We Need Our Healthcare

Medicine in Australia
Medicine in Australia

First a note: I’m perfectly fine. On the road to recovery.

Yesterday I presented to my GP with acute abdominal pain, I knew what was wrong, and I was trying to head off a visit to the Emergency Department, but to no avail. The doctor upon examining me said I had to go to Emergency. Mainly because I live in a rural town and there are no diagnostic facilities open on a Sunday to look at me. Even our little country town hospital doesn’t have the right equipment.

So off I went to the Emergency Department of Sunshine Hospital. The pain is an issue I had a couple of times before, so I knew what it was, and that certainly helps. The first time though I thought I was dying; I was in so much pain. šŸ˜³

Anyway, upon arrival, I went to triage and was put in the queue. There were 26 adults already waiting to be seen, and in a hospital it’s most acute gets seen first. Moderates (which I would have classed myself) and minor have to wait.

And wait we did. I think it was about 3 hours before they tried to take my blood… I say tried because they were unsuccessful. My body doesn’t like to show its veins to anyone. I had to go back to the waiting room and drink water in the hope to hydrate my body to get the blood to show. Half an hour and a litre of water later… a second attempt, but still no blood. They decided to wait until I was admitted into Emergency.

I only had to wait about 15 more minutes and I was in. A third, and determined nurse, finally found a vein to put a cannula in. It was down my arm and on the side, an unusual spot for sure, at least one I’ve never seen used before.

Finally my bloods were off to the lab.

While waiting, I was given pain relief in the form of morphine, and Maxolon to help with the nausea.

A Doctor came by, she explained that she had to wait for the bloods to come back, but was happy to continue pain management. But no food yet. I was getting hungry, as was poor David who was stuck sitting next to me for all this time.

She came back a couple of times, as did the nurses, while waiting for the bloods to come back to see how I was.

When the bloods came back she said they were all fine, so the infection was not beyond oral antibiotics. But she wanted me to be at a pain level of zero before she’d let me go home. They gave me the first of my antibiotics, and more morphine for the pain. After another couple of hours I was sent home, I wasn’t rushed out, I was cared for wonderfully by everyone at Sunshine Hospital. 

Before all this happened, I commented on a Bernie Sanders post, a US Senator who is calling for Universal Healthcare in the US. At the time of my post I was expecting to have to stay in hospital to have this resolved. Thankfully I didn’t.

On the post I got a couple of replies saying that such a stay in a US hospital, for a US citizen, with Health Care, would still likely cost them around $170,000! The single day visit I had, likely $30,000 – $40,000. Individuals can’t afford those kind of costs, and it’s why health related costs are one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy in the US right now. I’ve been to hospital for this same issue 3 times now. Twice I stayed a week or longer. I would be absolutely broke in the American system. Especially as a now self-employed person.

We need to protect our health care system, we need to see big companies pay their taxes and lose their government-funded incentives, we need the well-off to pay their share before we defund healthcare because “we can’t afford it”.

They give us promises of tax cuts around elections to sweeten the pot, but as they always tell us, that money has to come from somewhere and these days that somewhere, seems to be health services, education, or other social services. We don’t need the tax cuts, we need the services.

This post clearly a response to my stay, but also because of the current mid-term elections in the US, where a bunch of Republicans who are suing the federal government to stop providing services, are claiming in mass media they aren’t doing just that. The duplicitous nature of politicians is ridiculous.

Veterinarian's Hospital
The Muppets Veterinarian’s Hospital

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