Nov 12, 2017

A Saturday night ER reflection

Four hours later I was back home, diagnosed by a doctor and with three different medicins. Total cost, 200 kronor = 24 dollars.

I spent Saturday night at the ER, just the thing you love doing on a weekend evening. Nothing really bad, still something I needed to take care of urgently.

 When heading for a Swedish ER the best approach is to bring your patience and something to eat. Because oftentimes it will take hours before you get attended to. We tend to complain about this. And of course, when you are so acute you need an ER it is exhausting to spend hours in a waiting room not knowing when you will get helped. 

So, yesterday, as every time I reluctantly have to give in for the fact that I have to seek a doctor outside office hours, I had to remind myself how available it is in every sense. 

To start with, I live 15 minutes from the top ranked university hospital in Sweden, the one in Umeå. My only problem is nowadays I need a ride there which was tricky on a Saturday evening. But finally Trouble 2 was able to help me out, for which I am so grateful. 

So, only 15 minutes, I know exactly where to go and once there I know the drill. It is all familiar. The wait I am handling like an overseas flight. I know it will take time and there is nothing I can do about it. I settle. And I don’t look at my watch.

When it’s my turn I have access to all the professional specialties, examinations and treatments I need. And it costs 24 dollars.

I have been at the ER in Seattle. Arriving in the ambulance blue lights on. Trouble 1 in critical condition.

- Do you have insurance? I need your credit card.

That’s what met me at the arrival.

My son was out and I didn’t know if I could afford the doctors and the treatment.

It was a horribel day. The care was exceptionell and it all went well, but the huge bills kept coming for a year and although my insurance company took care of it, it was a terrifying experience. 

That’s what I am reminding myself of at the ER on a Saturday night. This is why we are paying our taxes in Sweden. So that no one will be stopped at the entrance, economically examined. No one. The only examination that happens at a Swedish ER is the medical one you need.  

And it costs 24 dollars.

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