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When Europeans get sick, do they just go to the doctor without worrying about $ ?

Taki

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,308
#1
What is that like?

Some notes:

Approximately 20% of Americans, or more than 40 million people, have no health insurance:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4509618&page=1

According to this article, medical bills play a role in 60% of personal-bankruptcy cases in the USA:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/03/hospital-bills-medical-debt-bankruptcy/584998/

In the USA, the average cost of stitches is $500 PER stitch:

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html

The average cost of health insurance for Americans is $321 per month:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/23/heres-how-much-the-average-american-spends-on-health-care.html

The average cost to have a baby in the USA is $10,808, which can balloon to $30,000 when factoring in after-pregnancy care for the mother and child:

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-have-a-baby-2018-4?r=US&IR=T
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
2,262
#12
I live in the UK but I don't go to the doctor too often unless I feel really bad. I don't like to waste their time, but it's great knowing I can go without worrying about bankrupting myself.

My Mum before she passed away this year has lived with many medical conditions for the past 20 years. If it wasn't for the NHS she would never have been able to afford all the medication she needed.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,088
#13
American, here:

Busted my wrist up on a BMX trail and couldn't afford to go to the doctor while my insurance was transitioning. Now i'll have a pain in my wrist for the rest of my life.

#Bernie2020
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,333
Austria
#14
Austrian here. If people I know don't go to the doctor, it's mostly a "can't be bothered, it'll be okay" thing. Never about money.

It's pretty cool to be able to get professional help for things that might be harmless, before they (if they turn out to not be harmless) escalate.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,332
#16
Sometimes I have to make sure I carry cash before going to the GP (as the mutuality only repays it later on) but nowadays my GP also accept cards so I don't.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,174
#19
yes.

But if it requires immediate attention like an MRI, it can be tricky as you get a lot of push back, which is understandable. We have private healthcare through my work but that's only ever used on rare cases such as scans and physio therapy.
 
Oct 28, 2017
257
#24
I sometimes think of how lucky we are compared to others.

Two summers ago I told my mom to go to the doctor because she had a swollen leg. They discovered that it was cancer. Close to two years of scans, tests, chemo and radiation therapy at one of the top hospitals in the country. Tens of thousands of dollars worth, and it didn't cost her a dime. No insurance needed; financed with taxes. She would be dead and/or homeless now had she been forced to pay for it. Instead she's made a complete recovery.
 
Oct 27, 2017
794
London
#30
In Ireland I ended up going to a private clinic for my infected finger, and they checked it out, referred me to the hospital a few blocks away, and charged me like €40. That referral got me everything I needed from xrays to a very small surgery to clean out the infection, to getting my antibiotics. Was a bit weird that the hospital just let me leave without asking for my address or phone number to bill me later. Probably would have been free if I went public instead of the private clinic, but may have taken a bit longer.
 
Dec 19, 2017
3,613
#31
I live in the UK but I don't go to the doctor too often unless I feel really bad. I don't like to waste their time, but it's great knowing I can go without worrying about bankrupting myself.
Yep, same here. A lifetime of going to the doctor and the odd hospital operation/procedure here and there, without ever worrying about paying for anything, except £5 for a prescription drug or something. It saddens me Americans have to decide between keeping an injury, dying or going deep into debt. It's utter madness.
 
#32
It's a great feeling. You do need $ if you want quality service, though.
Something like <9% of people in Germany use private healthcare, and you can only use private healthcare exclusively if you earn above a certain wage (which vast majority of the population doesn't), even the rich use the public healthcare system (and of course with the tax of social welfare they have to pay more into it), everyone by law defaults into and they can choose which government regulated Krankenkasse they want to belong to. It's quality service for nearly 80 million people.
 
Feb 3, 2018
841
#33
i live in Norway and had to reinflate my lung after it collapsed involved surgery and 11 days at the hospital paid .... 20 usd.

My mom is getting a knee prostethic tomorrow her knee is completely shattered after an accident will cost her 0 usd.

