Friday, February 16, 2018

Australia's most wonderful health care

It looked like a shrink wrapped packet of olives, but on closer examination, it was chocolate covered confectionary from Haigh's Chocolates sitting on the fridge shelf. R generously allowed me to take four to work, as some comfort food.

I ate two and the filling of them stuck to my teeth. I thought, these gluey fillings are going to rip out my teeth fillings. I returned two to the packet and told R, I did not really like them, which I didn't, and that I thought they may rip out my fillings.

I went to bed and R stayed up later and ate another couple of his chocolates. The evening of the next day R said I was partly right. They did not rip out his fillings, but took off the top of one of his teeth which was now sharp and cutting into his tongue. The tooth repair, a cap, will be $1000, plus the adjacent tooth showed a crack in an xray, so that will be $2000.

He is now up to $7000 for medical expenses this financial year, and ok, he has had top medical people and the best of care, the best of hospitals and treatments at the time of his choosing, yet isn't the private health insurance premium we pay supposed to cover private health care? It seems not.

Had he have gone as a public patient, it would have all cost him nothing. But nothing timewise would be at a time or date he chose, and nothing was life threatening, just inconvenient and troublesome, so he would have been on a waiting list.  That is not to negate the seriousness of his issues.

I've done both public and private, and three times I was treated pretty well by the public system. It helps if you have a doctor who will speak up for you to the hospital. It is amazing what a phone call from a doctor can achieve. My private experience, with private health insurance, for surgery and a two night stay in hospital left me out of pocket for over $1,000. I may have had to wait for two or more months for the same surgery in a public hospital, and I rather wish I had.

27 comments:

  1. Andrew in Euroe the healh system does not work well

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    1. Gosia, don't some parts of Europe have wonderful health care?

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  2. What you say about having a doctor who will speak up for you applies to other medical professionals too, including nurses. A couple of years ago, an elderly relative had a heart-attack, and the hospital was all but ready to write her off as "she's had a good innings". Her niece, a nurse, became involved, suggested/argued for a range of treatments, and two years later, she's alive and well.

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    1. Interesting James, and good to know.

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  3. Seems like health care isn't so great much of anywhere. I can't complain, at least not right now, when I'm fine but I will later no doubt.

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    1. I'll just add my brother had an incident where he raised up from bending over, then felt sick, couldn't see, and fell asleep, could not be roused, for three hours. He was in the hospital one night, had tests, seems it was syncope, from low blood pressure and low salt (he won't eat salt). Well, they have insurance but the deductible is $10,000. It cost well over that so they will be out at let $10,000 for a one night hospital stay and a few tests. That's how things are here. Health care is bankrupting people.

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    2. Strayer, this is where our system is good. For such a case he would have been taken into emergency and received the best of care without any personal cost to him. We pay for such in our taxes.

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  4. Marshmallows from now on for you two!! :)

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  5. No toffee type filled chocolates for the rest of your life Andrew. Unless it is soft, liquid toffee like the Rolo's
    I've had good treatment in public hospitals, but never had to stay in one overnight, if there was something serious where I had to be seen immediately and perhaps stay in hospital for a while I would choose to use my Gold cover private insurance and stay in the hospital my daughter works at. That way she can check on me while I'm there and we'll both be reassured that I'm okay.

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    1. River, Rolos! I had forgotten about them. So nice. It must really help your mind with a daughter who works in health care.

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  6. The public system is good but by goddess it needs a damnably huge injection of funds, respect and love. Once upon a time the health service was like the transport and postal services = a public service to keep us ticking over, well before this privatisation malarky.

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    1. Jayne, the longer and the more we complain about our health system, the more likely it is to become a first class system, paid for in our taxes.

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  7. Expensive are teeth, greedy dentists etc. the cause I’m sure.
    We have private health insurance and covered well over the years.

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    1. Margaret, it seems to be based very much on the deal between you private health insurance and the hospital and treating doctors.

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  8. Next time I am at Haigh's I will only buy the soft centred ones!
    I do think Dentists are rip-off artists.

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    1. Lady J, maybe. I think some dentists are extremely rich, but many not so much.

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  9. I've been both public and private and really, the difference is the food, that's about it.

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    1. Fen, I got wine with dinner at Masada. There is the time of your choosing, that was important to R last year with holidays and weddings booked.

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  10. If churches and other institutions want to create private hospitals, I have no problem with that. But if the tax payers paid for excellent public hospitals and then those hospitals are privatised, I become REALLY peeved. That is theft on a grand scale, and deception of the tax payers.

    My late mother, a pensioner, was treated beautifully at Alfred. My only complaint was that this public hospital was sooooo crowded.

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    1. Hels, I am thinking of the Gippsland hospital near Moe, Latrobe Valley perhaps. Built by community funds, sold off by the Kennett government, bought back by the government. Yes, public hospitals can be busy and chaotic, but my experiences have been good, as was your mother's, and I am very pleased to hear it was.

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  11. Oh my goodness! To think that this happened due to chocolate! Then the extra medical costs associated with it is crazy. As a military veteran, all of my medical care is FREE, and there's no way I could afford $7000 in medical bills! Hugs...RO

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    1. RO, I didn't know about military veterans getting free health care. I think they do here too.

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  12. Toffees are tragic for teeth! I just won't risk it! Our private cover was amazing when I had all my eye problems Andrew, was so reassuring to have my own specialist there and the cost was minimal. But then my sister who does have private often chooses to go public and doesn't pay a cent. I just don't see the point in paying private and not using it.

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    1. Grace, we are certainly getting our moneys worth from private health insurance now, which is what it is all about when you are older.

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  13. I have a couple of caps on my teeth and won't eat toffees as replacements will be expensive. Luckily never had to use a hospital, the only thing we have used during 10 years of private insurance premiums is dentists, opticians and physiotherapy, so I think the insurance company is well ahead in premiums.

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    1. Sami, many times we have looked at the extras cover and could never justify the extra cost. Perhaps we should look at it again. That is how it works, you pay and don't claim when you are young, but start making claims when you are older.

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