This is my second post of the day, but I just had to write.
I just got off a 40 minute phone call from a prenatal nurse with the local health unit. She called to see how I was doing, ask me a few questions, and allow me to ask any questions I had. It was incredible. We talked about everything from breastfeeding to family support to weight gain to vaccines to postpartum issues like recovery and depression. She was a wealth of information, and the best part was that she affirmed my intuition, resourcefulness, and the study and preparation we've already done. I think that strengthened me more than anything.
She will be sending me a package of information, and a local health unit nurse will call and visit at least once after we bring the baby home.
And the cost for all of this? I have no idea. We won't be getting the bill. The BC government pays it.
Sure, one may have to wait six months for carpal tunnel syndrome surgery (as my friend did), but I have to say that I'm grateful for Canadian health care that provides for my family without draining our savings or disappearing when employment disappears or changes. And yes, I still have to be assertive and proactive and do the research to make sure my doctor is acting in my best interests, and I have to not be afraid to ask for a second opinion or to change health providers. But that is normal and necessary in any developed country that offers health care.
So thank you, Canada. Now we just have to figure out how to provide this for the broken system in the United States so that everyone - not just those with an employer who is privileged to be a part of a big group plan or those with no pre-existing conditions - can have the care I have.
When I think about moving back to the States, this is one very big reason I currently say no. Canada has cared for me just as well as my wonderful private insurance company did in the States. The other thing Canada has that I feel is superior is that family doctors here seem to know more and be more competent than ones in the States, simply because they are the first line of offense and defense here before any specialists are ever called in. In fact, I have not yet seen a specialist in my nearly three years here. Considering I saw specialists for everything but strep throat in the States, that's a very big change. It freaked me out at first, but now I'm actually good with it.
Again, thanks Canada. I have to say that the benefits here outweigh the costs. And that is a rare find indeed these days.