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My trip to the hospital

Orion

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Just thought I would post this anecdote about a recent experience with Canadian health care.

Yesterday afternoon, following a chicken sandwich lunch, I came down with food poisoning. The feelings of queasiness started at school and by the time I was on the train headed home I felt really out of it. At home, I started to vomit and have diarrhea (a couple of times simultaneously, yuck) every 15 minutes for the next 5 hours. If I drank a teaspoon of liquid, I would throw it up immediately after. I had a high fever and was becoming delirious.

At that point my roommates called an ambulance. They arrived and gave me an IV, and took me straight to the emergency room where I was given blood, urine, and stool tests to confirm the identity of the culprit: salmonella.

The paramedics gave me an IV and an attending physician augmented it with some gravol to stop my stomach spasms (I was throwing up bile at this point and it was extremely painful). That was just the stop gap measure. The physician didn't return to check on me for the next 4 hours or so because apparently there was a huge pile up in Mission (a nearby city) and the injured were being redirected to Vancouver's main hospital. This is what's known as priority sequence.

The lab tests revealed that my white blood cell count was through the roof which meant my body was heavily on the offensive, and this explained the high fever. A nurse came to check on me every half hour or so, bringing a cold cloth and a fresh bag of fluids. The ER bed was bloody uncomfortable and the lights felt blaring but I managed to get in a few hours sleep.

By morning I had gone through 4 IV bags of fluids yet had not urinated - that's how dehydrated I was - but I was well enough to send home with some anti-spasmodic medication for my GI. Just as an aside: although I am in the natural health field and don't favor western medication, I think western medicine is second to none when it comes to emergency situations; thus, in this scenario, I was grateful.

Here was my bill: $0

The cost of the ambulance, IVs, medications, a bed in the ER, and the attention of a nurse and an on call physician was nothing.

I am a student. I don't have much money. My situation was critical. I would have ended up at the hospital anyway, but with no way to pay the bill. I too am a health care provider (mostly for chronic conditions), so how would it affect my service to society to have an additional debt and crediting agencies knocking at my door?

I am thankful today for Canada's health care. I don't care that I had to wait 4 hours. I was in pain but I wasn't dying, and thanks to the health care system I went home in much better shape than I arrived.

I would rather that than still having to wait 4 hours but have a ludicrous hospital bill, and I would rather pay taxes towards UHC and know that other fellow countrymen in my circumstances or worse can get care without the bill ruining their lives, families, or degrading their communities.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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I hope you're feeling better. :)

I had to go this weekend to take a family member, it was empty for the most part.
There was an "injured" junkie in the ER trying to get his fix.

It was the second day he came in, the next day I saw him going back. :neutral:
 

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Good job, Canada!

My own experience with the Canadian health care system, the care and attention was excellent.
 

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I got food poisoning a while back. Didn't even go to the doctor. Couldn't afford the deductible. Probably came close to dying alone in my apartment from dehydration.
 

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I like Canada's healthcare system, however I have also heard stories of people who wait in waiting rooms for 10 hours with broken wrists. It seems if it isn't life threatening then you get put on the back list and must wait forever. I am for a form of socialized healthcare, but it has to be efficient and well equipped. I do hope you are feeling better though!
 

winston53660

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however I have also heard stories of people who wait in waiting rooms for 10 hours with broken wrists. It seems if it isn't life threatening then you get put on the back list and must wait forever. I am for a form of socialized healthcare, but it has to be efficient and well equipped. I do hope you are feeling better though!
The same thing happens here it is called triage.

On my last trip I had 20 pounds of fluid on me. Within about an hour I heard "you have been accepted to the cardiac care unit." and there was a panel of doctors in front of me. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.
 
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ReverendHellh0und

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Hey, I got food poisoning once myself, me and a buddy were green with sickness, throwing up, just utterly miserable.... Didn't even think about going to the hospital... Drank a ton of gatorade, and was miserable for a day or so... :shrug:


My cost? $10 of gatorade.
 

Orion

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Hey, I got food poisoning once myself, me and a buddy were green with sickness, throwing up, just utterly miserable.... Didn't even think about going to the hospital... Drank a ton of gatorade, and was miserable for a day or so... :shrug:


My cost? $10 of gatorade.
That's great for you but obviously you were in a different condition than I was. I was already trying to drink an electrolyte solution that my roommate bought for me and my stomach would simply not accept it. If I could retain ANY fluid I would not have ended up in such dire straits.
 

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I'm glad you're feeling better, Orion.

I was flying to Nashville last week and started up a conversation with a girl sitting in front of me. She was originally from Memphis and moved to Montreal when she got married. After we got done bashing Quebecers (LOL), the first things she said was, "However, I do love the healthcare system. I can't believe the **** I hear from the American media... I make sure to inform my family of the truth." I thought that was cool.
 

