When Australia first nationalised medical care in 1975, I was vehemently
opposed to it. Saw it as government interference, creeping socialism and
denying freedom of choice. I held that view for many years. Gradually, as I
saw it get through some teething troubles and changes, some of which were
caused by changes of government it evolved into a workable system. Both
sides of national politics now support it and have done for about the last
Insurance companies now have no involvement. Private insurance, which I
carry, is via not for profit organisations which exist for the purpose of
providing medical benefits for their members. Private health cover entitles
me to a choice of private hospitals, choice of doctor and refunds in most
cases of any additional fees not picked up by medicare. Everyone, whether
privately insured or not, gets hospital treatment at no cost. Waiting times
are determined by the level of urgency for treatment. Privately insured
patients who have the option of treatment at private hospitals get faster
treatment than those without cover, but only on non life threatening
Standard of care? - I have, unfortunately, spent the last 12 months in and
out of both the private hospital system and the government hospitals.
Surprisingly, I would have to admit that the government hospitals are better
equipped and the standard of care overall is higher.
The financial disasters that I and others like me predicted have not
occurred. The system is remarkably efficient. And everyone, regardless, gets
basic care at no cost, and those of us that wish to, still get freedom of
Currently, Australia spends approx 9% of GDP on medical care. I believe the
US currently spends something like 15% of GDP. Yet Australians reportedly
live on average live 4 years longer than the average US citizen.
Got to be food for thought in that.
We do not however, have a national dental care system, which puts dental
treatment out of reach of many people. My insurance covers part of the cost,
but disadvantaged people miss out.
On Mon, 09 Nov 2009 08:12:49 +0800, diggerop wrote:
Thanks. It's nice to hear from someone who lived through the conversion
to government health care and changed opinions as a result of facts.
That doesn't happen very often :-).
Now run and hide - the rampant right is coming after you!
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
Let's hope those hands on your shoulder have enough sense to push you
in front a bus. Reading your whining and complaining ad nauseam is
enough to make everyone else jump in front of bus and I sure as hell
don't want to be the only one left while you're around.
No cost? Why do you not count your taxes which pay for it?
Many variables ae possible there.
One might be American hypocondria. In some instances, staying away from
doctors can be a healthier choice than being treated often. 99,000
Americans die every year from MRSA. Most catch it in hospitals and clinics
during treatment for other problems.
Thanks for explaining the dental care situation.
How are optical care and glasses paid for?
Giving benefit of the doubt, let's presume that eye surgery is counted like
any other surgery and paid for in the publicly funded system supported by
The problem with this sort of argument is that we don't know how "die" is
defined. Most countries don't count stillbirths and miscarriages as
"deaths" but they define "stillbirth" and "miscarriage" in different
ways--in some places they'll struggle mightily to save a 20 week fetus and
list it as "infant mortality" when they fail, while in other places a full
term infant that dies within an hour of birth is a "stillbirth". And
regardless of UN guidelines their statistics are based on reported deaths
and doctors in the middle of treating patients don't give a hoot in Hell
about some bureaucrat's statistical requirements.
Just a comment, but with regard to routine eye care, an eye exam in the US
costs 50 bucks and anybody can get glasses for 8 bucks, so I don't see any
need for medical insurance to pay for those.
Not in my neighborhood either here in SoCal or back in North East
$125-$150 will get you in the neighborhood.
Last pair of Eyeglasses was $500 for a pretty basic frame and
You were robbed. Give http://www.zennioptical.com a try. If they don't
work for you you haven't spent much, if they do you end up with a spare
pair. No trifocals though, bifocal or progressive. If you don't have
prescription sunglasses it might be an excuse to pick up a pair.
I found out about them when I sat on my old glasses, went down to the place
where I used to spend what you do, said "this time I'm getting those fancy
memory frames that don't break when you sit on them" and THEY DIDN'T HAVE
ANY IN STOCK. I said "screw this", searched for "glasses online", Zenni was
the first hit, I googled them and saw good feeback, ordered a pair to my
distance prescription from them for 8 bucks to see if they were for real,
they were, so I dropped a hundred on readers, sunglasses, and memory-frame
progressives. Takes two weeks to a month for delivery, haven't had a
problem so don't know what their support is like, but so far I'm quite
I understand that the regular place might not be there later, but they
weren't there for me when I needed them anyway, so screw 'em.
I used to go to the same place for years and years. Every time I
replaced my glasses (about every two years), I'd see the price climb a
few notches. Though, "ok that's to be expected". Then I noticed that
as well as the prices increasing a little bit, the percentage of
increase was getting bigger too, so I started looking around at the
burgeoning proliferation of optometrists.
I'm now buying my glasses elsewhere for more than 50% less and they
come with satisfaction warranties. Replaced my most recent pair that
way. I'm seeing fine and starting a little more to shop around instead
of just going which where I've had the best service. Best service
shopping is great, but when it starts costing more than what I think
is fair, then it's time to amend my shopping methods.
I stuck with glass lenses until quite recently, but I've used plastic lenses
the past few years and they've been fine. I clean the lenses only under
running water and so far scratches haven't been a problem. I certainly like
how much lighter glasses with plastic lenses are.
The DOs I've gone to have done everything but refuse to prescribe
glass lenses for me. I raised objections to plastic because I don't
treat glasses well, but was told not think about glass lenses as
safety glasses. They've both told me that I'd be far better off with
the scratch resistant coatings. The manufacturers will replace them
if scratched (SWMBO has had hers replaced in the last couple of months
- dropped them on the driveway). The pair I use for working around
the house is two years old and is now pretty badly scratched. My
every day set is OK after a year. I plan on replacing the lenses in
my "work" set the next time I go in. I like the frames better anyway.
My first DO told me the best cleaning solution was water and dish
detergent - the dollar store variety. Hand soaps and some ritzy dish
detergents have skin conditioners in them that will smear on the
I looked at the site posted earlier but didn't see anything like what
I have. My lenses are pretty large (58mmx48mm) to accommodate large
computer displays (CAD) without turning my head. I use bifocals set
for medium distance on top (18" or so) and reading (~12") on the
bottom. I don't need glasses for distance but do work on a computer
~12 hours a day.
I had the same problem too, insisting on glass lenses every time until
about two years back. The glass ones eventually started taking several
weeks to be ordered in ~ that's if they were available at all. Then a
plastic lens set I bought and usually cleaned with my shirtsleeve got
permanently scratched within 6 months of use.
Now when I buy plastic lensed glasses, the first option I insist on is
that they be the most scratch resistant possible. That usually means
there's an extra option box to be checked, but at least they don't
scratch when using my sleeve to clean and make it look like I'm
looking at a foggy day out.
The added bonus is that they're extremely light and not subject to
breaking or chipping when the get accidentally dropped to the floor.
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