Friday, September 25, 2009

Does social medicine work?

So yesterday I went to the doctor for a regular check-up. This is my first experience with social health care. Maybe I'm just lucky (or maybe I'm super liberal, who knows), but I'm pleased.

There were moments where it seemed really impersonal and considering your health is anything but impersonal I can see how this would turn some people off. But everyone was really nice and helpful (which is nice because this paperwork I had to fill out was in Chinese). I was in and out in less than one hour and I didn't even make an appointment ahead of time.

Normally I would guess that I got through in less time than most people because they tend to facilitate foreigners through things a little faster given the fact that only a few people are able to communicate with us effectively, but I don't think that was the case at all this time.

The doctor spoke perfect English and he was really nice and thorough. All in all, it wasn't a bad experience for my first time getting medical care outside the States.

Not much else to report though. Thursday and Friday's classes went on as usual and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Just lots of games and fun.

Now just to get my last four classes of the week over with tomorrow and it's on to my "weekend."


  1. On the flip side, my friend just had a baby here - which if you think about it is a pretty mundane procedure if you have a regular labor (which she did). However they were really frustrated with the level of care they got after the baby came out: Her husbands mom (a U.S. ob/gyn nurse) was in town, and could see the baby had jaundice, told the doctors, and they waited two days before reacting or doing anything about it.

    So, I mean, that's not a big, serious health issue - but the fact is you give up your freedom to demand better care when you sign control over to the government.

  2. I'm told that the level of care you receive also depends on whether you go to a government run hospital or a private one.

    If you go to a government one, everything is paid for; a private one, you'll have to shell out a bit of cash yourself on top of what the government pays.

    Also, there are things that the government won't cover and many people will still buy separate insurance; i don't know what is or isn't covered, but given your age, i very much doubt you need that extra insurance.