As a Canadian I feel I'm in a good position to let my American friends know what health care in Canada is like. I know you guys are having a bit of a debate down there and I know stories about Canadian health care and how horrid it is are flying down there so I thought I'd share my experiences on occasion to let you know that every bad and terrible thing you've heard about Canadian health care is true!
This isn't the first time I done this for you. Some time ago I wrote about the trials I had to go through for a renal ultrasound. Well, in the past week I've been put through the wringer again over a simple prescription renewal.
Last Wednesday I discovered I had almost run out of a medication I take most weekdays so I called up my doctor's office.
"Hello, Dr. So-and-so's office."
"Hi! This is Dawn so-and-so and I need an appointment to have my prescription of happy-day pills renewed."
"We have a spot tommorrow at 12:15pm"
"I have to be in town that day."
"Okay. What about 11:45 am Friday?"
Did you notice? She deliberately offered me an appointment I couldn't take! An appointment on a day I was busy! Oh sure, I got in to see the doctor within two days but does that honestly make up for the fact that she dared to turn my schedule upside down? The nerve.
So I go to the appointment and my doctor wrote out the prescription and I figured I'd ask her about perimenopause. My voice has taken a small dip over the summer and I've added a full two or three notes to the bottom of my range. I now have the deeper singing voice I've always wanted. I asked my choir director about it Thursday night and he cheerfully suggested perimenopause.
My doctor, all keen to be doctorish, suggested thyroid problems and ordered a blood test to rule that out. Being a bit of a keener she also thought it was time for me to have some more routine blood work done as well. Ridiculously forward of her I thought.
The future date happens to bee the following Monday - yesterday. I have to drive a whole 25 minutes to the local blood clinic. Once I get inside I don't even have a chance to sit down before a receptionist calls me over, take my health card and paperwork and then passes me off to a nurse. The nurse takes me to a chair, takes blood and I'm out of the clinic in ten minutes. No time to even scan an old magazine! They could have at least let me have five minutes of pretend wait time so I could check out an US magazine and find what Madonna's current kid count is at. Some consideration would be nice.
And to top the whole fiasco off I got a call just an hour ago from my doctor's office telling me my blood work was normal. No thought that I might enjoy the waiting, the tension of not knowing for just a little longer. No, with Canadian health care it's wham, bam, thank you ever so much ma'am. From first call to resolution in 5 working days.
The worst? That aside from my prescription no one even thought to ask for money along the way. My pockets are as burdened as ever.