A European Goes to the Doctor in America
Jessica Furseth
419

Well, I’m a British immigrant now living permanently in the USA, with plenty of experience of both systems. You were very lucky to find a walk in (Urgent Care — as opposed to Emergency Care) with no wait. That’s never happened to me in 20 years. An hour or more is usual. Often much more. Next, many doctors in this part of the country have lists so full they no longer take new patients — even with good insurance. When my primary care physician recently moved on, I had to go 10 miles away to find a replacement who was taking new patients. (Good thing I have a car — there’s no public transit.) Next, I had a 7 month battle with an insurance company to make them pay for the cast on my son’s broken wrist after he fell over playing Frisbee in the park… Long story, it went to arbitration, I won, and was then subjected to a number of unpleasant phone calls from debt collectors trying to make me say that he’d been in a car crash, not fallen over in the park. Insurance companies do NOT like losing at arbitration. I could go on… Be very, very aware of just how valuable the NHS is. Great medical care is available in the USA but only at a cost.

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