No pain

At the Bangkok Hospital you can buy a vaginal delivery for $643. For an additional $80, you can have a painless vaginal delivery (painless!). You can get your tonsils out for $467.

One of the negative side-effects of having health care built in to our tax system is that we seldom have any idea what medical care costs.

I think it would be of tremendous benefit to give everyone a “receipt” every time they receive healthcare services. We wouldn’t change anything else — everything would still be covered as it is now — but we’d all know a lot more about what things cost. And perhaps both have more patience about tax increases, and more compassion for the health care systems challenges.

By the way, if you know someone staying in the Bangkok Hospital, you can send them a lovely card over the Internet, with messages including “Congratutations for your new family member” and “For a special person, with best health.”


Alan's picture
Alan on December 5, 2001 - 12:11 Permalink

The same should be done for corporations which export goods who use but do not pay for highway use and who pass that cost on to avaerage tax payers. And how about car purchasers who are unaware that a portion of the calculation of the cost is the special EI that the car manufacturers of Ontario negotiated for their employees so that they do not have to wait to collect benefits during retooling shutdown periods, subsidized by average workers. And how about professionals who are unaware of the source of payment on costs of their education, most of which is subsidized by the taxation of people who can’t afford to go to university.

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on December 5, 2001 - 19:35 Permalink

And maybe it’d be a good idea for the grunts in the Island’s service industry to wear tags that show their hourly wage. Maybe that’d keep us from becoming outraged at their pathetic (lack of) attempts at customer service.

Alan McLeod's picture
Alan McLeod on December 5, 2001 - 20:29 Permalink

And maybe Canadian employers should get the health cost statements so that they can thank God they do not have to make the employee health plan co-payments US employers have to.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 5, 2001 - 20:30 Permalink

Having just returned from the annual company meeting of one of my clients in the U.S., I can tell you that health care costs, both on the employer and employee side, are a constant source of worry and confusion. We really don’t how good we have it.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 5, 2001 - 23:33 Permalink

In Bangor once I asked a waitress what it cost her. As she had a significant number of kids it was $600.00 a month. Out of tips at the Holiday Inn lunch counter. God love ‘em. They have it good in many ways I envy but — usually — this is one thing we have an advantage on. [I say “usually” having watched the news about Mrs. Toombs, a neighbour in these parts, and the “brilliant” misers in the province deciding we should be the only province in the country refusing to cover that particular heart drug which costs the family $60,000 a year. 102 people have it covered in Canada, one does not — Mrs. Toombs. As we lack local cardiologists in PEI, how can they make that decision? Kevin, cross reference that complaint over to your blog. I respect Peter’s call on not commenting on clients but would like a good kick at that can.]