Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grumble Grumble

It is quite likely that when one is irritable one should not write a blog post. But when do I ever shy away from controversy....???

As many of you know I have been battling an eye infection for 2 weeks. A nasty, unknown-to-medical-professionals-bacterial infection with no tested medication yadda yadda yadda. I just filled my 4th prescription for eye drops after seeing an Ophthalmologist this morning who says my cornea is now inflamed from the infection..... from the highly contagious unknown-to-medical-professionals bacteria! I am SO done with the swollen red eye and the pain and the drops ( BTW in what I think must be a design flaw - you put the drops in your eye but they end going through some deep dark passages and emerging in the back of your throat - and they do not make eye drops to taste good - if you know what I mean!). Yuck!

Anyway hopefully I am on the mend and the stare-inducing monster eye will soon be back to normal.

Through this whole process I commented on my FB that I was grateful that I could walk into a clinic 2 blocks from my office, see a Dr in 10 minutes and afford the medication. A pretty uniquely Canadian experience. This was further hammered home when I ran out of the drops while in the USA this weekend and tried to get some there and the drops I paid $25 for here (of which 80% will be returned to me by my medical plan) would cost me $109 there.

Furthermore in my return to the clinic at 4pm YESTERDAY the Dr decided I needed to see a specialist - an Ophthalmologist who could examine deep within my eye - and I saw her at 10am TODAY! No cost.

OK OK I know we pay for this through our taxes and we pay a premium to our medical plans but when you need the care, it has been my experience that, it has been there and I never have to decide whether or not to seek medical help based on how much money I have in the bank.

So I was particularly irked when lying like a hobbit with my light averse eye in a darkened room listening to the CBC radio that I heard Dr. Brian Goldman on his segment "White Coat Black Art" ask listeners to send in their stories about high hospital parking fees at Canadian hospitals

We Want Your Stories About Hospital Parking
Over the past six weeks, my father was hospitalized twice and admitted to a geriatric facility for rehabilitation. I had to pay for a lot of things during that period of time, but the one that makes me the most ticked off are the parking charges. Just for fun, I decided to add up the charges. All told, they came to a jaw-dropping $478.00. That's getting pretty close to "baby doesn't get a new pair of shoes" expensive.

Nothing seems to irk patients and their worried families more than the cost of hospital parking. A recent poll by UK money-saving web site DiscountVouchers put hospital parking charges at the toppermost of sneaky extra charges - ahead of having to pay for toilets at train stations and low-cost airline add-ons. As we mentioned at the end of this week's show, we want your most outrageous stories of expensive hospital parking and anything else that peeves you about that particular place you put your car when you visit hospitalized loved ones and friends.
 REALLY?  "baby doesn't get a new pair of SHOES" ?????  But "baby" gets a new heart and I have to pay for parking!!  I was so mad!  Call it a hidden fee if you like but be thankful that when you walk through the doors of the hospital you have coverage.   If there is a little gouging in the parking lot it doesn't come close to covering your medical costs..... as the good Dr himself says it might cost close to a new pair of shoes. Maybe?  More likely the cost of a latte or two!

I remember when my kids were born we went into the hospital - had the delivery - stayed a couple nights, - had excellent care and walked out with no bill to pay.  At our pre-natal class reunion everyone was complaining about the $17/day they had had to pay for parking!!   It irked me then as it does now.

When you grow up here, and know nothing different, I guess it's hard to comprehend just how incredibly lucky we are to have the medical system we do, as imperfect as it may be.  Many many people would love to be in our shoes, pay our taxes, to have our medical system........

Ok - rant over - back to the couch to administer more drops to the back of my throat. Via my eyes.

PS - do not do a google image search for "eyes" - it is very disturbing - hence this image free post!

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