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That's great for you but obviously you were in a different condition than I was. I was already trying to drink an electrolyte solution that my roommate bought for me and my stomach would simply not accept it. If I could retain ANY fluid I would not have ended up in such dire straits.



Well, I am glad it worked out for you. We were pretty bad, if you were worse, then damn, I feel for you...


My commentary was on your whole cost thingy obviously a commentary on single payer health care and the lack of it here?
 

Orion

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My commentary was on your whole cost thingy obviously a commentary on single payer health care and the lack of it here?
If I was worse than you then the comparison is not accurate in the first place. Like I said, my first inclination would not be to call an ambulance and spend the night at the ER if I didn't have to.
 

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If I was worse than you then the comparison is not accurate in the first place. Like I said, my first inclination would not be to call an ambulance and spend the night at the ER if I didn't have to.



Honestly, I was probably as bad as you. I usually get food poisoning every year or so. (I am a pretty adventurous eater. ) but who really knows. The time I am thinking about, I thought I was dying. Fortunately my wife, a nurse practitioner was able to decide what I should do.. :shrug:
 

Orion

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Honestly, I was probably as bad as you.
You can't assume that without seeing lab reports. I also get food poisoning often. Last year in Asia I had it a total of 12 times in one year, and it was all awful. I only had to go to the hospital once and it was the second time I got it. All the other times I just stayed at home and drank electrolytes. But this time, none of my usual measures were working.

Everyone who gets acute gastroenteritis feels like they are dying. It's a painful condition. But there are definitely degrees to it.

Most people who suffer it get the corona virus version of it. The other night I had the bacterial version, which involved high fever and is more serious. At my level of dehydration it could have easily transgressed to sepsis.
 

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Hey, I got food poisoning once myself, me and a buddy were green with sickness, throwing up, just utterly miserable.... Didn't even think about going to the hospital... Drank a ton of gatorade, and was miserable for a day or so... :shrug:


My cost? $10 of gatorade.
You can die from various types of food poisoning. So the gatorade person's unnecessary risk-taking should not be taken as a wise course of action, necessarily. Every year there are news reports of people dying from e.coli and occasionally salmonella. If you start out healthy, usually you will be ok, however. The threat is mainly to kids and elderly.

The symptoms of salmonella poisoning are usually much worse than its real health bite, the classic way of distinguishing it being that the cramping and nausea is so painful that you wish you were dead. Typically you can't even drink any fluids including water without vomiting it up. So whatever the gatorade person had, it was not salmonella.
 

Orion

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You can die from various types of food poisoning. So the gatorade person's unnecessary risk-taking should not be taken as a wise course of action, necessarily. Every year there are news reports of people dying from e.coli and occasionally salmonella. If you start out healthy, usually you will be ok, however. The threat is mainly to kids and elderly.

The symptoms of salmonella poisoning are usually much worse than its real health bite, the classic way of distinguishing it being that the cramping and nausea is so painful that you wish you were dead. Typically you can't even drink any fluids including water without vomiting it up. So whatever the gatorade person had, it was not salmonella.
It also depends on the individual's constitution and the reactivity of their body, as well as the concentration of the salmonella you ingested. If you ate a a relatively large culture of salmonella that's in food as opposed to just a few stray bacteria, your illness could come on a lot faster. In my case, my body is sensitive in general, so it reacts more harshly to illnesses. I went from normal to acute to critically ill within 6 hours. I was so dehydrated that my hands and feet were numb, and my lower back was hurting in the kidney regions. I was in a pre-shock condition.
 

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Just thought I would post this anecdote about a recent experience with Canadian health care.

Yesterday afternoon, following a chicken sandwich lunch, I came down with food poisoning. The feelings of queasiness started at school and by the time I was on the train headed home I felt really out of it. At home, I started to vomit and have diarrhea (a couple of times simultaneously, yuck) every 15 minutes for the next 5 hours. If I drank a teaspoon of liquid, I would throw it up immediately after. I had a high fever and was becoming delirious.

At that point my roommates called an ambulance. They arrived and gave me an IV, and took me straight to the emergency room where I was given blood, urine, and stool tests to confirm the identity of the culprit: salmonella.

The paramedics gave me an IV and an attending physician augmented it with some gravol to stop my stomach spasms (I was throwing up bile at this point and it was extremely painful). That was just the stop gap measure. The physician didn't return to check on me for the next 4 hours or so because apparently there was a huge pile up in Mission (a nearby city) and the injured were being redirected to Vancouver's main hospital. This is what's known as priority sequence.

The lab tests revealed that my white blood cell count was through the roof which meant my body was heavily on the offensive, and this explained the high fever. A nurse came to check on me every half hour or so, bringing a cold cloth and a fresh bag of fluids. The ER bed was bloody uncomfortable and the lights felt blaring but I managed to get in a few hours sleep.

