Counting our health-care blessings

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I am one of the thousands of Newfoundland snowbirds in Florida for the winter.

Health Sciences Centre

A recent car accident involving a Canadian showed me the value of our MCP and our health-care system. I hope when gripers, (and there are many) read this they will step back and appreciate what we’ve got.

If you come down south be sure you have adequate insurance — lots of it. Hospitals here and everywhere in the U.S.A., it seems, are for-profit hospitals. Meaning the buck comes first. Huge bucks!

The victim, a lady (a registered nurser 50 years) from Hudson needed emergency trauma service following a collision in mid-March.

It appears the suspect for her upper body injury was the airbag. She spent a frustrating five-hour stay at the hospital and was released after being stabilized. The bill came to a staggering $44,900 for the trauma unit and two checkups she received by a physician’s assistant.

 She spent most of the five hours waiting for blood work, ECG and CAT scan with dye. Her blood pressure and pulse were only taken twice — on arrival and on departure.The lady told a local Florida newspaper her name was misspelled at the outset and not corrected, and a proper wrist band wasn’t put on for two hours.

“I never saw a doctor, and a physician’s assistant only made a brief examination before ordering the tests,” she said.

She was finally released with “some aftercare papers including those for her insurance provider and was left to find her own way out,” she said.

To add insult to injury no one spoke to her husband.

She said the emotional trauma of the money grab is more upsetting than the car accident.

Her wish is to let people (especially her friends) in Canada and the U.K. know about Florida’s trauma-response fees. ($44,900 for five hours work is pretty good pay, one would agree).

So, let’s all realize how fortunate we are to have our health-care system in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Admittedly, our taxes are much higher than in the U.S.A. but the Floridians would give their right arm to have what we have — “a free for all system” fair and equitable no matter what status one has.

Ours are taxes well worth collecting (every cent) I feel, especially when they’re spent to guard our health and provide a sense of security.

Thanks to MCP workers and our health-care providers.


Bill Westcott

Clarke’s Beach

Geographic location: Florida, Canada, U.K. Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • g
    April 08, 2014 - 23:10

    I am a American, a Canadian resident and citizen and can agree with everything in this article and much more from my own experience for I lived in the US before retirement, health care is bad in the US but worse in Florida, my late elderly mother lived there,so many sick elderly there that it is the worst in the nation even though it is expensive all over the US.

  • Sweet
    April 08, 2014 - 22:44

    Living in the states almost 20 years. It's a decent system, age is not a status for treatment, ie. you're 65 let's wait 8 weeks for treatment ( it DOES happen), our system has gone to the dump since Ahem.... OBAMACARE! We will be worst off than any civilized country.

  • David
    April 08, 2014 - 14:46

    Here in Fl. if you are in an accident and don't have insurance, you are cared for at any hospital. Thats the law. Most Americans prefer to have their own insurance so they can be taken care of in a week or two, not a year or two.Stephanie, I hope you don't have to have open heart surgery and have to wait a few years. Then you'll see how bad your government insurance works.

  • Maryjo
    April 08, 2014 - 13:17

    We have had a much different experience here in California. My husband ended up at the Eisenhower Hospital here last March with a heart issue. He was in hospital for four days, had numerous tests, including an Echo Cardiogram, and the total bill for the hospital stay was less than $35K, which was paid by insurance.

  • hslaw
    April 08, 2014 - 12:00

    I have no intension to knock the health care system but coming from14 years living in the states I could have an appointment to have an MRI done in 48 hours and not three moths or a phiso appointment in 1 week and not 11 months The For profit makes the business more stream lined and efficient. And that's with insurance

    • nl
      April 08, 2014 - 13:01

      and then the people who desperately need the survices but can't afford it die..... the rich get richer.. or in this case.... the rich get to live.

    • hslaw
      April 08, 2014 - 13:37

      nl that's what I mean we are told that its better here in Canada because of healthcare but we die before treatment,

    • stephanie
      April 08, 2014 - 14:05

      Yes, the wait times are less because YOU PAY.... Obviously the wait times would be longer here because there are so many people who need to have these tests and CAN have them without worrying about financial situations... Thank you to shedding light on how good we have it here... I'd take a long wait time over having to decide between dishing out thousands of dollars or just not getting these tests done and not knowing what's going on with my body and potentially dying... Our health care could use some improvements I'll give you that, but I think we're doing alright not having to declare bankruptcy for having a few tests and a hospital stay.