Thursday, February 06, 2020

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Thanks for the warm thoughts

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

I'd like to thank everyone for the warm thoughts.  With thanks to Hashem, my daughter is recuperating at home.  Our local doctors and HMO is very good - she's seen several and G-d willing will have a full recovery in a reasonable amount of time.

The police have taken a hit-and-run report and will do whatever they do.

Unfortunately the bus company is not answering their phone to provide information or insurance (this is a large national company), so we're talking to an attorney.

Someone asked - why did we use Ichilov hospital? Because the accident was in Tel Aviv, and that's where the ambulance went.

Several people noted that initial care and follow on care would have created a bill much larger than I indicated.  Fair enough, my numbers were guesses from experiences 12 years ago increased for time.

And here's my take on "systems":

As systems become more complex, you have to know the ins and outs of the system to successfully use it in any more than simple situation.  In a less socialist system, you can probably override the ins and outs with money.  In a more socialist system, the money doesn't help - you need influence.  That's why in the U.S. you can buy better care, while in Israel you need "protexia", contacts and advocates that intimately know how to work the system.

This is very frustrating for Americans moving to Israel, who usually arrive without knowledge of the systems, without contacts and without knowing advocates.  Whether it's medical care or the educational system (for example if you have a child with any type of special needs), it's challenging.

Again, which is better?  Well, not having to undergo medical bankruptcy due to excessive deductibles or gaps or being between jobs is pretty nice.  However, not being able to get a medication because "it's not part of the system (almost always due to cost but other times because 'there's a similar one that's approved that works for most people')" or not being able to get an MRI because "your need is (probably) not hyper-urgent so wait 4 weeks to get approved then 8 weeks for an MRI appointment at 1:00 AM" and there simply is NO private option even if you are willing to pay - that's pretty sucky.

Basic to moderate health care is readily available to every citizen in Israel, and that's awesome.  No one hesitates going to the doctor due to cost, and that stops many a situation before it develops into something more serious.

But not being able to choose to get certain care because those cost of services are not available or no private offerings are available - much less awesome.

There are always trade offs.  More care, less coverage.  More coverage, less care.

Regardless, I give thanks to G-d that my daughter survived, and the Israel system did provide adequate care without a crushing bill.


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