Snowbird reminds NLers to appreciate health care system

Bill Westcott editor@cbncompass.ca
Published on April 1, 2014
letter to editor

I am one of the thousands of Newfoundland snowbirds in Florida for the winter.

A recent car accident involving a Canadian showed me the value of our MCP and our health care system. I hope when gripers — and there are many — read this they will step back and appreciate what we got. 

If you come down south, be sure you have adequate insurance; lots of it. Hospitals here and everywhere in the United States, it seems, are for-profit hospitals, meaning the buck comes first. Huge bucks! 

The victim in this case, a lady (registered nurse for 50 years) from Hudson needed emergency trauma service following a collision in mid-March. It appears the suspect for her upper body injury was the airbag.

She spent a frustrating five-hour stay at the hospital and released after being stabilized. The bill came to a staggering $44,900 for the trauma unit and two checkups she received by a physician's assistant.

Shoddy treatment

She spent most of the five hours waiting for blood work, ECG and CAT scan with dye. Her blood pressure and pulse were taken only twice, on arrival and on departure.

The lady told a local Florida newspaper her name was misspelled at the outset and not corrected, and a proper wristband wasn't put on for two hours, she wrote.

"I never saw a doctor, and a physician's assistant only made a brief examination before ordering the tests," she wrote.

Just sent away

She was finally released with "some aftercare papers including those for her insurance provider and was left to find her own way out,” she said.

To add insult to injury, no one spoke to her husband. She said the emotional trauma of the money grab is more upsetting than the car accident.

Her wish is to let people, especially her friends in Canada and the United Kingdom, know about Florida's trauma response fees ($49,000 for five hours’ work is pretty good pay, one would agree).

So, let's all realize how fortunate we are to have our health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Admittedly, our taxes are much higher than in the U.S.A. but the Floridians would give their right arm to have what we have — a free-for-all system that is fair and equitable no matter what status one has.

Ours are taxes well worth collecting (every cent), I feel, especially when they're spent to guard our health and provide a sense of security. Thanks to MCP workers and our health care providers.

— Bill Westcott is a resident of Clarke’s Beach who spends his winters in Florida.