Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Get what you pay for V get what you put up with.



I reckon if you can't afford it you can't have it. I mean if you only have a fiver and the sweetie is a tenner then you dip out. If you have enough cash for a VW Bug but desire an Alfa, then walk for a good long while and stash your cash away, or drive the Bug. If your rent money runs to a one bed flat, then don't waste your time looking for a mansion.

I mean that's just common sense to me.

When I was newly single and my mortgage had a 17% interest rate and I was raising a child, well all that was sucking up just about every penny I earned. I had a credit card with a $1000 limit. This was OK cos it meant that if emergencies arose like the safety requirement of a gum shield and some shin pads for hockey, then we could go and get 'em, and if as happened, there was no energy left for cooking dinner, a pizza could be ordered on the never never. This was an odd was to live, but I knew that once a year I could pay off the 1000 bucks with my tax return and then the cycle could start over.

But the truth is that compared to many, even though I very often didn't feel it, we were living a life of comparable luxury. If we needed medicine or a specialist or even legal advice, we could scrimp and get by. Cos I reckon it is pretty true, that perhaps especially with medical and legal stuff, you get what you can pay for.

And that troubles me.

Fronting to a GP who bulk bills, yeh I know they are a rarity, who takes a look at your face and goes the big stab with a scalpel and then roughly stitches you up and the tells you to pop back to have the other side done cos you have cancer, some might see as part of the wonder of the modern world.

But not ME.

I'd want a second opinion. I'd want to see a specialist. But if you rely on the system to care for you, and you wait for the referred public hospital specialist doctor to even acknowledge that you are a living human being, let alone consider that you might be worried half out of your brain cos the GP told you, you have cancer, then you could seriously keel over from exhaustion after month-long panic attacks, cos the system is fucked.

But you get what you can pay for.

If you root around in the back of the couch and search through jeans pockets, and are lucky enough to find 240 bucks, you can see a specialist sort of soonish, and what a fucking relief it is when she takes a look and says you have brilliant skin, NO FUCKING CANCER IN SIGHT! and that sun screen at work is a good idea.

Yippee fucking ka yah.

But you know what bothers me is that the slice and dice fucking GP is still out there. He doesn't seem to have a clue, but his nose is firmly wedged in the public money trough, snorting up tax dollars and dishing out very shit advice. I imagine he made quite a motza from the unnecessary surgery, probably recording every little fucking item number he could think of, and then there is also the unnecessary pathology charges, all out of the public purse.  It would have been cheaper all round just to see the specialist in the first case. No surgery, no pathology, and better for the human being - no panic or stress.

There's something wrong with a system that pretends to provide fine medical care for all, when this is the sort of shit that poor folk can access.

Me? Well I am fucking lucky cos I get to choose. I wouldn't put up with that crap.

Years ago and since then, I would make appointments with local GPs and interview them until I found one I liked. I never thought it was enough to be grateful for what was 'given'. Yeh many of the doctors got the shits up with it.

Them: What's wrong today?
Me: Nothing at all, I'm looking for a new GP. Can you tell me a little about yourself.

Ones that looked god-like darkly at me, clearly didn't get my business. Cos it is a case that too often you get the doctor you settle for, unless you haven't a penny cos then you get the one that will bulk bill cos you just don't have a choice. And that means that unlike the medicare system bullshit, that medical care is for everyone, it really is only for the ones that can afford it.

I don't pretend to know what the solution is, only that it might be good if we stopped pretending that the system we have now provides best care for all.

And don't even get me started on wading through the mire of the law.

I am a bit of a believer in the death penalty for murder, an eye for an eye and all that, except that I just do not have enough faith in the legal system to allow that. I am certain that while people get the legal advice they can afford, there is a very real chance that innocents would be BBQed.