Snow­bird re­minds NLers to ap­pre­ci­ate health care sys­tem

The Compass - - OPINION -

I am one of the thou­sands of New­found­land snow­birds in Florida for the win­ter.

A re­cent car ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a Cana­dian showed me the value of our MCP and our health care sys­tem. I hope when gripers — and there are many — read this they will step back and ap­pre­ci­ate what we got.

If you come down south, be sure you have ad­e­quate in­sur­ance; lots of it. Hos­pi­tals here and every­where in the United States, it seems, are for-profit hos­pi­tals, mean­ing the buck comes first. Huge bucks!

The vic­tim in this case, a lady (reg­is­tered nurse for 50 years) from Hud­son needed emer­gency trauma ser­vice fol­low­ing a col­li­sion in mid-March. It ap­pears the sus­pect for her up­per body in­jury was the airbag.

She spent a frus­trat­ing five-hour stay at the hospi­tal and re­leased af­ter be­ing sta­bi­lized. The bill came to a stag­ger­ing $44,900 for the trauma unit and two check­ups she re­ceived by a physi­cian’s as­sis­tant.

Shoddy treat­ment

She spent most of the five hours wait­ing for blood work, ECG and CAT scan with dye. Her blood pres­sure and pulse were taken only twice, on ar­rival and on de­par­ture.

The lady told a lo­cal Florida news­pa­per her name was mis­spelled at the out­set and not cor­rected, and a proper wrist­band wasn’t put on for two hours, she wrote.

If you come down south, be sure you have ad­e­quate in­sur­ance; lots of it.

“I never saw a doc­tor, and a physi­cian’s as­sis­tant only made a brief ex­am­i­na­tion be­fore or­der­ing the tests,” she wrote.

Just sent away

She was fi­nally re­leased with “some af­ter­care pa­pers in­clud­ing those for her in­sur­ance provider and was left to find her own way out,” she said.

To add in­sult to in­jury, no one spoke to her hus­band. She said the emo­tional trauma of the money grab is more up­set­ting than the car ac­ci­dent.

Her wish is to let people, es­pe­cially her friends in Canada and the United King­dom, know about Florida’s trauma re­sponse fees ($49,000 for five hours’ work is pretty good pay, one would agree).

So, let’s all re­al­ize how for­tu­nate we are to have our health care sys­tem in New­found­land and Labrador.

Ad­mit­tedly, our taxes are much higher than in the U.S.A. but the Florid­i­ans would give their right arm to have what we have — a free-for-all sys­tem that is fair and eq­ui­table no mat­ter what sta­tus one has.

Ours are taxes well worth col­lect­ing (ev­ery cent), I feel, es­pe­cially when they’re spent to guard our health and pro­vide a sense of se­cu­rity. Thanks to MCP work­ers and our health care providers.

— Bill West­cott is a res­i­dent of Clarke’s Beach who spends his win­ters in Florida.

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