Saturday, March 1, 2008

I can see any doctor I want...

My life right now has brought me to Japan for a while and fortunately for me, I have to say, one of the most wonderful benefits of living here is access to health care. I can see any doctor I want almost anytime I want. If I am sick one day, I can go to the doctor, without an appointment and wait a bit and I WILL see the doctor. And, in addition, I can decide which doctor I want to see and I can also choose to see any specialist I like. And with the national health plan, I often pay only a small fee at the end. I and my husband work and just like everyone we pay taxes to cover health care...believe me it is so worth it!

I remember one time when I was in the states and I was so sick. Sick as a dog. So I called my primary care doctor's office, explained how I felt and asked to see the doctor that day. The secretary asked me to come in two weeks! Two weeks?! If I were extremely lucky I might be better by then and then would not need to see the doctor....If I were extremely unlucky...well... I could be dead! Can you imagine telling anyone to come in two weeks?! "Excuse me, I think I am having a heart attack...."oh, too bad, can you come for an appointment in two weeks?" Good grief, give me a break!

Luckily for me, living in Japan with a national health plan, I never have to worry about that scenario anymore! However, I do worry about all my relatives in the States: mother, father, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts. They deserve the kind of access I can now take for granted. I will vote for the candidate that will help provide a similar kind of health access for my friends and family in the States and I encourage everyone else to do the same!

Karen Wakayama

No comments: