…or, Our Experience with Socialized Medicine in Norway.
We hosted a nice supper party last evening having some friends over for a fun, American-style meal. I made Cajun Jambalaya with shrimp, chicken, and sausage, California-mix steamed veggies, cornbread with honey butter, tortilla chips with guacamole, and for dessert, apple pie a la mode, gingersnaps, and assorted Belgian chocolates. Sounds tasty, and everyone seemed to enjoy the food and the company. They all stayed for 4.5 hours, leaving at about 10:30 pm.
Well, not going into too much detail, as it is not my story to tell, around midnight, Paul began to feel poorly. Severely poorly. We went online to diagnose the problem, as all educated, 21st century people do, and I suggested what the problem was. I then contacted a friend (medical professional) of mine, via Facebook, who had worked in the ER for decades, and she, too, suggested what the problem may have been, agreeing with my thoughts. Finally, we skyped with Son #2, who is in his second year of medical school, and, after his distance-consultation/examination, submitted his diagnosis, which, also, concurred with what was previously suggested. Only, then, did Paul seriously consider that we could all be right, and agreed to call an ambulance. Not that this was an emergency, per se, but we had no car, and I was not going to call a friend for a ride at 4:15 in the morning.
The local hospital apparently does not have what it considers an Emergency Room, but it does staff a 24/7 unit with nurses and at least one doctor. It was quiet there at this time of the night, and Paul was seen by the doctor and treated by 5:35 am. We waited about 45 minutes more, at their request, to see if the pain meds had given adequate relief. They called the taxi to give us a ride home and a taxi voucher to help offset the cost. We had to pay for all of this at a machine in the waiting area; the total for the ambulance, examination, a couple of lab tests, medicine, take-home meds, the voucher for the taxi was 797 NOK, or approximately $105. We were home by 6:55 am.
We are thankful for the availability of quality health care here in Norway. I was thankful for healthcare professionals who spoke our language, which is certainly not the case for many patients from countries whose language is less-universal.
Paul is feeling better and plans on following up with his healthcare provider when he returns to the States.