By morning I had gone through 4 IV bags of fluids yet had not urinated - that's how dehydrated I was - but I was well enough to send home with some anti-spasmodic medication for my GI. Just as an aside: although I am in the natural health field and don't favor western medication, I think western medicine is second to none when it comes to emergency situations; thus, in this scenario, I was grateful.

Here was my bill: $0

The cost of the ambulance, IVs, medications, a bed in the ER, and the attention of a nurse and an on call physician was nothing.

I am a student. I don't have much money. My situation was critical. I would have ended up at the hospital anyway, but with no way to pay the bill. I too am a health care provider (mostly for chronic conditions), so how would it affect my service to society to have an additional debt and crediting agencies knocking at my door?

I am thankful today for Canada's health care. I don't care that I had to wait 4 hours. I was in pain but I wasn't dying, and thanks to the health care system I went home in much better shape than I arrived.

I would rather that than still having to wait 4 hours but have a ludicrous hospital bill, and I would rather pay taxes towards UHC and know that other fellow countrymen in my circumstances or worse can get care without the bill ruining their lives, families, or degrading their communities.
Hope you're feeling better.

Comparing emergency rooms doesn't really work if one is comparing universal and non-universal systems, because in the US one has to be allowed to receive care there. It also sees an increase in use, because government distorted prices are driven up, making our ERs more heavily used.
 

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It also depends on the individual's constitution and the reactivity of their body, as well as the concentration of the salmonella you ingested. If you ate a a relatively large culture of salmonella that's in food as opposed to just a few stray bacteria, your illness could come on a lot faster. In my case, my body is sensitive in general, so it reacts more harshly to illnesses. I went from normal to acute to critically ill within 6 hours. I was so dehydrated that my hands and feet were numb, and my lower back was hurting in the kidney regions. I was in a pre-shock condition.
Did you figure out the offending food?
 

Chuz Life

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Here was my bill: $0

The cost of the ambulance, IVs, medications, a bed in the ER, and the attention of a nurse and an on call physician was nothing.

I am a student. I don't have much money.
Question #1 "How much do you think all the above came to? Total cost to the health care system?"

Question #2 "How much money in your working life have You paid into said system?"

Equals "Someone else paid for your care and most likely didn't have a choice about it."
 

ReverendHellh0und

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Here was my bill: $0

The cost of the ambulance, IVs, medications, a bed in the ER, and the attention of a nurse and an on call physician was nothing.


Another thought, do you really think it was all free?
 

Deuce

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Question #1 "How much do you think all the above came to? Total cost to the health care system?"

Question #2 "How much money in your working life have You paid into said system?"

Equals "Someone else paid for your care and most likely didn't have a choice about it."
Point of fact: Canada spends fewer tax dollars on health care than the United States does. (plus we have to pay health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles!)
 

ReverendHellh0und

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Point of fact: Canada spends fewer tax dollars on health care than the United States does. (plus we have to pay health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles!)



I thought that underline was a link to proof of this from an unbiased source. My bad. :ssst:
 

Deuce

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I thought that underline was a link to proof of this from an unbiased source. My bad. :ssst:
Sorry, I keep forgetting this isn't common knowledge. A lot of people do a double take when they hear this.


OECD Health Data 2010 - Frequently Requested Data
The Excel file there has tons of data. What we're looking at here is "Public Expenditure Per Capita, PPP Adjusted" (2008, as US Data for '09 isn't there)
Canada: $2863
US: $3507

And for comparison, Total Spending:
Canada: $4079
US: $7538

The US actually spends more tax dollars on health care than any nation in the world any nation except Norway as well as spending more private dollars on health care. Crazy, eh?
 
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Chuz Life

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Point of fact: Canada spends fewer tax dollars on health care than the United States does. (plus we have to pay health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles!)
That's fine.

But Orion said it "cost him nothing" and that isn't likely true.
 

Deuce

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That's fine.

But Orion said it "cost him nothing" and that isn't likely true.
Other than his taxes, it cost him nothing, is his point. Canadians don't have to worry one bit about the cost of going to the doctor, which must be really stress-reducing!

He wasn't implying that health care in Canada comes from a magic fountain or something.

If our system ran as efficiently as Canada's, per-capita, we could lower our taxes and no longer have to pay health insurance premiums at all, all while being deficit-neutral!

Waiting time argument in 5...4...3...2..
 
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Chuz Life

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Other than his taxes, it cost him nothing, is his point. Canadians don't have to worry one bit about the cost of going to the doctor, which must be really stress-reducing!

He wasn't implying that health care in Canada comes from a magic fountain or something.

If our system ran as efficiently as Canada's, per-capita, we could lower our taxes and no longer have to pay health insurance premiums at all, all while being deficit-neutral!

Waiting time argument in 5...4...3...2..
No argument from me,...other than to say if it's mandatory,... I'll fight it regardless of what the predicted savings are.
 
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