Canuck tells the truth

CANADA HAS socialized medicine. It works well at times and at other times, it does not. Leftist Americans are fond of pointing to Canada as something to be copied, healthcare-wise. Those same people enjoy citing Sweden’s “democratic socialism” as worthy of imitation. Bernie Sanders is one of those people. He is a dim bulb.

I have addressed Sweden at least twice in the past. The first time was in 2016 when the disastrous effects of open borders was addressed. That is worth revisiting. More recently, I looked at Swedish socialism, which is a myth. You can revisit that right here.

Open borders has been a disaster for Sweden, and their socialism doesn’t exist. They did give it a relatively brief try years back till they realized their error and corrected it.

But today’s topic is healthcare, specifically Canada’s. The Canucks have one sort of problem with healthcare, and the United States has another.

As I’ve mentioned often, Mexico’s healthcare system is the superior of the three. We have a government-run system, which serves poor folks fairly well, and we  have a private system, which is excellent, but you must pay, but not nearly what you pay above the border. Our government system has worsened since the nincompoop, populist president who goes by AMLO took office 16 months ago.

And quite a few lower-income Mexicans use the private system. That’s how inexpensive it is, thanks to competitive capitalism.

AMLO vowed to give us a system like Canada’s. But what he’s given us so far is a worse government system. The private system still works nicely, however.

The X-ray routine

med

WE USUALLY get chest X-rays once a year. It’s easy to do and cheap to boot.

This is where we do it. You need neither a doctor’s referral nor an appointment. You just go inside and request it. It can be a bit crowded in the morning, so we always show up after 5 p.m. when there is little chance of waiting.

The place is open till 8 p.m.

You tell the receptionist what you want, pay 250 pesos (about $13 U.S. nowadays), wait a few minutes and get ushered into the X-ray room. The technician does his thing, and you return to the waiting room for a brief sit.

Ten minutes later, you get the results that have been interpreted by a radiologist. Yep, for that $13, you get not only the X-ray, but a doctor who tells you what it shows.

Our relatively new socialist president, he who shall go unnamed, has said he’s gonna give us a healthcare system like Canada’s, i.e. “free.” Let us pray not.

And we sure don’t want the type of system that plagues Americans.

We both got X-rays on Thursday, and we are free of problems. Good to go.

Cultural variances in odd spots

I’VE LONG NOTICED the occasional cultural difference where you wouldn’t normally expect it — in the medical community. Isn’t Science Settled? No, it’s not.

An interesting example popped up in my life this week.

New ImageYesterday, I received a minor dental surgery, two stitches. Before leaving the dentist’s office, he gave me instructions, one of which was to avoid dairy products for three days. No milk, no cheese, no yogurt, no nada.

This struck me as odd, but I decided to obey orders, so last night, instead of my usual small bowl of cereal and milk before bed, I downed a croissant with orange marmalade.

Pretty tasty.

But this morning, I decided to do a little online sleuthing because I like my bedtime cereal and milk, and I eat it again for Second Breakfast.

I typed into my search engine (DuckDuckGo, never Google), “What foods should be avoided after dental surgery?” I phrased the question in English, so I received U.S. medical websites. I read three of them, and nowhere did it say to avoid dairy products. On the contrary, yogurt was one of the recommendations.

I then typed the same question in Spanish, so I got Mexican medical websites. The very first one told me to avoid all dairy products. So what’s happening here? Cultural differences is what. I’ve decided to be a Gringo and enjoy my cereal and milk.

Mail on a misty morning

PO
This is my post office on Calle Obregon.

WE ATE WARM biscuits and honey for First Breakfast* today instead of our usual options of croissants and orange marmalade or bagels with Philly cheese Lite.

At quarter till 9, I jumped into the Honda and headed downtown to the post office, a biweekly trip, to check my box, a service I’ve had for 19 years.

I rarely find anything there anymore, which is why I rarely check it. It has to be checked though. Recently, a threatening letter from the IRS** lurked in there longer than it should. But usually, nothing is there, which is how I like it.

These early morning drives to the post office are fun. Traffic is light, and I see things I don’t see in the late afternoons, which is when I’m normally downtown.

An old Mexican town waking up.

Up until about five years ago, I checked my box on any afternoon. It was easy to drive down Calle Obregon and park near the post office. But then City Hall was moved from the main plaza where, I imagine, it had sat for centuries to the same block as the post office. The block became way more congested and nearby parking is impossible weekdays.

So now it’s early every other Saturday morning.

I park at a nearby corner on Calle Carrillo Cárdenas.

carrillo cardenas
That’s my Honda. Clearly, parking is no problem at the early hour.

I read a local internet forum aimed at Gringos. There are always things to chuckle at there. Most participants seem to embrace the notion that the Mexican postal system does not work, which it does. People are often asking if someone is headed to the border and if it would be possible to take a letter or package to mail in the United States.

Mexican mail works fine. It’s just slow, and if you’re in a rush, it has an express service, which costs a good bit more, and there is registered mail too. You can track both express and registered items to their destinations above the border via the internet.

Not only does the Mexican mail work, so does the healthcare system, another issue that provides me laughter because, as they don’t trust the mail, the Gringos don’t trust the healthcare system either and if it’s anything more than a routine doctor visit, they often flee above the border for “real” healthcare.

Okay, many do it for “free” Medicare, I admit, but even major issues can be addressed here at a minuscule fraction of the ripoff prices above the border. And, more importantly, healthcare here is nicer and more personal.

There was nothing in my post office box this morning except a routine advisory that my pension from the Hearst Corp. had again been sent electronically to my Mexican bank. It’s a waste of postage on Hearst’s part, but they send it anyway.

At least there was nothing dire from the IRS.

* * * *

* Second Breakfast arrives at 11 a.m. Lunch at 2 p.m., and supper at 8 p.m.

** I phoned the Internal Revenue Service and discovered the problem was their error, not mine, and all was ironed out peacefully.