Thursday, 3 February 2011

Healthcare, anyone?




For things like prescription drugs, we pay 20% here in Ontario...



One thing which fascinates me to no end is how two countries which are separated by just a border can be so different (of course there are similarities!). Think Malaysia and Singapore...

I can see that over here in North America too. Although Canada has many similarities to the US, there are some things which are very different. Healthcare comes to mind...



I hear my friends and/or acquaintances in the States grumbling about healthcare and how it is exorbitantly expensive to seek medical care. Many don't have insurance.

And I realise how lucky I am to be here in Canada.




Canadians pay alot when it comes to taxes, especially here in Ontario where the tax is 13%. So everything that you plan to buy, be prepared to add an additional 13% to the price tag. Needless to say, shopping ain't much fun.

But healthcare, especially if you need regular healthcare, is great. The waitlist is long, and it is a pain that you need a referal for everything, but when you do get in, it's awesome!



I go for physiotherapy and hydrotherapy now (Note: At least in Ontario--I don't know about other provinces--services such as physio, occupational therapy, dental and prescription drugs require the patient to pay 20%; other services like hospital/doctor visits, diagnostic tests/bloodwork are free) for my double joints, in addition to my ballet. And in just these short 6 months, I can already see the difference.



I fell just the other day that resulted in a big bruise on my knee. But unlike the previous times where I would have limped quite a bit for some days, this time, I was able to walk just fine. In fact, I could even go for ballet just a couple days after and jump around.

And I really like my physiotherapist because she tailors my exercise such that I can do it in the university gym (which is connected to the physiotherapy clinic) or at home with regular things like textbooks.



The healthcare Canada provides (remember we pay a substantially high tax) is a welcome blessing, although the waitlist is a real pain. Regardless of the waitlist, if it weren't for the healthplan, I'm sure many students like me will shun hospitals even when we're horribly ill. Like when I needed the hospital in my first year (a real bad case of the flu), I could at least rest assured I won't get a heart attack when the bill came.

All I had to pay was 20% of the ambulance fee--I paid $45 in case anyone's wondering.



Which I found out THIS year, my extended coverage plan would have covered the other 20% (Darn!)...



11 comments:

Anonymous said...

now i wish i went to canada!

WP said...

Hmm...sounds a bit like France. We have to pay 30% or 40% of the medical fees, or we can subscribe for a "complement" (extended coverage in your case, I guess) which covers that. Though some will not cover the whole amount, depending on what kind of plan you subscribe to.

And as for taxes, it's 19.6%...but the price tags already include that so we don't "feel" it as much.

winniethepooh said...

yup daphne, indeed the referral and waitlist is a pain when u see the doc. sometimes when ure so sick and they tell u, "oh u have to make a doc appt before u can see the doc" that makes me so mad hehe

some people tot that healthcare is really "FREE" here, infact, its becoz of the high tax thats y its "free". so, is it better to hv lower tax and u pay ur own medicial bill when u need it or pay a high tax and get "FREE" healthcare? (ure "paying" even if you dont need it?)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 21:30,

Thanks for leaving a note. Where are you anyway?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Wee Pin,

Wah, 19.6%??? Fooyoh!

Over here, hospitalisation, diagnostics, doctor visits are 'free'; the extended coverage is for things like prescription drugs, physical therapy, psychological services, massage therapy, dental work (unless emergency dental work, I THINK) etc.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

Hey, long time no see!

I guess I would rather pay the taxes? It's less of a pinch in terms of immediacy because you just habituate to the cost and forget it's even there sometimes.

But when you suddenly have to fork out a big sum of money for a hospital visit, die man.

The thing is, because it is 'free' and because there is the waitlist thing, people tend to abuse and/or misuse the hospital system.

I see countless cases of people going to the emergency room for a cold. And then they complain high-and-low about the long waitline.

I am no doctor, but I could have told you you have a cold!

And while we're on the subject, the old-age services here are amazing! That comes from tax too...

jamie@depuy hip recall said...

we can't avoid any comparison on the healthcare status of different countries and that is what had happened with healthcare industry in Us and Canada. They said that US is aiming the healthcare industry of Canada. well your post is an eye opener! thanks!

Marky said...

I totally agree with you jamie. Say for example the recalled hip replacements, reports show that many victims came from Ausie and US.

depuy hip replacement recall said...

It is indeed imperative to have healthcare benefits. I can only imagine the circumstances of a person dealing with either mild or severe health problems without enough support or compensation.

DePuy Hip Recall News Blog said...

Yeah I heard about the kind of health care being provided there in Canada. I did wish I am also living there.

Hip Recall Updates said...

Wow, that means you are lucky. Governments should provide extensive health care for citizens as well as support in times of medical malpractice such as being victims of recalled medical products and substances.