Private Health Care vs Public Health Care

ct scan of fractured anterial frontal lobe aka fractured sinus

Greetings friends,

Today we will discuss a few things but this turned into a private health care vs public health care comparison by none other than yours truly, someone who unfortunately, has received a lot of medical care in his time.

My stay at this hospital is coming to an end. In a perfect world I would NOT have a cracked front right sinus aka frontal lobe aka I have no clue because I’m not a Doctor. That being said, the hospital experience here has been superb. I showed my parents the place on skype video chat today and my dad who is a ridiculous clean freak kept remarking “wow, it’s so clean Robert” and I was like “yeah Dad this place is really clean”. Truth be told, it is really clean.

The nurses were incredibly professional and the Doctors incredibly insightful. It’s weird how back home, it’s “free” but you have to wait around and often times when you get in the Doctor acts like THEY ARE DOING YOU A FAVOR when I feel like slapping them with their these-scope and saying “This is MY LIFE MAN”. Here, they take their job very seriously and you pay “big bucks” so they better. Frankly, I like this setup.

One could argue that in Canada it is “Free” but is it “Free”!?!? It’s only free if you don’t work and collect welfare. If you have a great paying job, you are taxed to Tasmania and back. You almost feel as though the Tasmanian Devil himself tortured you in his tornado of egregious taxation. Let me tell you about a few “experiences” I have had.

I ripped a stomach muscle in a skate competition when I was 16, they thought it was a hernia, they canceled like a month before I was going to get my operation and reschedule, then I tell them “hey, the new one is too close to ski season let me do it later” then when “later came” they said “go see a specialist again”. Of course the specialist said “oh it’s not serious, just a ripped stomach muscle”. So now I’m like, ok, so you were going to open me up for nothing? Or you figure you can just kick me to the curb and save some coin by not opening me up!? Make up your mind man, make it up!! Long story short, I still have that “whatever it is” in my stomach.

Another common scenario is this… People who have lots of money in Canada fly to the USA and get private care. If you have cancer or need a transplant, you are often put on a waiting list. We call it the “death list” because many people die waiting on that list before they get their treatment. If someone offered you a free lunch would you take it? Remember folks, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH!

Anyways, I have a “Frontal Sinus Fracture”. I have the most common one and luckily least deadly! I believe this is the one, I’ll confirm again tomorrow, CT scan dude pointed out that my head is holding air in the cavity, I think that’s good as he only gave me thumbs up.

“These represent the most common fractures and the least complex of the frontal sinus fractures. These are very rarely associated with injury to the drainage system or CSF leak. Linear, nondisplaced anterior table fractures may be managed by observation and close follow-up evaluations to ensure that the sinuses remain clear and air containing. Minimally displaced anterior table fractures with no gross external deformity may be managed by observation. However, if there is any question as to the possibility of a noticeable deformity in the future, the fracture should be explored. Grossly displaced anterior table fractures require reduction and fixation in the anatomic position to restore the normal forehead contour. Titanium microplates are generally preferred over wires and other techniques. Fixation may not be necessary in minimally comminuted fractures if the bone is stable after reduction. “

My fracture is 3.5cm long and 4mm deep, is that a lot? I dunno but my face is looking better and I’m feeling better. I realize the healing will take time and I’ll have to be very “slow and steady aka living like a grandpa styles”. No bikes, no moto’s only walking and taxi’s while ALWAYS looking both ways a few times first.

Do I plan on going back to Canada? Absolutely! Do I plan on jumping on the NEXT plane home and doing cart wheels and somersaults so I can wait in line and have some dude look me over quickly and say “you’re fine” and whatnot? Then afterward spend like $15 on the most horrible “Chain Restaurant” food known to man or like $60-$80 for a good steak at a place that I don’t feel the need to clean the silverware with my napkin!? Then go get a lackluster coffee for $1.50 and eat a sh!tty sub for $5us!?

I know I need to be monitored which is no problem, my hotel is ~5 minute walk from this hospital and I can tell the ladies at the front desk that if I don’t walk out in the morning and greet them with my usual fun loving spirit in broken Vietnamese to ask if I’m ok. Done. If I need a CT scan, I can afford it, done. Also, I need pain killers for next week or two, here they are DIRT CHEAP.

Check this, before I left Canada I was given like 5 pills in case of  “stomach bug” aka 1 dose and it cost me $55CDN, here I had a horrible bug and it cost me $4US and it was gone… I don’t get it to be honest. If you had no money, free health care is definitely best but if you do have money I’m going with private is better in a major way for anything that requires prompt intense treatment.  Also, had this happened in Canada, I’d of been sent home immediately.

Furthermore, this whole “Free” is a misnomer. People work to get health insurance in Canada as well, if you don’t you have to pay ridiculously high prices for any type of medication as most people “just have insurance pay for it”. All those part time workers or shift workers in Canada have no benefits, that is why the Emergency rooms are clogged, let me get to that…

I’m not knocking Canada it’s a great country and I’m very happy and proud to be Canadian but free health care is NOT what you think it is and emergency rooms are always crowded, why you ask? Well it’s free so people who don’t go to a regular doctor / have “benefits” just wait until they fall apart and show up. Picture it like this…. A normal Doctor is like a Jiffy lube oil change / brake specialist, you take your car (you) for oil changes, small adjustments etc… If you don’t do these routine maintenance things… Eventually you break down and get towed to the hospital which is a major mechanic. That didn’t come out the way I planned, ha.

Truth be told, freak accidents aren’t “that common” for your average person living a normal life. If you have any money management skills, you should be able to pay for it no problem. It would suck but you should be able to pay for it in cash or arrange some type of private insurance.  The issue is most people have the money management skills of a monkey. They can’t afford a CT scan or an other treatment because they are busy paying 20% on a wide screen HD TV that they can only MAYBE watch for 2-5 hours a day because the rest is at work, commuting to work or prepping for work.

Anyways, I move out tomorrow. I do have a mangled head so I will take it easy. I plan on staying in Hoi An until the end of the month or around there then returning home. Things are progressing here and I’m still “iffy” about 27 hours of air travel with a cracked sinus.

I remember being really upset when I had to go to the ATM to get $$$ before they would treat me. Then later upon reflection, I realized that had I been in Canada and not bleeding to death, I’d of probably still been just sitting in the emergency room had there been any type of auto accident or “anything more serious” in front of me.

If Obama plans on giving free health care to 300,000,000+ people when currently they have no real infrastructure and are up to their eyeballs in debt… Americans will soon be flying to Panama for health care unless they allow 2 tier systems, trust me. Not to mention he  has to be living in a techno color dream world where trees are made from sweet candy and it rains sugary gum drops that taste delicious AND clean your teeth.



Author: SHABL

Rob has been traveling the world and living abroad for over a decade. The goal was to stop having a boring life and it turned into something far greater. He's worked with national tourism boards and been mentioned in National Geographic. These days he lives abroad and loves business, technology, the tropical lifestyle, good food and travel.

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