August 21st, 2015 by Jan

One of the things I like best about being a Canadian is that our medical system will not make you bankrupt or send you far into debt if you happen to get sick.

As a matter of fact — medical care is free in this land.

Oh, I know the folks from the US will say things like, yeah, but you have to wait in a long line to get a new hip or that they heard millions of Canadians are rushing to the states to get their MRIs , etc., and that socialist medical just doesn’t work, and bla, bla, bla….

Now, I do my best to stay as far away from any medical system as I can, but that has not been our experience or the experience of anyone we know. Ken once waited two weeks to get an MRI and I did wait about a month for a bone scan about 9 years ago. BUT, we could wait. I know for a fact, if we couldn’t wait — we wouldn’t have needed to. So far, when we needed a doctor – we had access to one.

I don’t like doctors in particualr, and I don’t like western medicine in general. I will say, I haven’t had the best luck in the past with some doctors. One told me I would never walk again and charged me a fortune to say it. One cut me open when I was 18 years old and stole my appendix when whatever he was looking for in the first place turn out to be just fine. One told me after he sewed my finger back on, that I probably cut it off in the first place just so I could get the “good drugs.”

I will also say with pride that I’m grateful for Planned Parenthood. It was what I could afford and where I went for most of my health care when I lived in the states.

I haven’t had a bad experience in Canada with the medical system, now that I think about it. But I also don’t run towards it much. In the almost 20 years we’ve lived in Canada, I’ve had three doctors, two because they were close friends, and one that I sang in the community choir with until he died of horrid cancer.

Still, while I am not a fan of doctors, pills or surgery, I am a fan of free! Canada offers free.

What most of my American friends look past or don’t understand, and what most of the Canadians forget to mention is, that we can drop into a doctors office any time and have them look at that funny mole, get a pap, or mammogram, flu shot, blood test or physical, and we don’t have to cut a cheque to do it.

Okay, full disclosure, health care here is not totally free, we do have to pay for health insurance.

Ken and I had to cut a cheque in January for $257. for the year — for both of us. PLUS… I paid $65. for a years worth of health insurance so I’m covered when I go to the states. We’ll have to cough that up again next January too.

So, yeah… I guess it’s not completely free.

The point of this post…
Moving to the coast, we thought it might be a good idea to have a primary doctor in case we needed one. It is better than needing one and not having one.

That didn’t mean we weren’t covered the last 8 months. There is a hospital here and a walk in clinic in Gibsons – so if anything had come up — we would have been covered, because we have a care card.

More disclosure — we did have to get on a wait list to find a doctor though. Two months ago, we met with a lady who assessed our needs and then did her best to find a good fit for us.

We are meeting the man who is to become our next doctor in about an hour. It was his idea. A sort of meet and greet. My fingers are crossed that Dr. Justin Smith is just that guy.

Now, I like a doctor who recommend massage, food and exercise over pills, surgery or voodoo for our care. BUT… if we break our arm, need stitches, or need that funny mole looked at. I’m hoping Dr. Justin Smith will know what to do.

I guess I’m also hoping he will also know what to do to keep us healthy or return us to health if a surprise comes up. As I look around I realize that we are getting older and shit happens.

So, today for our meet and greet, and just to put our best foot forward, both Ken and I said, fuck you to water restrictions and we BOTH showered for the occasion!

And, best of all, our meeting today won’t cost us anything, not even if Dr. Smith finds a big lump or bump on either of us.

3 thoughts on “doctorwho…

  1. Jim

    Back when I was insane (wellll, probably am still insane…) and driving to Bowen once a month, my hobby was to ask every Canadian I could about their health care system. At lines in stores, ferry lineup, restaurants…everywhere.

    I have no idea how many I asked, but probably hundreds. (3 years of monthly trips)

    Me: What do you think of your health care system?
    Unknown Canadian: What do you mean? (that was the normal response…almost to the person)

    Me: Just your general opinion of Canada’s health care system.
    UC: (looking at me like I’ve sniffed too much airplane glue) When you get sick, you go to the doctor. ???

    Me: So no problems?
    UC: Well you don’t go to a doctor if there’s no problem. (at this point, I figure they are channeling Ken)

    Out of literally hundreds of random Canadians, there was not a single “I had to wait..” or any other complaint.

    So I started doing the same thing here in Oregon. And quit pretty quickly. Americans know how to complain about the medical system. And are pretty convinced “there’s nothing that can be done”.


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