Private Health Care is Madness!

I'm honestly starting to think that all Canadians should be forced to live somewhere else for at least 2 years to fully appreciate what we have in Canada (and also what we don't, but that's for another post). I just went through my first doctor's appointment and some standard bloodwork in Brazil. The doctor himself was great - I just called him up, made an appointment, and he saw me in a few days. The weird part was finding which doctor was in network. Finding a good doctor that isn't overloaded with patients is hard enough, but now I have to filter by an additional factor. Fortunately, I was recommended someone by colleagues in the office.

The actual check-up was totally smooth and well attended, and the doctor gave me a 'script some pretty standard tests for things that I'd asked about.

Ok, so now I just need to go to the lab to get the tests done. So which lab do I go to? Oh yes, I have to figure out which ones are "in network" again. Ok, talk to my colleagues and got a recommendation again. Go there, it takes them about half an hour just to deal with the paperwork. Again the actual care itself was fine - the bloodwork stung a little more than I remember, but otherwise the whole thing took less than 10 minutes, they handed me a urine collection kit, and I was done.

... except that I wasn't.

I started walking to the office. In the interval it hard started pouring rain, and I quickly got soaked despite my umbrella and the short distance. I've been fasting for over 12 hours now, so I'm also hungry. And I'm likely to be just barely on time for my next meeting. I'm almost at the office when I get a call. Turns out that my healthcare plan doesn't cover the Hep-C screen. I could have sworn that was covered in my plan and it seems like a pretty standard test, but apparently not. They ask if I can go back and pay for it right then and there. I ask if I can pay for it when I return on Monday with the urine sample. No, they want me to return right now.

I lost it. I wasn't just hungry at this point, I was hangry. This was their fault for not telling me up front that this screen wasn't covered. I was soaked, starving, and had a meeting in 2 minutes. No way in hell I was going back because they screwed up.

Fortunately, the plan relations person was in the office today, and so I just stopped by to visit her when they called back, and now we've arranged that I'll pay for the screen on Monday and get reimbursed for it.

So that's my story of how messed up private health care is. This was a standard screen with one of the best healthcare plans in the country. Can you imagine for something more esoteric or with a different plan?

So please, Canadians, this is what private medicine is like. Trust me, we don't want anything to do with it.


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