Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The view from ER

My fellow blogger Post-Raphaelite Sisterhood has a bad knee.

Unfortunately, she's in America. She has health insurance, which should mean that she's better off than the 45 million Americans who must depend on charity.

But no:

Anyway, finding a physician in Bubba County who would accept a new patient within the week - or the month - wasn't going to happen, but I was able to get an appointment with the nurse practitioner.
I arrived in plenty of time for my 1:30 appointment and took a seat among the dozen or so others waiting.
At about ten past 3 - that's no typo, folks - it was finally my turn to be seen. 
it was determined that an MRI should be had to determine the extent of the damage. I was told that the my insurance company's approval was required and I would get a call when said approval was obtained (or not).
At my follow-up appointment two days ago, the obviously overworked nurse pulled out my chart and found the insurance company's denial form. The MRI was not approved, they said, because there was no diagnosis code on the request. The nurse scanned the forms and said that yes, there was a diagnosis code, and they would resubmit the request. That makes a ten day wait - plus however much longer I'll have to wait while the forms are resubmitted and re-scrutinized.
I've just learned, though, that if I do need to be hospitalized, at least at the same facility (not in Bubba County, TN but in Charlotte, NC) where my boss recently had surgery, I will be asked to bring my own towels and washcloths. I guess nobody told that facility that kind of thing only happens in Cuba, or so say opponents of health-care reform. 

This is what our Tory government intends to bring in. Remember this when they say that businesses are more 'efficient' than the state: this means that they're more efficient when it comes to generating profits, not producing decent services (look at Microsoft: big profits, crap OS).

Greatest country in the world, folks. How depressing. Despite the troubles with the UK's NHS, it's still free and open to all - no penpusher decides whether or not you get treatment depending on their profit margins.


Sinéad said...

Actually, Cuba has one of the foremost health care systems in the entire world. Rich Americans regularly travel to Canada so that they can fly to Cuba for treatment. Given a choice of where to get sick and require hospitalisation, I would not hesitate to pick Cuba over the US of A.

The Plashing Vole said...

A few years ago, the NHS was sending managers over to Cuba to work out how they managed to have longer life expectancy and better care for less money than the British system. It's all about early intervention. And no snacking.

intelliwench said...

Thanks for the link, Vole. If my own experience doesn't weigh the argument against privatised health care in the UK, perhaps my cousin's will: Just diagnosed with a leak of spinal fluid into her brain, my cousins' LIFE-SAVING surgery was initially denied by her insurance company as a cosmetic procedure. Granted, she'll likely be much more attractive alive than dead, but still...