Canadian / European / Australian Healthcare Horror Stories

You’re right - I’m not really comparing like with like, am I?

In that case, no horror stories at all.

Ah, I do have one: my appointment with a CBT practitioner isn’t working out well - I went to the GP and was diagnosed with depression November 23; I was meant to have an initial phone convo with a shink on December 23, but they trashed their car on the ice that morning, and the next available slot was Jan 20. I fell bad for the psychologist, but I suspect the depression “service” offered by my entire PCT is actually just one psychologist and a very rude and dismissive receptionist (surely, if your job is to call depressed people up, you should have a few people skills?). Not impressed. There seems to be not much to help in my PCT if you are anywhere on the spectrum between “not depressed” and “suicidal inpatient”.

I was in need of sinus surgery, had seen the surgeon, his office would call with the date.

Unfortunately I was also, at the time, primary caregiver to my bedridden mother-in-law, in my home. She would need to go into respite care, (short term stay in a long term care facility, government provided), for me to get the surgery. This required a great deal of arranging, transfers, bookings etc.

I was kind of caught between two schedules that were both out of my control. It was challenging, and the first date the surgeon gave me I had to decline, which made everyone a little testy.

But once it was all explained to everyone, nurses, drs, receptionists, case managers, respite facilities, home care workers, somehow, and against very long odds, they all managed to come together and work it out.

Sorry, it’s all I got.

Do you really think no one cared in the hospital where the native guy in the story died? You really think that all the hospital staff said, “Oh, that’s just another drunken Indian - he can sit in the corner till he dies”? Some mistake was made here, no doubt about it, but I can tell YOU from working in a hospital in The Pas, MB, and a clinic in downtown Winnipeg that healthcare professionals do their best with all patients, even when those patients won’t look after themselves.

so the statement you made of them “earning” the reputation isn’t racist? Please explain how there is no racial stereotype involved. Because my example:

I work behind a cash register, majority black people will steal from observation.

Is that not considered the same sort of statement you made?

And I’ll be the first to say that I am in fact racist, maybe not so overtly like KKK but I do have those shit moments where i’ll say something like ghetto trash ni–er, or asshole fuck j-w. I’m not perfect but saying what you said and having me reply isn’t some PC liberal bullshit, I’m pretty much stating what you said is racist.

No, but making negative statements about an entire race as if they are a monolithic group–that’s the very definition of racist conversation.

As for your statement, well, it’s inconclusive. It would only be a problem if you think it backs up the other statement that all Natives deserve some of the crap they get. It only backs up the idea that some Natives deserve it.

I have never had any real horror stories here in Australia, except for trying to find a psych bed for one of my kids who was going through some tough times. Psych Units are notoriously over-encumbered, and it is only the dangerously acute patients (with drs and parents who are equally dangerous!! :D) who can manage to get a bed. I believe this is true for most of the western world anyway.

Apart from that, I’ve got nuffink. Anytime my kids were crook, I could see a Dr and/or a hospital within minutes. I’ve got some chronic health issues wrt eyes and ears, and the Melbourne specialist hospital would always accomodate me immediately.

Now I live in a rural area, it takes a little longer to get an appointment with a GP, but we have a hospital with a 24hr ER facility so if anything is seriously wrong, we can always get there.

I saw a doctor on Saturday and the bastard charged me!

That’s all.

I’ve heard tell of two cases where patents with broken bones have been turned away from a particular hospital several hours from Sydney. They were told to (or otherwise opted to) catch public transport for the several hour journey to a large, Sydney hospital. That would have meant travelling past several medium sized hospitals with good (in my experience) emergency departments. I might not be hearing the whole story though.

My own experience with sudden, emergency hospitalisation of myself, or immediate family members, has been first class. If you’re crook enough to go in in an ambulance (which is a decision you can largely make yourself, by calling one), you get the treatment you need, in a timely fashion.

If there are horror stories it’s generally because of individual error because the system itself works - as it should do after 60 years and now consuming nearly 10% of GDP.

