I have been considering undergoing laser correction surgery for myopia. This surgery is viewed with suspicion by people around me, because it is “cosmetic” (why would you do something risky, when you can just choose to wear glasses?) and expensive.
Prime time advertisements for the procedure raise my suspicions, and I automatically assume it is purely business. But businesses also go broke if the product is faulty. And this business and this product have been around for 20 years. And despite natural schadenfreude, I have not been able to find anyone who has a true horror story. (Of course it could hurt! I mean, really!)
In Australia medicine is not seen as a business. I mean, being a doctor is a profession, but they shouldn’t be able to make a living out of it, should they? Doctors are held up as the stereotype of money-grubbing selfish scrooges, running down their doddering patients in their luxury cars. And then charging them for roadside care. And we are always a target for the info-tainment “current affairs” shows – when they get bored of of dodgy real estate agents, pregnant teenagers and internet scams.
Partly, this attitude is due to the medical system in Australia. In Australia, you don’t have to pay for quality medical care. Free healthcare is provided by the government through medicare. But if you choose to pay for health insurance, you can access prompter service, and select your doctor. Patients think they deserve good healthcare, and they have a right not to have to pay for it.
Our wonderful system fails to remind everyone that healthcare is expensive. Machines, test, staff and time to burn all cost money. I love our free system, but I will no longer stand for people who complain that they can’t find a doctor they are happy who doesn’t charge a co-payment. If you are willing to pay for your dog’s operation, you should be prepared to pay for a doctor you are happy with.
Viva la free healthcare! However, if you want to complain, then open your wallet. And don’t be suspicious of me if I choose to spend thousands of dollars on my healthcare.