I found it a tad ironic the first story that popped up on my Flipboard App for my iPhone was that of the American governmental shutdown due to fear of a national healthcare system.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s so ironic about that?” If so, that’s a great question, and if not, I’m going to tell you anyway.
After working all day Friday and hitting the gym with a co-worker, I finally gave in to many requests to join other co-workers for late-night basketball. I’m not THAT old and in OK shape, and although I haven’t touched a basketball in about a decade, I thought the extra exercise would be good. What horrible logic. I would have been much better off going out and power chugging Taiwan Beer with university students until 5 a.m.
Long story short, plenty of botched layups and bricked jumpers later my feet got tangled in a mess of others all fighting for a rebound. I hit the ground, hip first and hard. I’m 36, not 63, but that much force focused onto one tiny little bone surface usually means you lose, and I did.
I am going to keep this brief for the simple reason that I hurt, and when I hurt I have the attention span of someone with A.D.D. that’s high on Walter White’s blue meth. The following day I made the dreaded trip to the emergency room because I was pretty certain the fact that my left leg didn’t want to work was a sign of a serious injury and not a bruise. After a very short wait at a local hospital I was taken to Radiology and whisked over to see a doctor. It took him all of about 30 seconds to spot that I had a femoral neck fracture. WTF? I’m only 36!
Here’s where things get interesting and focus back on Taiwan. They scheduled me for hip pinning surgery…THAT DAY. Seriously, I had an OR lined up about 5 hours after arriving at the ER.
If I was in America, I may not have even seen a single doctor by that point, and there I was with a team of surgeons around me. As an American, I always heard that national health care meant long waits and poor service. This surely wasn’t a long wait and the service was extremely attentive and efficient. Even better was the price tag.
The bill consisted of these items:
- ER Service
- 4 nights in the hospital
- upgraded room charge (I paid more for a nicer room)
- standard Medicine
- upgraded oral medication (My kind wife opted-in for better quality meds, named instead of generic perhaps)
- upgraded pain control IV (Morphine by the click)
- all bandages and other medical supplies
What was the financial damage of all of this? Surely it’s going to cause years and years of paperwork and insurance filings and maybe even lawyer fees to sort out. I can’t believe I am stuck in this national healthcare system. The bottom line –
What?!?!?!? Only $475 bucks? Would that even take care of an ER visit in Philly? This is basically standard for anyone living and working in Taiwan. I am actually even going to get a reimbursement for about $300 of that due to the fact I have extra supplemental insurance as well, but even if you don’t you can surely see how dangerous and awful NHI is (*confused face*).
I apologize about ending this with a political dig, but I want to personally thank Ted Cruz, John Fleming, Mike Lee and all the rest for giving me plenty of reasons to stay in Taiwan, make good money, and live a good life.
I don’t like fracturing my hip, but I do like having it cared for quickly, cheaply and well. I’ll be out of work for awhile as this heals, and it looks like Cruz and friends will too. If any readers bump into one them on the street, tell them to give me a shout if they want to sit down and have a chat about healthcare over a glass of milk.