glad i live in Australia

December 1, 2006 at 4:06 am

I am absolutely amazed to read about the insurance system over there and people being refused ivig because of costs etc and how hard it is to get social security.

We have a public health care system here (medicare) plus a private health insurance system. Generally there are long waiting lists in the public system which is why many people opt to pay private health insurance (you also get your choice of doctor, hospital)

When i got GBS i was treated through the public system even though i have private health insurance. The main reason was i live in a small town so there is only one hospital to go to. I was referred to a neurologist at a major regional hospital (also public) I could have asked to be transferred to a private hospital but once i was in ICU i dont think it really mattered – it’s not like i was going to get a private room or anything. I was told the cost of a bed in ICU was $1500 a day. I spent 4 weeks in ICU and during that time our entire state was on code red – no ICU beds available anywhere. Even then i was not pushed out before i was ready. The public health system in our state has had a bad wrap lately – cant get doctors in regional cities so a lot of overseas trained doctors (one from US dubbed Dr Death because he was involved in the death of so many patients and it was later revealed he had his licence revoked in US) But i cannot complain about the level of care i received. I was transferred back to my local hospital for rehab. I only spent 10 days there before i was sent home but they said they wouldnt send me home until i no longer required PT. They would rather keep me in as an inpatient if daily pt required. And none of this cost me a cent. I later found out there is a 35 day limit on how long you can be in a public hospital before you have to start paying – unless it is deemed medically necessary (which i was)

I actually work in the insurance industry (or did before i got gbs) although not in health insurance, and although have heard of insurance comapnies being difficult certainly nothing like what i have heard here.

As for social security, they make things difficult for you and you have to fill in copius paperwork, but basically as long as you have a medical certificate you can apply for sickness benefit which is the same as unemployment benefit. At the moment i am not getting anything because of my partners income but when he was home looking after the kids while i was in hospital we were at least getting enough to live on.

I’m not trying to say we have the perfect system i just though you guys might like to hear how it is in another part of the western world. I cant believe that things are made so hard for you over there