Saturday, October 2, 2010

Health care...

Some of you know that Max needs to get an IV medicine every 6 to 8 weeks. Last week we went in for the first Japanese installment. The entry area of this hospital is massive..... can we catch a train to Nagoya, too?

At checkin you receive a digital messenger that tells you when the doctor is ready to see you. (Oh! and there is a convenience store in the basement!)

We had to wait a few minutes. Just like home. Cute seasonal decorations for kids, just like home.

Some things were different, the doctor set the IV. Max said it didn't hurt at all. We love our new doctor. He speaks great English and answers all my pesky questions. See Max's hand below? It's wrapped up like one of the peaches in the supermarket!

Like this....

At home, Max sits in a big comfy bed for the 4-5 hours it takes. Here it was a little less cozy. But a good movie never hurts.

At home, if sick people get government-subsidized health care, some folks call it socialism. In Japan , they have this crazy idea that if you or your kid has a chronic illness whose medicine costs thousands of dollars, it's not really your fault. They'll help you pay for it. If the doc fills out the right forms, the most you'd owe per month is about 10,000 yen, depending on your income. (That's $120 or so). Yes, even if you are only living here for one year. Does it make you feel like crying, too? I still can't quite believe it.

Of course, it can be more exciting to go bankrupt trying to cover health expenses, like some people have to do back home. But doing it the Japanese way is rather nice. They don't even make you salute Lenin or anything.

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