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Old 11-12-2011, 03:26 PM   #21
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Re: DS has made me thankful for living in Canada

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Originally Posted by mumtwiceover View Post
I'm not getting into the failings or successes of the Canadian Health care system but it DOES NOT cost $500 to get help at the ER if you have no health card. I have gone with no health card and I work in a shelter that many immigrants with no status (so no health care) stay at and we send them to the ER all the time and never have they been charged or denied services. Walk in Clinic do charge you if you do not have a health card but they typically charge $30 and if you do not have that they will generally waive the fee.
I believe refusing care is very rarely done, most ER staff have personal and professional standards they will work with to override that stupidity but I have seen it happen, twice.The second time I expected it, my mom broke up a dog fight and got bit, ripping her arm open and needing the wounds cleaned and one stitched. They still refused to treat her as my Dad and I went to the local store to get cash. That was not an emergency but there was NO ONE in front of her and it was not until they got the cash in their hands that they even offered her a new 4x4 gauze pad, as she was soaking through the one we put on at home and starting to drip on the floor.

I had an Uncle who was having a massive heart attack, left in the waiting room. We had to go find an ATM to get the money, $490 in PEI. By the time we got back, the other patients were screaming at the admitting clerks about helping him, having trouble breathing, doubled over and being a very nasty gray color got their attention. Of course most of the other people waiting did not have true emergencies, they were mostly those without Drís who needed to go to the ER to get prescriptions or referrals so while Iím sure waiting longer wasnít something they wanted to do they could recognize an actual emergency and were all offering to give up their spots and asking how much money they wanted when we came back.

The good news is that having excellent health insurance and a niece who was a former Medic in NY with lots of friends, including flight medics and the owner of a medical transport company, buys you a medical transport plane staffed with 2 flight medics and a Dr wheels up on it's way to you 45min after a phone call is made.

Those 2 incidents happened at 2 separate ER's here.

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Old 12-05-2011, 07:11 PM   #22
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Re: DS has made me thankful for living in Canada

I'm sorry but I have a lot of trouble believing that there is no law protecting Canadians who forget their health card or visitors/foreigners without cash on hand. You're basically saying that in theory if I forget my health card at home I could be left to die in front of ER staff while my dh scrambled to find enough cash and that this would all be perfect legal and acceptable. I'm sorry but I just cannot believe that. Say what you will about health care in Canada there is no way this kind of situation (even if only theoretical) would be allowed to exist.

I know for a fact that this is not the case in Ontario, I looked it up and they say very specifically that you do NOT have to show your health card in order to get treatment in an ER. You do have to show it later on of course, but that's entirely reasonable.

You are a little vague about your uncle's situation. Are you saying that hospital staff KNEW he was in mortal danger and yet refused to treat him until they had that $490? Or could it be that they simply asked for this fee (I'm assuming he wasn't elligible for a health card for some reason??) and that he took a turn for the worse in the meantime (unbeknowst to staff until other people in the waiting room let them know with their screams)?

I'm sorry but vague anecdotal stories like that do not prove that in Canada you must pay first (with card, cash or proof of insurance) and THEN 'maybe' get treatment. That's absolutly ludicrous!

As for a general comparison between the US and Canada I think it's safe to assume that the millions who aren't lucky enough to have well-connected nieces and 'excellent' private health insurance may have a different opinion of the US system in general. Consider maybe that your personal (and seemingly rather priviledged) experience does not apply to everyone in the US.

Karen.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:22 AM   #23
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Ah i just remembered when i was in BC my DH (before we were married) shot himself in the eye with a nerf dart and had to go to emergency. He didn't have the BC carecard, only his quebec health card that didn't work anymore since he'd already lived in BC for over a year. They sent him a bill about a month after and he had an extra form or two to fill out when we initially went to emergency.

I'm so glad they took him, i had to make him go since he's scared of doctors; i just couldn't stand his wah-wahing about his eye anymore when he wouldn't go to a doctor! He scratched his cornea and it had gotten infected :P
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:33 PM   #24
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Re: DS has made me thankful for living in Canada

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Originally Posted by KarenCmomto4 View Post
I'm sorry but I have a lot of trouble believing that there is no law protecting Canadians who forget their health card or visitors/foreigners without cash on hand. You're basically saying that in theory if I forget my health card at home I could be left to die in front of ER staff while my dh scrambled to find enough cash and that this would all be perfect legal and acceptable. I'm sorry but I just cannot believe that. Say what you will about health care in Canada there is no way this kind of situation (even if only theoretical) would be allowed to exist.

I know for a fact that this is not the case in Ontario, I looked it up and they say very specifically that you do NOT have to show your health card in order to get treatment in an ER. You do have to show it later on of course, but that's entirely reasonable.

You are a little vague about your uncle's situation. Are you saying that hospital staff KNEW he was in mortal danger and yet refused to treat him until they had that $490? Or could it be that they simply asked for this fee (I'm assuming he wasn't elligible for a health card for some reason??) and that he took a turn for the worse in the meantime (unbeknowst to staff until other people in the waiting room let them know with their screams)?

I'm sorry but vague anecdotal stories like that do not prove that in Canada you must pay first (with card, cash or proof of insurance) and THEN 'maybe' get treatment. That's absolutly ludicrous!

As for a general comparison between the US and Canada I think it's safe to assume that the millions who aren't lucky enough to have well-connected nieces and 'excellent' private health insurance may have a different opinion of the US system in general. Consider maybe that your personal (and seemingly rather priviledged) experience does not apply to everyone in the US.

Karen.
Again an Ontario experience - but I recently called our local hospital and asked aobut fees being charged to a person who had no status in Canada - not just no OHIP but no status and inelligble for health care coverage. I wanted to know if they would be seen at the hospital - I needed to speak to someone in the finanace department because I was told by switchboard and the nurse?? who answered the ER extension I was given that the ER staff do not deal with money at all - that they provide service and take a persons address for the finance department who then bill the person who recieved serivice. I asked about treatment being refused, because in my line of work this happens all the time, I was told that it is legislated that no person would be turned down for medical care if in an emergency in Canada - it is part of the helath care act. If the bill is not paid the hospital covers it.

I did also call a walk in clinic and without current provincial health care cover you have to pay a $50 fee.
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