My experience with Australian Health Care

26 07 2011

I know Americans are grappling with the idea of health care, and so I would just like to talk about my personal experience with it as an Australian.

Now I could go into a lot of detail about Cancer and what My family were going through, but I feel I’ve written about that enough on previous occasions, so will skim most of that. If you’re interested in that though, just go back through my blog and you should find something.

After noticing a little blood coming from my rear end, I consulted my local GP who lubed his finger up, stuck it inside me and found a “toomah”… A small cancer which had to be removed.

Now I hadn’t been well for years and nobody could work out why, but I personally feel that it was mostly due to this, as such, I was already a pensioner, but after finding this, My Doc put me on a disability pension.

I do not have any health cover other than that.

I was examined by two surgeons, I had an ultasound, x-rays and cat scans.

I had my first operation, to remove the cancer and to create a stoma, which a bag would be connected to.

There was also four days stay in Hospital.

We payed for none of this.

Then I got really sick, and took an ambulance to hospital, I was in ER and then foolishly decided I was ok and wanted to go home, which I did.

The next day I was really sick, so Mum suggested I get an ambulance back in, I did… It turned out that I had a bowel blockage. I had a lot of x-rays and two cat scans to see if it was passing, it finally did and I went home.

That was all free.

I began a course of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, this lasted for about six months, and I was very sick.

I got some pills, one lot was about $30, It was the most expensive and I only took one tablet because I think it made me worse. Most of the medication was around the $5 mark.

After this was over, We got a bill for the Radiotherapy, it was $4000… But after we took the bill to Medicare, the cost dropped to $1000 and I think there were a few other benefits which dropped it further, although I’m vague on that.

The most I had to pay was for my Bags which despite the idea that my stoma operation should have taken place after three months, since I was on Chemotherapy and radiotherapy this was stalled… and then I really just got to a point where I couldn’t handle it any longer.

I planned to keep the stoma for life and just keep buying bags (which were also mostly government-funded).

However, the time came when I got tired of having bags, they sometimes leaked, they were a problem when I showered, and so I had the operation last year.

The operation and four more days in hospital cost me nothing.

Now, Had We (Mum and I) had to pay for the costs of this, we would have been broke, I’m certain of it, and getting the treatment I needed may have been placed at risk.

I am bothered by Americans yelling “Socialism” I wonder what’s wrong with them.

The bottom line is, I’m alive, and I’m not completely broke.

Surely if you were found with a life threatening illness, you would wish to remain alive? and your family and friends would rather you were alive?

And it would be nice to not have to put your house on a mortgage to get there?

I know our health system isn’t perfect, and many Australians will say so, but still, it’s not all that bad either.

This idea that there’s creeping Socialism is just some weird conspiracy idea that some of you harbour, get over it.

Wolfie!

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