Friday, October 31, 2008

finally an answer

after i typed the last post i went to go lie down for a bit. my mobile started ringing-- it was the first doctor from the second clinic (too many doctors involved). she said she had noted that i'd seen the other doctor at that clinic this morning. my chest xray had been given to that doctor already (i guess the xray place decided it was urgent to get it to her today) and she'd passed it on to the first doctor i'd seen. she was nice enough to call me (instead of having me book an appointment) and tell me i have pneumonia. as much as this sucks i'm glad i actually know what's wrong. she said i will definitely need a refill on my antibiotics and said if i want to get the xrays and take them to the first clinic (the bulk billing clinic) she'd give them to me and i could get the first doctor i saw (who gave me the antibiotics in the first place) to refill them next week. i called that clinic right away knowing it would be tough to get an appointment for monday. the receptionist told me right away that they were booked up and down 2 doctors but she recognized my voice (this is when having an accent to make my voice distinctive comes in handy) and when i explained what was happening she said she'd squeeze me into a non-existent appointment slot on monday to show the dr. my xrays and get a prescription refill.
i'm sure all you canadians are confused about the 2 clinics and the bulk billing. i'd explain it except i don't understand it myself. basically if i go to a doctor that "bulk bills" i just show my medicare card like in canada and i don't pay anything. non-bulk billing doctors i have to pay upfront (about $60) and then about half that is refunded thru medicare. the bulk billing clinics seem to be hard to get an appointment at without at least a day or 2 notice (a bit hard when you suddenly get quite sick). the non-bulk billing clinic i've been able to get appointments on the day i call them. what makes it even more complicated (and zac doesn't get either) is the non-bulk billing clinic bulk billed me today (so she took my medicare card and i paid nothing). zac had it happen to him at a non bulk billing clinic too. the only thing we could figure was because something they'd done during the appointment (like order a chest xray) was covered by medicare so therefore the whole consultation was covered. i don't know though.
even though medicare in canada is going downhill-- it's still a lot better (and a lot less confusing) than medicare here.

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