birthday!

bean and sprout's rep. said...

okay, i hafta know... what the hell IS a serviette??

daysgoby said...

It's a napkin, RA!

(Somehow barking "Not your sleeve! Use your serviette" doesn't flow as well, so I tend not to use it....)

Liz said...

I keep hoping that one day we'll see socialized medicine here. It doesn't seem likely. You made me remember how screwed up the US is, mostly I like to go blindly about my business and pay it no mind -- probably too many like me and that's why it won't change.

Jeanne said...

I guess we don't have much to complain about here in Canada then.

By the way, this Canadian says napkin NOT serviette. Although I am familiar with serviette.