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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:10 AM
shirley1011 shirley1011 is offline
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As a Canadian I don't understand US Healthcare!

Canadian Election all over what they will do for our healthcare...at least in Ontario we have what we have..sometimes not easily accessible but..there.

I can't understand the American problem...seems to me the only winner is the Insurance companies!
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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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...imagine us having to almost "prove" we are sick before seeing a doctor before the appointment is paid for? I remember a few years ago on tv a usa program where some women could not afford breast cancer treatment! I get upset over our Canadian healthcare sometimes, especially when it is a problem that could be "fixed" but I sure feel for anyone who doesnt have medical coverage these days
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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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My bill for my hospital visits in the US is up to $22,000.00.know trying to get it covered threw insurance.hospital said my insurance was canceled.

I did find the service in the US much better then i have here.maybe thats because there is no goverment healthcare.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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My parents have experienced US health care and they said it was soooooooo much better than Canadian. The only downfall with the US is that Insurance Companies can decide whether they will cover an existing health issue. So what the good is that, if they won't cover you when you need them????
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Old April 28th, 2011, 11:29 AM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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try us health care when your broke you will change your mind
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Old April 28th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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try us health care when your broke you will change your mind
So true, if you don't have a job that offers benefits of Health Insurance or have money to pay your own, it must be horrible. Even if you do have a job, if you have a existing condition, the health insurance can decide not to cover you for that condition. Very sad.


That is the downfall of the US health care system and wasn't Obama wanting to implement universal health care for everybody?
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Old April 28th, 2011, 11:51 AM
shirley1011 shirley1011 is offline
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I don't understand why universal health care gets such a kicking! To me its a no brainer! Everyone deserves healthcare...but even those who pay can be denied and that is just not right.

Insurance companies can play God as to what they will cover.

A friend of mine who is a dr. in Georgia was against Obama...but since all the hoopla..his practice has never been busier...he seems to like it now..funny how that works!
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Old April 28th, 2011, 02:39 PM
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shirley, as an American, I don't undertsand it either. My poor sister and her husband have had to file chapter 11 twice because of medical bills. Very sad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
So true, if you don't have a job that offers benefits of Health Insurance or have money to pay your own, it must be horrible. Even if you do have a job, if you have a existing condition, the health insurance can decide not to cover you for that condition. Very sad.


That is the downfall of the US health care system and wasn't Obama wanting to implement universal health care for everybody?
L4H, I actually experienced that myself. I had a tumor and spontaneous hemorrhaging. I was scheduled for surgery. The day of the surgery my doctor called and told me to come in, but not for surgery. I went and spoke with him. My insurance company had denied the claim (I had paid premiums for over 5 yrs at that time and never used my insurance). They wanted to try hormome therapy first. He said he didn't reccomend it because it could actually cause the tumor to grow and if that happened I would need a histerectomy, I was only 26. So I waited it out and put up with the hemorrhaging for almost 2 yrs before the tumor went away on it's own. The most disgusting thing about it was I had fallen below full time hours for that quarter and lost my insurance. Next quarter, when I hit full time hours again I couldn't get my insurance back because I then had a "pre-existing" condition, which they did nothing for anyway!

