Australian Health Care (Jessie Richards)

A few friends and I decided to rent a boat and go out on the river in Noosa. It was so pretty. We all were having a great time grilling out and swimming around the boat. I was sitting on the end and –boys being boys- decided to start pushing each other in. I got bumped accidentally in the process and had to step off the boat in the process the boat’s propeller sliced between my big toe and the one next to it. Yep, ouch. It was decided I needed stitches. So, we called a taxi and he drove me to the nearest hospital. There I was informed that it was a private hospital and they did not take the insurance I was given through my university and they would charge me $200-300 to fix my foot. Although, if I were to go to a private hospital my insurance would cover the stitches I needed. Therefore, I decided to take a taxi to a different public hospital. There they made me wait a few hours longer but eventually stitched my foot up with no extra charge. It was also very interesting because they asked for no form of identification, proof of insurance and I had to fill out no paperwork while I was there- very different than an emergency room in the United States. Although, the doctors and staff were very friendly any now my toe is sewn back on beautifully. In all, it was an interesting experience and I wouldn’t have been able to check out Australian health care without it!

Jessie Richards is studying abroad at University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

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