Friday, October 26, 2012

Norski ER - Anecdote

Chris was feeling sick for a few days, so he went to the ER.  His understanding now is that it was something to do with eating too much concentrated sugar (four popsicle-like snacks), so they gave him an antibiotic and told him to drink fluids. He doesn't know what the explanation was. He was pretty vague on the medicine as well.

Chris has a history of only half paying attention to medical information and leaping to wrong conclusions, which is not the fault of Norwegians.  He is, however, not stupid and usually gets things at least half right, and does better at this since being in the Marines.

Yet notice:  no translator, only partly because he speaks some Bokmal, and all Norwegians think they speak great English.  But there's no requirement anyway (or not one that is observed.) What, are you crazy?  Only English-speaking countries worry about whether you have a right to a translator.  You come to our country, it's your problem, says most of the world.  I have some agreement with that, actually, but want to point out that this is usually an area of criticism of uncaring Americans.  It's a very big deal at our hospitals now, and you can get in trouble for screwing that up.

Other countries whose health care we are supposed to be imitating - not so much. But even Chris really likes not having to pay for it, and I think this is important in understanding our healthcare debates.  We would rather they get it mostly right most of the time so long as its free. We really would.  We say the opposite, but we don't know our own minds.  When they get it wrong and we come near death, we don't repent, but double down, because now the treatment is really expensive and we're going to die if we don't get it.

Even people who have to buy their own insurance, even employers who have to pay for insurance, only partly get the connection.  It's just too distant from the illness.  

1 comment:

Texan99 said...

I must be such a control freak. I pay for my own insurance, because I never want to be in the position of losing it because I change employers. I choose a high-deductible plan partly to keep the premiums low and partly so that I will pay cash for virtually all of my medical care -- because I want it to be clear to the providers that I'm the customer, no one else.

But they find that very confusing.