I’ve got nothing to report (except for waiting a while at busy times but I’d rather that than over-capacity) and am grateful every day I don’t have to worry about that stuff.

Best I can do:

I spoke with my GP about an elective procedure that required a specialist. I had an appointment with the specialist whom the GP referred me to, and he scheduled the procedure. About a week before the procedure was to take place, I phoned to confirm the time and date–only to find that it had been rescheduled for two months later, and they neglected to tell me. That bothered me somewhat, but after all, it was a non-urgent elective procedure. As might be expected, when I did get the procedure done two months later, everything went well.

Hardly a horror story, but like I said, it’s the best I can do.

Mine’s about on par with Spoons: I had a numb finger tip; went to my GP, who did a few physical tests on the spot, said he didn’t think it was a major problem, but referred me to a neuro; had to wait a few months for the neuro, who did a few physical tests, said he didn’t think it was a major issue, but ordered a CAT scan, just to be sure; had to wait a few months for the CAT scan. Once it was done, had a follow-up with the neuro, who said it was just an arthritis related issue in my neck pinching the nerve a bit; no surgery recommended, and it should gradually clear up, which it has.

So, it took about half a year for the CAT scan to be done, but that’s with two doctors having looked at it and given their initial opinions that it wasn’t a major issue. If they had thought it was a serious matter after their initial assessments, it likely would have gone faster.

And none of that cost me anything - paid for out of general tax revenue.

I was present during a 6 hour wait at an ER once (I went with a friend who needed someone with her due to anxiety issues).

However, this was a Saturday night at a downtown ER, and my friend was talking, conscious, in no pain, and had vague symptoms. We sat there reading and talking, while people with obviously greater need came in. I think I counted tree separate groups of bar fights, an unconscious guy in a wheelchair, a rape-victim, and ten or so people staggering in with open wounds of various sorts. We really didn’t begrudge any of them being seen before my friend!

I doubt anyone would have thought he was Indian, drunken or otherwise, since the story took place in Australia.

Nope - the story is from Canada. We refer to our “Indian” people as Aboriginal, First Nations or the rather unwiedly Canada’s Indigenous People…

I live in France and let me tell you that I can’t complain at all about health care here. I’ve had nothing but very positive experiences.

In the US, on the other hand…

Ah - for some reason I thought you were Aussie.

You know, looking at what I said, I did not say what I meant properly; I meant that there are a lot of Natives who are actively participating in creating the situation of discrimination for all Natives, and no, discriminating against all Natives based on the actions of some Natives isn’t right.

In the U.S., emergency rooms do triage based on urgency of the condition. In theory, and mostly in practice, they see you in order of urgency regardless of insurance. However, if you don’t have insurance, you come out of this situation with a bill that most likely starts in the thousands of dollars, even if it turns out nothing was seriously wrong. And if something is seriously wrong, the bill could easily reach 6 figures. As I believe was already mentioned, multi-hour waits in a US ER are not uncommon for things that that are not immediately life threatening. In my one experience with an ER visit for a non-life-threatening condition, I waited about an hour to be admitted at all and about 2 hours to see a doctor. I have great insurance. The hospital’s bill was accompanied by a form letter apologizing for the wait.

There was at least one recent studies in the US comparing outcomes for people with various situations with and without insurance. The findings were that people admitted for, say, car accident injuries of roughly equal severity, the people without insurance had lower survival rates, even controlling for some of the obvious factors, like age. These findings were troubling and unexpected, since legally those people are supposed to be getting the same medical treatment. More info here:

While officially having insurance shouldn’t determine emergency treatment under US law, the study indicates that might not be the case, although on the other hand they couldn’t control for everything and might be picking up some other factor, like income or attitudes toward health.

Ah, yes, I found something to complain about! Malaria tablets aren’t covered or price regulated by the government and they cost a fortune. There is also a price discrepancy between different pharmacies. So, basically, I have to go all the way to the other side of town to the pharmacy that sells them for cheap. How inconvenient is that?

That’s socialism gone mad, I tell you !