After a recent bout of illness I realised a bit more why some chronically ill people don’t get medical care for cost reasons. In two days I’ve been to the doctor twice, had an X-ray, and got 2 prescriptions – $230 in round numbers. I’ll get about $120 back, but if I had any financial issues, the cashflow would be quite tricky. If I was badly off, I could have gone to emergency, I suppose, but people doing that is one of the reasons Sydney’s hospital system struggles to cope through every winter.
My doctor will bulk bill for low income chronically ill people. He’s very nice, too. But I would hate to have to throw myself on my doctor’s mercy – open my lack of money to him just to get treated.
Of course, reading Moreena’s story about how after her daughter Annika has had a million dollars this year of health care, she’s faced with ruinous insurance premiums, despite having as good a health insurance policy as it is possible to get in the US, I have absolutely nothing to complain about (if you want to help, have a look at this page). Our health funding system is wonderful by comparison. But I can see how ours is creeping from being good for everything except very elective conditions (e.g. plastic surgery) to redefining elective quite a long way up the spectrum of sickness.
My illness, plus starting a new job last week (great timing!) is why I haven’t posted for a while. My apologies, to anyone who reads regularly!