Welcome to Canadian Healthcare!


I’ve been sick the past few days. First I survived a stomach flu now I am trying to get rid of a IU infection. I did not want to go to see a doctor because my insurance in the US does not have low deductibles while living abroad.  But since I couldn’t get antibiotics without a prescription, I had to bite the bullet on this one.

What I found out during my quest for health care just baffled me in surprising ways:

A visit to the doctor without insurance cost less than $50!  I don’t have a provincial health care card because I have my own insurance from the US. Even when I become a full Alberta resident, I would have to drop out of my US insurance before I can qualify for it. Hell, the doctor’s visit would have been free if I had a card :(.  In the US, it would have cost $50-$60 for 15 minutes with a doctor without insurance.

The waiting time to see a doctor is super-short. I showed up at a walk-in clinic with 20 people already waiting to be seen. So I brought my C++ book thinking I would spend the next hour or two in the sitting area. Fifteen minutes into reading and I was called up to see a doctor.

The waiting time to receive a prescribed medicine is 5 minutes! My jaw dropped as the pharmacist at the Rexall pharmacy told me it would take 5 minutes for them to dispense my antibiotics. I have gotten so used to being told to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour at EVERY SINGLE PHARMACY IN THE US that this was the most pleasant surprise of all. I know that these US pharmacies like to keep customers there long enough to hope the sick and bored would make a few purchases in their stores. But that was not the case here. Rexall didn’t gave a shit how long I would be in their store as long as I wasn’t stealing anything. Hell, the pharmacist even asked me if I had a Rexall card so that I could earn points with my purchase. (I didn’t have one, as it was the first time I go into a Rexall).

The waiting time to book an appointment for lab work is super-short. Whenever I was tasked with getting any type of lab work done in the US, I hoped it would be at the doctor’s office. This is because in the US you would have to wait until next week to find an opening for the nearest lab. Booking an appointment here in Canada took me 5 minutes over the phone and I managed to get an appointment for the next hour.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is modeled after Canada’s health care system, then I am up for it. I am not even a citizen of this country and I managed to get healthcare without filling out a lot of forms or getting quizzed about my insurance provider, HMO, PCMS–no bullshit. And I didn’t even have to wait.

My mind just got blown away. And I will never vote Republican again.



  1. save. spend. splurge. · October 7, 2013

    OH YES. 🙂 Welcome to Canada!!

    Actually even getting bloodwork can be done on the spot. I think I waited maybe 25 minutes before someone saw me and (very professionally) took all the samples they needed to test my blood.

    Even ultrasounds can be done the same day (emergencies), and Canadian healthcare in general is not perfect, but it is a far cry from what I was used to in the U.S.

  2. arianaauburn12 · October 8, 2013

    it is definitely more efficient and streamlined.

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