Saturday, October 21, 2006

More Reasons to Fume Over Healthcare

Well, today was one of those WTF days where I seriously doubt the purpose of having a so-called *Universal* Healthcare System that the Americans envy so much (not that their system is all that peachy either). It all started when, last week, I'd seen a news report saying that Whooping Cough is making a comeback. The report said that immunization was the best way to minimize the risk of contracting Whooping Cough. I'd had Whooping Cough as a child, and let me tell you, it is NOT a pleasant disease. I was out for 1 month and woke up every morning gasping for air. Way to traumatize an 8-year-old.

After hearing this news report, I decided to check my immunization records to see how up-to-date I was on my Diptheria Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Tetanus (DPT) vaccine. It turns out that last time I'd been vaccinated was 10 years ago, and guess what? Booster shots are usually every 10 years. Perfect timing! So I made an appointment with the doctor (not the moron who turned me away in my first healthcare post) to get immunized. Knowing that some vaccines require prescriptions, I even called ahead asking if I'd need a prescription for DPT. I was assured that I didn't need one.

Today was my doctor's appointment, and while at her office, I re-iterated that the purpose of my visit was to get a DPT booster shot. I get the shot, she updates my immunization card, and all is well. Well, not quite. I decided to check the entry filled in by my doctor for my latest booster shot, only to find that Diptheria and Tetanus were checked off, but not Pertussis. Perplexed, I went back to the office to ask her what was going on.

It turns out that in Ontario, Diptheria and Tetanus (DT) shots are covered by OHIP, but the DPT shots are only covered by OHIP up to age 16. After age 16, you need a prescription for DPT. I rolled my eyes and told her that the whole purpose of my visit was for the Pertussis shot, and all she could offer me was an appology, saying that she'd just assumed that I'd wanted the one covered by OHIP. Assumed?!? Was she kidding me??? How could she just assume, when I said D*P*T. NOT DT...DPT!!! So now, thanks to this major frack-up, I am only eligible for the DPT shot in 5-years' time.

I'd like to toast those who made this frack-up possible. First, to my doctor, who, in addition to making me wait 1 hour even though I had an APPOINTMENT, when she got to me, she treated me like I was some item on an assembly line. Maybe if she'd LISTENED to me instead of trying to hurry me out the door for the next patient, this might not have happened. Second, to our esteemed provincial government. I hope all you tax-payer-money-spending nimrods can sleep at night knowing that you are endangering the lives of the general public with crappy healthcare. Cheers!

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