Posted by: Kate | September 30, 2010


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.



  1. i am glad to hear that everyone is well.

    and living in a country where we don’t have universal healthcare and there are people who are up-in-arms-angry about the not-big-enough changes that we made this past year i can just say that i am jealous of canada.
    (well i’m jealous of canada for many reasons, but this is definitely one of them!)

  2. Count me in as jealous of Canadian healthcare too. Our family health insurance is ridiculous–$1200 a month. Some is employer covered, but we definitely shell out more than $100 a month.

  3. Each time I visit the doctor, I know how fortunate I am to have health care, albeit with flaws & all. I just went through a massive amount of form-filling, etc., changing to a different Province & all that that entails. Ugh, it’s now finally all done & I can relax, esp. when seeing the doc. Knowing the costs of procedures, tests, etc. makes me downright crazy. Don’t get sick out of country!!!

    I’m glad to hear that Bushboy is okay, nothin’ worse than getting a splinter pulled out! Owee!

  4. I just found your blog through the Half Soled Boots blog. I was scrolling through some of your posts and this one caught my eye, as it is the same sentiment I had last week when I was at ER with my 19 year old daughter.

    At the end of my post about the experience (Shattering Records) I mentioned how thankful I was to be in a country where the only thing I had to pay was the parking fee. Amazingly, while we were waiting to be seen I heard two people complaining about the fact they had had to pay $3.50 for parking! And, like you, I happened to glance at the wall and see the fee for out of country visits posted. It was a whopping $750!

    I’m glad everything worked out for you! Nice blog!

  5. It may be breaking but it’s still tons better than the system at work down here. Universal health care…what a freakin’ concept. And that’s all I’ll say because I won’t get on an insurance rant in the comments. I’m glad though that you appreciate what you have.

Welcome! I always like to hear what people think of a post, it often leads to a great discussion! I am now responding to comments and questions right in the comments themselves, so other people can follow the conversation.

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