This doesn’t suit anyone Government’s flu shot plan could cost more: NLMA
Province eyeing elimination of MCP fee code for family physicians
I’m writing this column impaired.
Not by drink or drug, but by suit.
I’m wearing a “drunk suit,” and suddenly imagine staggering up the red carpet at the Oscars in it.
“Who are you wearing? It’s not Givenchy, is it?” Melissa Rivers (Joan’s daughter) asks on behalf of millions of TV viewers as I stumble past. “Drunk suit by Ford!” I reply. “It’s … ah … ah … certainly an attention grabber,” Rivers says. Indeed it is.
The suit — developed by Ford of Canada — is not the most fashionable.
But neither is the reason it exists — to help curb the impaired driving epidemic.
The suit is comprised of ankle and wrist weights as well as knee, elbow, and neck bandages.
Plus there are headphones that mute sound and vision-impairment goggles that remind me of how things looked for much of that first year of university.
The get-up is designed to simulate what it’s like to be under the influence.
I’m trying to see how it influences my ability to write a column.
“You have the ability to write a column?” one of you is undoubtedly wondering.
To that smarty pants I say: No less than a current president has the ability to run a country.
Anyway, please don’t be offended by anything that’s been written or that follows. It’s the drunk suit talking. Spellink is the firt cashulty. It’s so bad this column had to be more heavily edited than usual.
Some samples of my sloshed sentences:
“Trying to write this on my iphon.”
“The longer it’s on, the drinker I feel.”
In fact, I’m suit hammered to the point where walking is even near impossible.
There’s a straight line taped to the floor in front of me and I can barely get out of the chair to attempt straddling it.
It takes minutes to get there. Once I start walking, I list to the right and narrowly avoid crashing into the wall.
I imagine how that conversation with workers’ compensation would have gone.
“Could you repeat how you injured yourself, Sir?” they’d ask.
“Well, I was in a drunk suit for work and …”
I struggle to get back in my chair.
Once parked, I try catching a tennis ball in my left hand. It hits the floor after two or three tosses.
This suit has impaired my ability far more than expected.
Wearing it, or actually being drunk, makes it pretty much useless to try anything — especially getting behind the wheel of a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, go cart, etc.
So just don’t drink and drive. Do so and you could also find yourself in a suit — one you face in court and/or one you wear to a funeral.
Nothing about that. remotely funny
If you were one of the roughly 65,000 people who received a flu shot from a family doctor last fall, you might have to look elsewhere for the preventative vaccine this year. Based on a government plan to eliminate an MCP fee code for physicians administering the flu shot, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association has “grave concerns” for their patients.
“We do have concerns that some of our fee-for-service family physicians will stop offering vaccines in their office,” says NLMA president-elect Dr. Lynn Dwyer.
“Of those 65,000, half of those were specifically administered under the specific fee code that the provincial government is now looking at eliminating.”
Dwyer says family physicians will still be able to provide the flu shot, but it will be part of a regular office visit.
Part of government’s reasoning for eliminating the fee is to save costs, but Dwyer says it could ultimately end up costing the government more money in MCP billings.
“For a regular office visit a family physician would actually bill $32. If a family physician was doing a flu vaccine clinic, which a lot of them do offer … that would be $17.
Moreover, Dwyer says talks of increasing the number and availability of clinics would further drive up costs.
“We are not aware that a cost analysis has been done to that effect, so the provincial government would need to look at offering more community health clinics both in urban and rural areas, which would obviously mean increased staffing and hours, so there would be an added cost there.”
During a recent question period in the House of Assembly, Minister of Health and Community Services John Haggie suggested doctors were essentially double billing taxpayers.
“They go to their family doctor. The family doctor bills the taxpayers $31. If they’re offered a flu shot at the same time, the family doctor extra bills the taxpayer $17 for a service that can be provided down the corridor, free of charge, no extra charge to the system,” Haggie said in response to a question from NDP Health and Community Critic Lorraine Michaels.
A selfie snapped while impaired