Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Great Thing About Capitalism and Medicine

The Canadian healthcare system is technically not socialized medicine. I know you've heard this before, but bear with me. The UK is because their doctors are public employees of the government. The government in the UK sets the costs and pay the doctors.  Not so in Canada.  In Canada the doctors are private business persons.  They accept public health care insurance which is provided by Canada, but they aren't public servants of the Canadian government.

In fact when I was there, the largest field for doctors were dentists.  That's because unlike regular doctors who are locked into whatever the public insurance will pay.  Dentists aren't.  Canadians will pay supplemental insurance costs or they'll pay out pocket for care. So they set the market.  Interestingly so will some of the regular GPs. A sign on the door noted that if you didn't have your insurance card at time of service you would be charged 100 dollars.  They didn't care if you had insurance or not because it was a private business.  The downside however is that doctors were paid a minuscule amount compared to doctors across the border so their weren't as many doctors willing to work in Canada.  Therefore you had a smaller pool of doctors that you could choose from.

In the US, we haven't gone as socialized as Canada.  There are doctors now who are negotiating prices for service with patients rather than with insurance companies.  It seems to be able to save costs for both the doctor and the patient.  You can also do this with drug purchases.

Today I went to the same eye doctor my children go to.  I wasn't exactly thrilled with the level of service, but I liked the doctor.  That is until today.  My appoint was for 9 am. I arrived at a little after 8:30 to fill out paper work. I wasn't called back until 9:30 that's when I asked about the little sign on the counter.

It read initial and dilation appointments take 2 hours. 

She confirmed that yes dilation would be at least an hour of waiting.  This explains HBs predicament.  The last time I took him in they made us wait for a very excruciatingly long time.  He's autistic and having someone mess with his vision like that...well, there was melt downs.

So I politely told her that I have a child to pick up.  Then I was kind to the receptionist who canceled the appointment.  And I didn't reschedule.

On the drive home, I thought, "nope. nope. nope."  I don't ever remember having to wait that long.

So I looked into it and found someone else who doesn't even have to dilate your eyes.  They use a different technology that does something similar and takes less time.  They also take child patients.  And the women was really polite in answering my questions and my explaining how dilation affects HB.  I'm going to give them a try and if I like them, I'm also changing over the kids.

And I can do this because of capitalism.  I'm not obligated to stick to one doctor who doesn't fit my needs.  I can look for someone else I feel more comfortable with.  Just like I did with my dentist the other day. 

Hopefully this whole insurance fiasco at the federal level will work itself out soon because I look forward to being able to negotiate more with doctors if I want to rather than relying on finding doctors who take my insurance.  That's what I did with the midwives when I had Knee.

Capitalism is good for this patient.

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