September 12, 2009 5:10:14 AM CEST
American Health Care is in dire need of reformation. Now I've complained a great deal about the healthcare system in the NL but still I'd prefer the system of the NL over the US any day.
One great thing about the NL system is, that you really do not have to worry about finances when you get sick - it's all covered. Maybe you can't get 20 sessions of physio anymore, but if you get cancer you won't go bancrupt. And if you know how the Dutch system works, you'll find your way in it, too.
When I look at our health insurance that my partner and I have, well it's only good as long as we don't get seriously ill.
Then, I can't believe how ridiculously expensive healthcare in the US is. Really, if it costs that much, there must be something wrong. The quality is not always good, either - at least not in my experience. I've paid 160US$ for a visit to a GP's office where I didn't even talk to a doctor, they lost my sample e.g. couldn't perform the tests and never bothered to call me back, either. Had I had a serious infection, well I would've been donald ducked.
In general doctors, pharmacies, nurses don't seem to find it necessary to call you back for test results even if they promise to do so.
Whenever I went to the doctor in the NL one had to be a bit pushy for examinations or extra tests. That's annoying but after a decade I knew the system and when I really was convinced I needed something I'd just insist on it.
Here in the US it's almost like healthcare providers want to do any kind of testing, examination, etc. possible as soon as they find you have coverage. I don't feel that they do it because I need it and the doctor cares for me; it rather feels like the doctor wants to make sure I can't sue for malpractice and the secretary wants to make sure they get the most out of my insurance.
One simple health problem and it's x-rays, full-on blood tests, MRI scan and ultrasound...I feel like a cash cow, not a patient!
The number of 'supportive' staff in doctor's offices here is also unbelievable! 2-3 secretaries, nurses, nurspractitioners, etc. etc.
And want an appointment immediately? Forget it. Not where I live. You wait weeks or months until you get an appointment with a specialists.
They don't just need to reform the health insurances, the whole system needs a radical refomation. The US spends a higher percentage of its GNP on health care system than for instance Germany and yet the healthcare is so much worse here.
I don't say the NL or the German system is perfect, but at least everyone has coverage.