I'm sat here on a Friday afternoon, catching up on Clare's latest blog, stuffing my face with charcuterie and waiting impatiently for Wine O'Clock!
I've also been doodling on the French Wreck plans............very much regretting not having a window drawn in over where I want the kitchen sink. A kitchen sink should always be under a window don't you think?
Anyway, I do sleep Clare, I promise you, In fact him in doors would happily tell you, I sleep too much! I'm an early to bed, early to rise, in a relationship with my bed kinda gal. The only issue with this is my nutty puppy, who's not on board with my current needs!
Anyway, Clare's blog got me thinking about medical in all the different countries I've lived in. I know, there's been a few!
The worst was Saudi and the best Dubai!
Dubai was great, very slick and shiny! You just went to the hospital, told the reception what was what and then you waited to see the specialist ,within the hour no less.
I remember my youngest daughter arrived from boarding school in the UK, with a temperature, ear pain and what I thought might be tonsillitis. We took her to the Hospital the day after her arrival and within 2 days she was operated on. Turns out amongst other things she'd been living with very little hearing for a couple of years, poor bean bag!
Saudi was just sexist! To be fair the company policy was a Saudi policy which is how things are changing over there! My husband could get anything he wanted even if he didn't need it, being the male worker bee and all that! Me? My treatment there still traumatizes me. I managed narrowly to avoid an operation, which was more removal of 'everything and not, fixing the real problem really. Instead I found a renowned surgeon in Paris to sort me out, which he did!
Australia was interesting, for him, anyway. His post came with a full medical policy. The government also deducted a percentage to cover a top up, which we didn't need but was part of the visa requirements. We also got some basic medical, gratis. I guess you could say we were over covered! Should have been no problem then? Didn't quite pan out that way oddly, as after his hernia operation, a fight broke out between the insurances and even after we had left the country, the surgeon still hadn't been paid!
I've always felt GP's get in the way of us getting better, frankly! They are a bit too 'middle man' for me and I'm pretty sure they've added to my health woes over the years. They are supposed to filter those that need further specialist treatment aren't they? Not sure that always happens.
Let me be straight with you, I don't like GP's. I now have panic attacks when I have to see a new Doctor, my blood pressure shoots up and then I get all the usual rubbish about health and diet! My diet is very good, my weight normal and steady, thanks! It's them, not me, my blood pressure is fine normally, just keep me away from a GP's surgery, eh! !
I also piss them off by refusing to be weighed. I will chat more about that another time.
I have been poked and prodded too much I think and having to constantly battle Doctors to get my eldest daughter, the treatments she needed over the years, took a toll. With mental health issues from quite a young age, we were always looking for help. In my experience GP's aren't particularly the best people for this and often they like to blame the parents which is insulting and upsetting.
My experience of French medical ,was a planned private operation and then an emergency situation. So no real experience so far. I did end up paying 3.5k for three nights in Chez Argentan Urgences and I managed to just about avoid being airlifted to Laval, which might have bankrupted me! The emergency hospital treatment was scary and difficult because of the langauge barrier. I would say on the whole the experience was pretty good although, the food was vile and sharing a room with an old lady with constant diarrhoea wasn't great!
No I didn't have any French medical coverage! I did have private medical coverage, which wouldn't pay out because I'd had a private operation and complications thereafter. The NHS E11 was no help at all. So it's good to hear tales of the medical system proper, in France from Clare.
Finally, just a few weeks ago I registered with the Doctors surgery in Canada very reluctantly.
Here, you have some coverage on the OHIP for free and then you have to 'top up' with a private policy for other things not covered. Look at it like this, the OHIP covers the emergencies, critical treatment and the 'top up' covers things like longer term care. Attending the Doctor is free. The OHIP covers screening, breathing, bleeding, breaks and burns. If you have a long hospital stay your top up pays.
Hope that's as clear as mud?
I do feel Canada in both taxes and medical is very similar to the French system, only there is no payment required to see a Doctor or a specialist.
He chose the medical centre, telling me that it seemed very flexible. Walk in clinics on a evening and weekend.
At registration we were invited into the doctors office for our consultation, together, which is unusual.
The Doctor spoke with my chap first and like me he had quite a list! It's our age love! Half way through his consultation I reminded Mr UnFrench about something he really needed to mention. The Doctor turned to me and said "It's not all about you love"........erm....I beg your pardon?
My consultation was fluffy. He pretty much ignored everything I said and we left the office. He spent 20 minutes explaining various tests to my husband and I just stood there like a lemon. Eventually, I went back to the car by myself!
When finally returned to the car, I realized he had been given some blood work sheets and referrals for me.
I eventually wrote a complaint and was surprised to be rung back quite quickly. I was told that they were sorry my experience wasn't great, but that I wasn't allowed to swap Doctors within the practice. In other words, if you don't like the Doctor leave! It's not that I didn't like him. I just want a Doctor that treats me with respect and actually listens!
I was just about to go back for a follow up appointment when he checked with the company about the insurance. The insurance was to change slightly coverage wise once we had the OHIP. It turned out the company had mistakenly removed me from the policy!
Just bad luck?
Anyway what I have learned over the years is that GP's aren't keen on your turning up with a bucket load of symptoms. Not quite sure what one can do about that really! The 12 minutes they are given for a consultation probably doesn't help. eh.
In the end, I do miss the gift that is the NHS. There's nothing quite like it! One shouldn't have to worry about who pays what, when at their most vulnerable.