Navigating the US healthcare system
For our correspondents sprayed across the globe, settling into a new country and culture can be half. The challenge of taking up a new posting visas schools and local bureaucracy can take days and days to navigates James Glen Day has recently made the move from our Europe bureau in London to our North America office in Washington DC, both the first world postings yet. They have vastly different approaches to health care and both take a little getting used to James filed. This report Johnny you're going to go to the doctor today. Lee had key Benecke Dr. Now, you're going to the doctor. The doctor. There's no yoga take business. On the it's eight thirty AM. I'm holding ten week old baby in one hand and trying to get a toddler dressed with the other. And as you can tell she's trying to delay things by suddenly demanding a snack. There's no yoga. Allying shot. Yeah. But we're gonna go to the doctors. It's a fairly typical morning in a chaotic household except that today girls are going with my wife to the doctors for vaccinations, and a checkup routine appointments that in this country will cost us about one and a half thousand ustralian dollars even saying this some out loud is still shocking. It's not a huge personal inconvenience. I get paid well have good private insurance and in a month or so we'll get the money back. But it seems like so much cash for something we as a stray liens would take largely for granted. As I mentioned at this dot, my wife, and I have recently had a baby we welcomed the newest member of our family into the world at a public hospital in Chelsea London. Scholley one of the most affluent suburbs on the planet. And yet we didn't pay a penny. Not for Medicare procedures scans chicks nothing we've called Schilder for taxes and the standard surcharge to the national health service. But the comparison between old and new homes could not be stuck. That's not to say, the British ways necessarily the best ask any Ozzy expat who has lived in London for some time, and they'll probably complain about how the health system functions. It seems overloaded doctors want you in and out of their offices in minutes. It's often hard to get an appointment. And there is a fairly obvious emphasis on keeping costs down. The state of the overworked health system is often thrust into the political debate, no more. So than in the lead up to the Brexit vote two years ago, many people depending on their political standpoint accused European migrants of overloading the system or the conservative government of chronically underfunding it. On you train station in Washington DC, there's a homeless man his feet and fingers badly swollen. He clearly has a problem with drugs or alcohol but claims he can't afford to see a doctor certainly the few dollars passes by give him won't go, and his story seems genuine many people fall wealthiest struggle with healthcare costs the scale of medical bankruptcies have been contentious political topic in this country for dickens. If you can't afford healthcare in America, though, the quality is outstanding you're more valued customer than a patient. Nothing seems too much trouble because well you're paying for it. Of course, this string of anecdotes reveals nothing really new American healthcare is expensive the is overloaded most people know that already. But when you live with data day, it suddenly becomes much more front of mind. Yeah. But we're going to go to the doctors. The doctors for the past three years, my wife, and I have stressed that our families ailments want being taken seriously enough now regularly worried about having several thousand dollars stashed away in case of medical emergency. Literally, the I will problems that one's I've never confronted as often in Estrella. Come on. Let's go in Washington. This is Jane's glean day for correspondence report.