Browsing "Health"
Feb 25, 2011 -

Expediency

For about five years now I’ve suspected that I have certain medical condition. Attempts to get tested for it in Quebec were dismal failures. After waiting for hours at walk in clinics, I’d get the usual harried GP who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the patients who would call me a hypochondriac to my face and only send me for blood work to get me out of his hair. I’d then wait several weeks to get an appointment at the blood clinic, wait hours for the test, wait weeks for the results from the doctor’s office because I’d been told ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’, and then try to follow up to be told ‘if we haven’t called you we either lost the results or you’re fine.’ It just boggled me to be treated that way when I had a plastic surgeon on speed dial with whom consults were fully covered by Quebec medical insurance!

My last attempt to get tested was the summer of ’08, before I hit the road. Since then, I’ve essentially been without health care coverage and I’ve also been daunted by the thought of breaking into another province’s medical system.

Long story short, I’ve been feeling poorly for a very long time and this month it’s come to a head. I’ve been eating well, resting, getting exercise, managing my stress levels, etc., but I just keep feeling worse.

So, this morning I got online and Googled testing in Bellingham for the condition I think I have. I found a website where I could pay for the test online, print out a confirmation, and go to a lab in Bellingham immediately and get the test done. This sounded too good to be true, so I made sure the place is legit (yes) and even found a 10% off coupon. So, I PayPaled the company $43. By 11:15 I’d printed out my confirmation and by 11:30 I was in the car on the way to the clinic.

I got there at exactly noon, prepared to wait for hours or even be told to come back another day. Instead, I was checked in and brought into a cubicle immediately. I was out of there in ten minutes flat!!!

The results should land in my inbox in the next couple of days. Regardless of what they say, the next step will be to find a doctor. If they are positive, then I’ll need some drugs and if they are negative I’ll need further testing. At least, I have one step out of the way and I’m feeling very proactive!

The lady at the lab said I was the fifth Canadian patient that morning and that Canadians come down so they can get their blood work out of the way more quickly. So, it sounds like the BC health care system is just as efficient as the one in Quebec!

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Health, Law and Government, Personal    10 Comments
Jan 21, 2011 -

Health Coverage for Canadian Full-Time RVers

Tonight, I am speaking to my fellow Canadian RVers, long-term part and full-timers especially.

Do you think that health coverage is your birthright for being born a Canadian citizen?

Do you think that owning property in a province or spending the majority of your time there entitles you to health coverage?

Is it your assumption that paying income tax to a province guarantees that you will have health insurance in that province?

Do you believe that you don’t need to worry about health coverage or complying to provincial rules because you’re Canadian and the government will take care of you?

This past fall, I spent hours on the phone with the governments of the ten provinces and the three territories confirming information on their websites. I then emailed the federal government explaining my situation and what the provinces and territories told me, and then I asked what the options were for full-timers. The response was devastating, but not a surprise to me. I bet most of my readers, even non-Canadians, would be shocked.

There are more and more full-timers on the road now and the governments are taking note of this. Quebec has already started to do random checks for health coverage compliance and the others are not far behind. If you, a Canadian full-timer, think that being bankrupt because of health issues is an American absurdity, then I wish you luck in the case of a major emergency.

My new ebook Full-Time RVing in Canada includes both my email and the one received from Health Canada, a summary of the provinces and territories’ stance on health coverage for nomads, and a possible solution for minor medical emergencies. Most importantly, it paints the urgent need for private full-timer health coverage.

Canadians who have been full-timers for a long time may feel safe, but the government is very well aware of us. We have two choices: to continue to skulk around like criminals (after all, we are very much living outside the law) or to stand up and demand changes to provide us with the same privileges as settled tax payers.

I am tired of being told “Don’t rock the boat!” What are we so afraid of? A government that washes its hands of us? Is that a government that’s even worth respecting? To me, the answer is no, and that is why I did not tell the governments that I was doing research for a book. I wanted their lack of compassion for the uncommon Canadian to shine through and to expose them for the greedy bastards that they are. Thankfully, they complied.

Full-Time RVing in Canada isn’t a travel book. It isn’t even primarily an RVing book. The bulk of it provides valuable information to anyone who wants to be a nomad in Canada, including boaters. The chapter on health care is the most important. Please make sure you’re covered because I can pretty much guarantee you’re not.

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Announcements, Blog, Health, Personal    7 Comments
Jan 10, 2011 -

So Tired…

And so weak.

I’m well past the drying time for a coat of paint and there is no smell left in the loft. Moreover, the pallets came apart super well, so I’ve put my bed back together, am going to use the dinette cushions as a curtain one last time, and getting a much needed good night’s sleep in my bed TONIGHT. Tomorrow, I’ll finish up with the curtains (got one done, plus the carpentry!) and then it’ll be time for the big reveal!

I cannot believe how long this has dragged on… The days have run together, so I had to pull out the calendar: I took it apart on December 9th, so it’s been a solid month! It’s going to have been worth it, though. The loft is now dry, mould and mildew free, and the humidity has gone down considerably. I’m still going to need desiccant crystals and the dehumidifier, but it is a much, much healthier place and I will probably sleep better now.

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Decorating, Health, Homemaking, Maintenance & Repair, Personal, Renovating, Technical    No Comments