I really want to feel bad for you, but you've obviously not experienced American health care.
Originally posted by generik
...just FINDING a general practitioner right now is hard enough that the government had to start up a program to try to find you a doctor.
notice i said "try" as they even state that there is a chance they will not be able to find you one.
It's not terribly difficult to find a doctor in the US. That depends on where you are of course. A major metro area has lots of doctors, depending on
which part of the city you live in.
and without a GP you are basically screwed out of the entire system as you always need a GP's recommendation for other health services. sure
there are "walk in" services available, but these are pretty much useless on there own, since first off they always seem to have a sign that reads
" no narcotics proscribed" (to try to keep people from getting stuff from multiple dr's i guess). next they will not recommend you for other health
services, or things like that. really all they are good for is if you do yourself a minor injury you can get in to see them without the couple week
wait found in most doctor offices for an appointment.
This happens in the US as well. Your private insurance won't cover a procedure or a visit without the written consent of your primary doctor (GP).
Most specialists would recommend you visit your primary doctor first also.
even when you do have a GP you can only deal with one thing a visit (sometimes you get a whole 15 min with the dr). there are even set maximum
patients a doctor can even have which is why finding one can be difficult. another reason a dr is hard to find is that doctors have a habit of leaving
for areas where they can make more money.
It's pretty common for a doctor in the US to spend 10-15 minutes with a patient, the more patients they see in a day, the more money they make. A
doctor here in the US will also leave areas for places where they make more money...so much so that small communities have taken to paying for a
doctors student debt in order to bring them to their communities.
hospital emergency rooms in general only want really bad injuries, for more minor stuff like stitches they want you to go to your own dr or to
a walk in clinic. but even so unless it is life threatening (or THEY THINK it is anyway, i almost lost my mother more than once due to this), you can
expect to spend several hours before being seen. some hospitals have even had their emergency rooms CLOSED due to cutbacks.
In the US, any emergency room will take you at any time. However, expect a $5,000-$10,000 bill in the mail if you don't have insurance. If you do
have insurance (really good insurance), you'll face a $500-$1,500 bill. Even if you were only seen for 20 minutes. Health care is a major industry in
America. By major industry I mean they make a LOT of money. So much money that it's not uncommon for hospitals and doctors to knock off 50% of your
bill and still make a profit.
There's a lot of reasons for this that I won't go into right now.
also when the healthcare system finds they are spending too much they tend to cut back on what is covered, in Ontario for example a few years
back the cut things like eye exams, physio therapy and chiropractic care (which they only paid a small portion of to begin with). so guess what YOU
NEED OUTSIDE INSURANCE ANYWAY to get the care you may need.
Very few insurance plans cover eyes, teeth and health in the US. Again, you won't get physical therapy or chiropractic unless your primary doctor
recommends it anyway. It's a common practice for hospitals to greatly inflate their costs so they will rarely spend too much money.
need a specialist for a new or recently diagnosed health issue? well you can expect to wait SIX MONTHS to a YEAR to get an appointment in a lot
of cases. again due to a shortage of dr's and maximum allowed patients.
Here's where things are drastically different. I've never waited more than six weeks for a surgery, nor have I ever known anyone to wait longer. At
the same time though, you're expected to pay upwards of $20,000 for minor surgeries without insurance. With insurance you're expected to pay $2,000.
Once again, you can negotiate the price down.
welcome to "single payer health care", where help MAY or MAY NOT be there for you, and you may have to wait to be taken care of.
I would love to have a single payer system in America. You don't seem to grasp the problem of personal debt that Americans have. One doctors visit
could lead to decades
of financial stagnation for an individual. You don't have that problem. You should feel fortunate.