So even if you are one of the lucky ones to have insurance, it doesn't mean you will be taken care of.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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In the U.S. my son would've been dead. He was born with Spina Bifida, I met an american family who also had a SB child and their insurance claimed it was a pre existing condition and wouldn't pay and the family couldn't afford the millions of dollars it would've took so they had no choice but to let their child die of hydrocephalus at 10 days of age.
I cried my heart out when they told us their story, I couldn't imagine having to make that choice, thank God for the canadian healthcare system, flawed as it may be at times.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Oh I agree LMPG,having one son with 2 openheart-surgeries another with brain-surgery,plus now our own aging health we would have been bankrupt.
I take Universal Healthcare as a given,growing up in Sweden we always had it and it was one thing I had to be certain of before coming to Canada.
Talking to some US friends I could not believe the way it was
Sure we pay much more taxes,as would the US,but I would think it is worth it,if everyone could see a doctor without getting ruined.
40 million people without health-insurance,that's insane.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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Oh I agree LMPG,having one son with 2 openheart-surgeries another with brain-surgery,plus now our own aging health we would have been bankrupt.
I take Universal Healthcare as a given,growing up in Sweden we always had it and it was one thing I had to be certain of before coming to Canada.
Talking to some US friends I could not believe the way it was
Sure we pay much more taxes,as would the US,but I would think it is worth it,if everyone could see a doctor without getting ruined.
40 million people without health-insurance,that's insane.
totally insane I agree and having to go bankrupt to save your child is just as if not more insane.
my heart goes out to those that lose a loved one cuz of a lack of money in their acct and heartless insurance companies that would rather let ppl die than pay out premiums their customers pay for.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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To me the big question is WHY one of the wealthiest countries in the world doesn't provide health care??????????????? Are the politicians so out of touch with reality or do they just not care about their citizens?


It doesn't matter how much money you have in the world, if you don't have your health, nothing else matters
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Old April 28th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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We were self-employed for 25 years, if there was no universal healthcare in Canada we would have been doomed....We never generated enough income to be paying $500-600 per month for health insurance....

I have a g/f who lives in Santa Cruz and she pays US$520 per month for her insurance
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Old April 28th, 2011, 06:13 PM
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I had a friend that developed heart problems, her insurance kept raising her monthly payment until they could no longer afford the coverage. She eventually died from heart failure. I blame the the US health care for that!
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Old April 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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my daughter has been living with her bf for 3 yrs she is a full time student again and he is a teacher. he private health is minimal and so far she has not been able to go under his policy. the past month she has been in the emerg 3 times has had a cat scan and full ultrasound plus blood test and numerous doctors visits, she says thank to medicare they do not have to get into debt to pay for this. our system isnt perfect but noone is denied the test and treatment a doctor seems needed
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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:02 PM
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My company was going to send us to Florida to start opening stores . My health insurance costs would have been around the 30K a year mark. I told my boss if i were to get sick down there to charter a jet and get me back here. Unfortunately for us the job fell through because the US government deemed that we were taking 2 American jobs even though we would have employed quite a few US citizens. Sigh, so we opened 15 more stores in Canada.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:18 PM
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America sucks.... end of story. Be glad you all are not stuck in this dog-forsaken country I hate it here.

I should say I have EXCELLENT health care.. I barely have to pay out of pocket, but for some stupid things I do For example, they won't cover my INHALERS because they are "optional".. breathing is apparently optional for health? OH, and even though I have a legit hormone disorder that requires me to stay on birth control so I don't get horribly sick, my insurance company refuses to cover ANY form of BC regardless of if it is actually being used for BC or not Not that it is any of their business, but I've tried getting doctors notes saying I need it for a MEDICAL reason, not just for BC reasons.

I have lupus and other life long medical problems... I'm lucky enough to be covered for mostly everything.. CT scans and all the other tests I need all the time. But, on the other hand, I can't tell you how often I have to see others around me with the same medical conditions SUFFERING because the american govt does not give a rats @$$. it's sooo corrupt here in every way.


random druggies can go into the ER and get charity care and even if they overdose or accidentally shoot themselves in the foot (NOT EVEN KIDDING) they get totally 100% free medical care, but when I didn't have have health insurance for a few months, I had no choice but to go to the ER when I got a horrible ear infection that was making me sick... I had to jump through hoops to get charity care and even then I still had to pay some $$ out of pocket.



stay out of the US if you can
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Old May 1st, 2011, 09:23 PM
joeysmama joeysmama is offline
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I strongly (but respectfully) disagree with Kathryn. I think the U.S. ROCKS

We do need health care reform though.

