Thursday, November 08, 2007


This morning we when we woke up, the Wife's throat problem seemed to be getting a little severe. She made me look in her throat with a flashlight, and things in the back were very red and looked like they were hanging too far down. Having battled diligently with over-the-counter medication for a week, we decided it was time to experience Canada's famed health care system first hand. Though the Canadian health care system enjoys a pristine reputation in some circles, up here it's known for it's long wait times, especially in the Emergency Room. So I was a little scared. Luckily, I've got nothing better to do.

Since were not from Canada, we don't have automatic free coverage through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for the first three months of our residency. We have to PAY for it through the Wife's job, thus we're on the University Health Insurance Plan (which I will continue to be on until I get a job). If this all sounds confusing, it is. Please ask me if you want more info, but to make a superlong story short, we had to go to the Scarborough Hospital, because it was the closest one that we could go to and not fill out stacks of paperwork to get reimbursed.

The hospital was pretty typical and not unlike my experiences in the states. We had to wait three hours in the Emergency Room, and the TV channel was stuck on an all news station, thus I got to hear the same story about the weak American dollar six times. The waiting room was full of people that didn't want to be there, and those with the most pressing needs were treated first. And this was a good thing, because I didn't want to be around the guy with severe stomach issues longer than I had to be. I also didn't want to continue to hear, in extreme detail, about his symptoms, from his significant other who seemed to think everyone wanted to know what he did at 2:30 AM last night. Trust me when I say you don't want to know.

The doctor who treated the Wife was very nice, and he even threw in an unrelated prescription for allergies that needed to be refilled. Though we had fears of tonsillitis or strep, it looks like this is just a case of severe laryngitis.

Scarbarough Hospital gets 3 Hortons. The place was kind of run down and they made us wait a little too long, but it did give the Wife some peace of mind, had fresh copies of the Toronto Star and provided a cheap split pea soup that was surprisingly palatable (though I would recommend a couple of sprigs of thyme and a dash more salt). Afterword, we went to a different Shopper's Drugmart, and I got to read about the Top Ten of Everything. The drugs were not too expensive, considering we have no prescription coverage, so bravo Canada on that.


mgpowell2000 said...

"This is Jennings, your anesthetist."
"We think we'll go in through the mouth." 2008

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