You do not want to get sick in America if you don’t have health insurance.
That’s right, I have just experienced first hand what the poor in American have known all along: health insurance is king and without it, you are nothing!
I am normally as healthy as a horse and the only ailment I ever get is the common cold. When that happens I don’t even take medication because I believe that my body can heal itself. All you need to do to get rid of the flu is take in plenty of fluids and get bed rest. Just let the bug run through your system and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
But, I do not subscribe to the same principle when I have a toothache. No sir! As I write this I am high as a kite on prescription drugs: Hydrocodone for pain and Amoxicillin, which is an antibiotic.
A filling fell out of my tooth this morning. One minute I had a full tooth and could chew properly and the next something was moving around and it felt like my teeth were broken. Turned out the filling was loose.
After texting a few friends and finding out just how expensive dentists are here and vowing to force my daughter to become a doctor since they make that much, we headed to the dentist.
After the consultation and an x-ray, the good doctor told me I would need a root canal. I almost fainted when he told me how much it would cost.
$2455. Are you kidding me? I whipped out my Blackberry and did a quick calculation. At today’s R/$ exchange rate that is R16,876.
Wow. That’s like an entry-level journalist salary.
Doc said it was a good deal considering that the tooth would last me 20 years. Are you kidding me? At such a steep price, I’d hope this would last a lifetime.
A friend tells me a school of dentistry in the city would do the procedure for $1500. That’s still a fortune…$300 short of my rent, to be precise, but right now it looks like the route I’m gonna have to take.
So now I’m sitting on my bed, feeling sorry for myself while I attempt to sip warm Milo from one side of the mouth, trying to figure out if I could get away with robbing a bank to get this tooth fixed.
It is unfortunate that Dentists have to charge what they do. It is also unfortunate that they leave school with an average of $250,000 in student loans, then are required to take on additional debt to start a practice. Dentists do not receive compensation from the government for providing the services they provide in the U.S. unlike in some countries. I am sorry that you need a root canal, you will feel much better when it is done. I know I did when I had mine. We need to look at a way to bring the cost of operating a dental practice down so that dentists can charge less. Most dentist would like to charge less for their services, but then they have to choose between paying staff and paying student loans.
I would fight tooth and nail to stay here and still pay R3k for the same procedure at a private institution here
@Brit: Thank you. Hope to get it done soon so I can smile again With those exhorbitant fees, I bet they’re able to pay off their debt pretty fast.
@Rams: Sure, we could all just stay put in our home countries and not explore the world, but then what a boring world that would cos we wouldn’t know anything outside of home. Safe is not always the most interesting way to live this life
Malpractice insurance runs up fees as well. We’re such a litigious country that no doctor can afford to be without it, and it’s very costly.
Hope that amount covers the crown as well as root canal, or you are getting screwed. I’ve had a couple of root canals and usually the procedure is about $1100 and the crown another $1000.
Here in south africa people use the medical aids of friends,relatives or
strnagers to pay for dental treatment.
@Shans: I guess I’m getting a pretty good deal then cos the root canal is $965, the porcelain crown is $1200 and something called prefab post & core is $290.
Hmm, I can imagine people suing the dentists when their fillings start falling out. Lol! You can sue for almost anything here.
@MJ: I’ve heard that people do that here, too. But we wouldn’t want to get me deported
Hawu! A starting salary for a journalist is R16000! Wow! I need a raise – like seriously!
But back to your pain – shame sisi. What’s the plan of action regarding your medical aid? How much is it a month?
@Zodwa: Haven’t really looked into medical aid. All I know is it isn’t affordable to me right now.