I live in the US and was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. The insurance company (and by that I'm probably talking about someone in a cubicle with next to no life experience and zero medical training) would not cover my choice of facility, which was one of the very few facilities who knew anything about my type of cancer. They would however cover the hospital where I was diagnosed and the oncologist who had seen ONE case in his entire career and that person died.

So we racked up bills and my lifestyle changed while we paid them off but I am here, cancer free 11 years later. When I walk into that building I'm treated as though the president arrived. Every patient there is treated that way. When I was there for an annual visit I happened to have a breast cyst. Even though I was NOT a breast cancer patient I was sent straight to radiology for a mammo, an ultrasound and a consult with a doctor. Then back upstairs to another doctor who aspirated it, sent it to path and got me the results. All in the same afternoon.

I'm not knocking your health care but I have several friends in Canada who wait a long time to be seen. One friend waited weeks to be seen for a sore throat and another was put on a wait list for gall bladder surgery. The last I heard it had been MONTHS. In the U.S. it would be DAYS. Maybe. Sometimes the next day. My cousin had pain on Tuesday and by Friday she had been in, out, and was back home painting her house.

I think that there are flaws on both sides and perfection resides somewhere in the middle.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeysmama View Post
I'm not knocking your health care but I have several friends in Canada who wait a long time to be seen. One friend waited weeks to be seen for a sore throat and another was put on a wait list for gall bladder surgery. The last I heard it had been MONTHS. In the U.S. it would be DAYS. Maybe. Sometimes the next day. My cousin had pain on Tuesday and by Friday she had been in, out, and was back home painting her house.
I'm not sure about other provinces but, here in Quebec, long waits are exactly the case....and that's if you can even find a family doctor. Wait times for specialists can be 6+ months unless you go through a hospital emergency and that's if the doctor on staff at the time thinks it's crucial.

I had a mammogram done last month (that part was quick as it was at a private imaging center) and a mass was found in one breast. Results were sent to a hospital breast clinic with a referral that I have an ultrasound/ biopsy/specialist consult...I was told it could take 6 months before I get a call for an appointment. Scares the bejeesus out of me having to wait that long .

Quote:
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I think that there are flaws on both sides and perfection resides somewhere in the middle.
I completely agree with you. As it is, a two-tiered system already exists here with the exception of hospital care/major surgery (if I'm not mistaken). Because I can't find a regular family doctor under the public system, we use a private one where we pay at each visit. There are also some diagnostic tests that we pay for out of pocket as we don't have private insurance either.

I think that if people are willing and able to pay, they should do it through a private system and, I believe at the same time it would leave the public system less clogged for those who can't afford it but need to be treated asap.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 11:58 PM
joeysmama joeysmama is offline
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Am I reading this correctly? You have a mass and they haven't determined yet if it's benign or malignant. No biopsy yet and a 6 month wait in order to have one? That would be unheard of here and if you don't mind my saying so I think it's barbaric, not to mention negligent. I would go out of my mind having to wait that long. As I said, our system is far from perfect but that would definitely be fast tracked and by now you would have met with the specialist and most likely have had the surgery and the results.

Do you have any other options? Johns Hopkins in Maryland is a fantastic facility for breast related diagnoses.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeysmama View Post
I'm not knocking your health care but I have several friends in Canada who wait a long time to be seen. One friend waited weeks to be seen for a sore throat and another was put on a wait list for gall bladder surgery. The last I heard it had been MONTHS. In the U.S. it would be DAYS. Maybe. Sometimes the next day. My cousin had pain on Tuesday and by Friday she had been in, out, and was back home painting her house.

I think that there are flaws on both sides and perfection resides somewhere in the middle.
And that is exactly what sucks about our health care and what is so loved about US health care if you have good insurance.

