Thursday, October 01, 2020

Started out well, then got aggravating

Today started out well, then got aggravating by reminding me of my frustrations over lack of healthcare.

Yesterday my niece and grand niece stayed with me (and my grand niece is so adorable!). Then today I went out for lunch with them and some more of the family, and that, too, was awesome.

But then I went to some shops to pick up various stuff, and while I was in one store I got a call from Auckland Hospital wanting to make an appointment for an evaluation before the heart procedure is done. I told her, “that would be awesome, but I’ve now moved to Hamilton.” She said she’d let the cardiology team know.

There are two things about that. First, I told them that several months ago when they first contacted me about an assessment, so there’s some sort of problem with their record keeping, which is a bit of a worry. But the bigger issue is that it’s a reminder that the DHB I used to be in (Counties Manukau) was clearly *very* prepared to do the same procedure that my current DHB says I don’t meet the criteria for.

I’m seeing a private cardiologist later this month to make it happen, which will probably mean paying for it myself. We’ll see. The DHB said I’d qualify for the procedure if I’m hospitalised twice for afib, or if I show signs of heart failure. The whole point of having the procedure is to prevent both of those things happening. Obviously.

In American terms, this is like an insurance company that only pays for things to be done at particular hospitals (if they cover the procedure at all). That’s why I can’t pretend I still live in Auckland, especially since all my medical information shows my current address in Hamilton, so it’s not like they wouldn’t know.

I document all this because it frustrates the f*ck out of me, and because I’ve always been clear that no country, including New Zealand, is perfect. However, this is first time in nearly a quarter century living in New Zealand that I’ve had trouble getting a healthcare procedure, and it’s because I moved to an area with a grossly underfunded DHB. The quality of care I’ve received from nurses and doctors has been second to none—they are amazing people. These sorts of decisions are made by bureaucrats doing the best they can to stretch inadequate funding to care for those with the greatest need. I get that. But it shouldn’t have to be this way.

And that’s why I’d never support either the National Party or the Act “Party”, because they both promise to cut health spending by stealth. I’m not the only one who needs healthcare but can’t get it due to lack of funding, so there’s no way in hell I’d ever vote for parties committed to making things even worse for ordinary Kiwis like me.

This is personal for me. And frustrating.

A Small Anniversary
– A post in which I talked in more detail about my frustrations with my current DHB.

I originally posted this on my personal Facebook earlier this afternoon.


Roger Owen Green said...

Vaguely on topic, I'm seeing a cardiologist for the first time today. He is not to be confused with the cardio-surgeon I saw in August.

I've been - knock on wood - in pretty good shape in terms of getting service in Medicare/Medicare supplement/Rx coverage. But I know that my late FIL, who lived in a small NYS city, had to go 75 miles in an ambulance to get the diagnosis of the disease that ultimately killed him.

So good luck with dealing with the medical bureaucracy.

Arthur Schenck said...

You, too!!!