We had an incident recently that required a trip to the emergency room. Nothing too serious, a splinter in the foot that didn’t completely come out and needed to be removed with the aid of a numbing shot. It was a little scary, but taken care of with a follow-up prescription of antibiotics.
What it did remind me of was just how thankful I am for our medical system. It may not be perfect (what is) but the fact that I could first take him to a clinic, then to the emergency, get treated with dignity and respect within a couple of hours, and be home — all without having to pay out-of-pocket — is something we shouldn’t take for granted. Yes we pay a monthly fee for our provincial medical services plan – just over $100 for a family (that’s the full price, you pay based on income). In full disclosure, we are fortunate enough that Mr. Kate’s company actually pays the entire monthly fee as part of his benefits package. The price list for out of country visitors to the ER is listed at the registration desk, and these things aren’t cheap. But if you are Canadian and registered with your province’s medical plan, you can walk in and be treated without having to have cash in your wallet.
Universal health care is something we take for granted but don’t always understand here in Canada – we’ve had this system for so long and we keep being told how it is breaking. Maybe it is, and I know there are problems, but this week it worked for me.