I agree, something in the middle would be great.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by joeysmama View Post
Am I reading this correctly? You have a mass and they haven't determined yet if it's benign or malignant. No biopsy yet and a 6 month wait in order to have one? That would be unheard of here and if you don't mind my saying so I think it's barbaric, not to mention negligent. I would go out of my mind having to wait that long. As I said, our system is far from perfect but that would definitely be fast tracked and by now you would have met with the specialist and most likely have had the surgery and the results.

Do you have any other options? Johns Hopkins in Maryland is a fantastic facility for breast related diagnoses.
Unheard of here? You must be lucky enough to live around all people who either have good insurance or are rich/politicians. I know of PLENTY of people who wait FOREVER if they even get a CHANCE to go to a doctor for things like that. I can't knock the system too much only because I have fantastic insurance most of the time.. but if it had not been for Obama Care and what he did for the system (Thank you Obama!) I probably wouldn't even be talking to you guys right now because my insurance would have been cut off when I turned 19 this past October.. I did go without insurance from October-January when Obama Care went into affect, and that was already bad enough... I am in debt collections now (hell if I am paying those greedy ) so my credit is probably screwed now... I had no choice but to go to the emergency room and luckily got charity care but everything is all messed up and it's awful...

Canada's healthcare is far from perfect too but atleast it is not corrupt like ours. Anyone who thinks that US healthcare wouldn't let a citizen die because they couldn't pay is either naive or stupid...
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 09:02 AM
joeysmama joeysmama is offline
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I had horrible insurance, I'm not wealthy, I'm still alive after having been given 9 months to live.

Last edited by joeysmama; May 2nd, 2011 at 09:49 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 09:48 AM
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I want to add that I don't care to debate Kathryn on this subject.

My perspective and experience is obviously VERY different from hers so I'm stepping away from the subject of health care and U.S. patriotism. (At least in this forum...I'm going to remain a patriot however. LOL!) I don't want to give an open discussion a negative tone.

But I want to go a little off topic and throw in a little advice for anyone, in either country, facing a health issue. People sometimes assume that there is a right way and a wrong way to treat a disease and I learned a very important lesson during the past 11 years as an oncology patient.

MEDICINE ISN'T MATH

Disease is alike a fingerprint so the same diagnosis can mean different things to different people and will follow a different course. It's nearly impossible to predict which treatment will work.

So if you're faced with something threatening DO YOUR homework and find out who has seen the most of what you've got. You might get lucky and find that it's someplace close or you might have to travel but no doctor is an expert in all things. Find the one who is an expert in YOUR "thing".

I've seen friends die because they just assumed that "this guy is nice, his office is close and what can someone else do that he can't?"

Get second third and fourth opinions if necessary and be your own advocate. This holds true regardless of where you live, what your insurance is or what your health care system is. For anyone, anywhere...research and network as much as you can! Your life is worth it !!!

Okay....I will now get off my soapbox and return you to your regularly scheduled forum topic.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 11:33 AM
shirley1011 shirley1011 is offline
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So back to my original question...As I canadian I just don't understand...I would have thought universal health care where insurance companies couldn't deny coverage would have been welcomed but then again that is
just a Canadian perspective I guess.

Yes there is fault with our system, but it is getting better and you can now see wait times in other areas for the procedure you are in need of and travel to speed up the process....but at least we can get it! Eventually.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 11:47 AM
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You are right, the winner is the Insurance Companies, because their goal is to make a profit, not to guarantee they will pay for what is needed.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 12:57 PM
joeysmama joeysmama is offline
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I guess I can answer the hesitancy question. I know people who are strongly opposed to the proposed reforms and obviously there are others who are very much in favor.

The ones in favor are looking at it from a humanitarian perspective. No one in an affluent country should be afraid that they won't be able to afford treatment. It's a real fear but the other side of the coin is that there are many agencies willing to help. I know of a young man who is all but destitute, works as a dishwasher after having served time in jail. But he gets full coverage through a social services program. I know another young man who needed a rehab program he coueldn't afford but the program was willing to work with him and take whatever was available through a sponsor. (He's 6 years clean and sober, btw)

People who are oppsed are afraid that they will spend more money to fund this program while having to still pay out of pocket for their own insurance since, under the proposed plan, we will retain the right to choose and pay for our own.

