You're a recent immigrant.
You've become a citizen and living in Canada for three years.
You unfortunately, had a heart attack and just had triple by-pass surgery.
You're laying in the recovery room and think how lucky you are to be living in Canada. A country with socialized medicine.
Which brings up the question...
If you didn't have socialize medicine...
What would you have to pay if you had to visit a doctor or go to the hospital?
Say you have a sore throat and it's getting worse. You've done all the home remedies, gargling with salt water, etc. and none has worked. Now you decide to seek a doctor's opinion.
For this quick visit, the doctor will spend a few minutes with you, asking questions and maybe taking a throat swab. Lasting only about 5 minutes.
The doctors fee, roughly $32. Sending the swab to a lab for analysis another $30. It goes back to the doctor and he might prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection, another $25. Total cost about $90.
You have a urination infection, the doctor will receive his $32. the lab $30 and $15 for treatment. Total cost about $75.
Your wife if pregnant. After a routine pre-natal visit she is due for mid-pregnancy routine tests and ultra sound. The doctor gets his basic fee, $32. Lab tests cost, $80. Ultra-sound is $150. Total cost is $150.
Your son needs immunization. The doctor may spend a little more time with you asking questions. The doctor will get his basic fee of $80. Immunization $120. Nurses and overhead another $50. Total cost about $250.
If you're old like me the doctor will give you a periodic health exam, where he assesses your condition and makes suggestions. The doctor will receive his basic fee of $80. A pap test $20, cholesterol and diabetes tests, $60. Fecal occult blood test for colon cancer $7. Mammogram $100. Bone density, $140. Total cost per visit $430.
Std Testing, two HIV tests. The doctor receives his basic $32. The tests, $100 and a repeated HIV test $40. Total $172.
Injured Knee. Depending on where you are, say on a mountain top skiing in a mountain top community. Cost will vary, depending on the size of the hospital. Just for someone to be there to help you costs $275. The on duty doctor receives $40. of it and if it happens on a weekend in the middle of the night, the cost soars. X-rays $40. Crutches and/or brace another $60. Total cost $415.
If you have high blood pressure and hypertension the doctor receives his $32. He prescribes hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic drug (water pill). The cost, $15 a month for 3 months. Other drugs $45-$55 for 3 months. Total cost roughly about $90.
Now that you know what the cost of a visit to the doctor is, it should never prevent you from getting proper care. Preventive care is necessary before complications set in. Know the costs. One good reason for us older persons to be aware and protect our health.
Thank God for BC Medical. We pay nothing, except for our medical card which includes everything we may need to address any medical situation you may have. No one is excluded, for any reason.
Rates per month are $66.50 for one person, $120. for family of two $133. for a family of three or more. A small price compared to what an operation would cost. The longer you live, the chances of you needing one, will increase.
If you can't pay. They will pay for you. You can't get any better than that.
I'm so lucky to be Canadian!
Now, let's look at the United States medical system...
Sources: Family Health, Summer 2013 edition
BC Ministry of Health