All in all can't even imagine what it must be like for you guys in the US having to constantly worry about these things you deserve health care.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,740
#40
Gotta be amazing really. Here in the US we had to rush our 2 month old to the ER and he got transferred to a children’s hospital for two weeks. We then learned that hospital was out of network and who knows if our insurance would cover it. After talks they said we’d just have to wait and they’d process and maybe we could protest and they’d pay something but the hospital may not like it so they may come after us for some of the bill.

It took four to five months for them to let us know what we owed while we got bills for $30k+ from the hospital and had to keep telling them insurance wasn’t done assessing.

In the end we were lucky. They paid most. We only ended up owing like $1k because of hitting an out of pocket max and the hospital apparently being ok with most of the insurance payments.

But man... having to sit in the hospital with your child and have no idea if this will literally bankrupt you or not sucks. Waiting months and months after not knowing if you should purchase some needed things or if you’ll be fucked and spending time battling insurance and a hospital fucking sucks. No one should go through these things. It hurts thinking about those with shittier luck than us where it didn’t work out in the end.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,531
#41
Yes - going to the doctors when I lived in Australia wasn't anything I'd think about.

I live in the United States now and I'm lucky I have good health insurance but yikes, the American situation is garbage and you people need to sort that shit out.
 
Oct 30, 2017
142
#42
One less thing to worry about. In fact it's not even on the radar. Which is why it's so sad to hear the stories from the US about the medical bills for trivial things like a check up.
 
#43
Just sure why America is so far behind in so many regards. Yet thinks it is a step above everyone.

USA: Hey "Country A" - you can't do that to your people. So we're gonna step in.

Country A and the rest of the world: Hey America - sort your own shit out. Your people are dying through medical reasons, gun laws and Trump because big industry is paying for it to be so.

I like America but come on its 2019 FFS.
 
Oct 25, 2017
383
#44
Sure, yeah. Sometimes you wait a bit longer for an appointment or something if it's a specialist - but at the end of the day you get what you need for free.

And if you have an accident, need a helicopter to pick you up, need emergency surgery, long stay in the hospital, drugs and stuff - at the end of that you're happy you're alive and fine and keep on living because it does not cost you a single cent :P
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
1,464
#45
Yes.

I've never had any particularly serious medical issues and haven't actually used any NHS service for many years, but it's an enormous comfort knowing it's there and that any medical issue isn't going to be a double whammy. Healthcare in the US sounds like a complete nightmare and it genuinely blows my mind that there isn't sufficient political/democratic will to change it. One of several reasons why I could never live in the US.
 
OP
OP
Taki

Taki

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,308
#46
Gotta be amazing really. Here in the US we had to rush our 2 month old to the ER and he got transferred to a children’s hospital for two weeks. We then learned that hospital was out of network and who knows if our insurance would cover it. After talks they said we’d just have to wait and they’d process and maybe we could protest and they’d pay something but the hospital may not like it so they may come after us for some of the bill.

It took four to five months for them to let us know what we owed while we got bills for $30k+ from the hospital and had to keep telling them insurance wasn’t done assessing.

In the end we were lucky. They paid most. We only ended up owing like $1k because of hitting an out of pocket max and the hospital apparently being ok with most of the insurance payments.

But man... having to sit in the hospital with your child and have no idea if this will literally bankrupt you or not sucks. Waiting months and months after not knowing if you should purchase some needed things or if you’ll be fucked and spending time battling insurance and a hospital fucking sucks. No one should go through these things. It hurts thinking about those with shittier luck than us where it didn’t work out in the end.
People in medical emergencies shouldn't have to worry about price haggling or shopping at different hospitals. it's exploitative.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,585
#46
I'm not in Europe (Canada) but that's how I usually do whenever I get sick. I do have to wait for 2-3 hours just to get a doctor attend me. This is in a local clinic.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,167
#49
Just sure why America is so far behind in so many regards. Yet thinks it is a step above everyone.

USA: Hey "Country A" - you can't do that to your people. So we're gonna step in.

Country A and the rest of the world: Hey America - sort your own shit out. Your people are dying through medical reasons, gun laws and Trump because big industry is paying for it to be so.

I like America but come on its 2019 FFS.
You want to know the reason why? It's really quite simple. Republicans.