I want to make the decision about my coverage myself because my experience has been that taking control and learning all you can really and truly means the difference between life and death.

Our current insurance plan is one we chose ourselves. My husband owns a consulting firm so we don't have to go with whatever an employer chooses. We're fortunate in that regard. When I had my surgery we had the insurance that his then employer had chosen.

What we have now is a pretty poor prescription plan. Some people pay 5 to 15 dollars for a prescription. We pay nearly full price. But...we don't often need prescriptions.

On the other hand the cancer center I work with is on the plan so we choose that over prescriptions.

For someone with a chronic condition relying heavily on medication that would be a terrible scenario. They would choose something with better prescription coverage and not worry about a treatment center with knowledge of sarcoma.

As I said...we need reform and hopefully everyone will be patient, and bi-partisan as we work out better scenarios.

Maybe another "yank" can explain this better than I can. There's lots of room for discussion and I see very valid points on both sides of the argument.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 04:30 PM
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In our travels we have befriended a lot of Americans and it seems to me,it's the people in the middle who suffers the most in the US.
People who work but have no insurance from their employer,but still make too much to qualify for medi-care,but not enough to be able to buy very expensive insurance.

Our member Nuria,is a great example,she works fulltime,but insurance is way out of her range.
Breastcancer runs in her family,she needs a mammogram,but cannot afford it,so she goes on worrying,with no help from anyone.

If you are on welfare,I am sure you get care in the US,but they are not on a priority-list,also do not get the excellent care an insured patient would get.

Personally,I have never waited long for care and my sons both had complicated surgeries,with excellent care,the only thing I paid for was parking..so Universal Health care is the way to go,nobody should have to sell their home, because they are sick.
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  #29  
Old May 2nd, 2011, 10:34 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Location: St. Philippe-de-Laprairie, Qc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeysmama View Post
Am I reading this correctly?
Yes. My doctor called me today to see how I was doing. When I told him what the breast clinic had said, he promised to get in touch with someone to see if he could speed things along somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shirley1011 View Post
So back to my original question...As I canadian I just don't understand...I would have thought universal health care where insurance companies couldn't deny coverage would have been welcomed but then again that is
just a Canadian perspective I guess.

Yes there is fault with our system, but it is getting better and you can now see wait times in other areas for the procedure you are in need of and travel to speed up the process....but at least we can get it! Eventually.
I don't know about Ontario Shirley, but it's only getting worse here in Quebec. Theoretically, universal health care is great but, in all practicality, it's just not working properly. It's not infrequent that we hear stories of people dying in hospital ER's waiting rooms waiting to be seen . I'd like to see statistics on how many ppl die prematurely because they weren't getting the proper care or for the lack of a family doctor in the first place. We have few walk-in clinics in our area and when you call ahead of time, they say they don't take new patients . We don't even have a clinic in our town .
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 11:52 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico2 View Post
nobody should have to sell their home, because they are sick.


I have relatives in California that had to do that. It's just plain wrong.

I've only ever experienced excellent health care here, and none of these huge wait times that I hear about (although I'm sure they exist). A few years ago I started bleeding from one of my nipples. Within 3 weeks I was in for surgery to have a lump removed from a milk duct. I actually had to push that date back because I was getting married and didn't want to be hugging people with a sore boob. Hubby had a mole that turned black and ugly on his arm. Diagnosed with a malignant melanoma when they removed it and he was booked for a sentinel lymph node biopsy a couple weeks later. Thankfully it hadn't spread, but I'm sure happy that we didn't have to sell everything we own (which ain't a lot) just to find that out.
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