This isn't intended to be a negative comparasion, just a simple tale
of three young boys.
This morning I had an email from my Dad. My son, Joe, was in hospital
in a small French town close to my parents home. Joe is 10, and lives
in England with his Mum. I am in Oklahoma.
Joe woke up this morning at 9am, with severe stomach pains. He was
taken to the local doctors by my Mum at 10am. By 10.30am he was in
hospital and had been seen and checked by 3 doctors. By 11am had had
his appendix removed and was in recovery. Joe is awake, all is well
and he will be home in a few days.
The French hospital needed to see a simple form from the UK before
discounting the entire bill by 80% for the little English boy. When my
parents get home, they can submit the invoices (mainly for meds) and
get most of the rest back too.
Two weeks ago (about) two young American boys were struck by
lightening here in Tulsa. They are in hospital making a slow recovery.
Last night on TV was a feature about their local Church raising funds
to help with the mounting medical bills that were causing the
children's families a great deal of distress. It seems likely that the
boys will recover, but that the parents will be paying the bills for
many years to come.
I thought of Joe and I thought of those boys. My heart goes out to
ps ... Since writing this I have heard that one of the boys has died. My sympathies to his family, and to those who knew him - Steve 12th October 2005
pps ... I just now learned this from my Mum:
Just a postnote re Joes health care in France. We have just recieved the bill for joes medical care. To pay. 62euros. The charge is for meals and the 2nd bed provided for me while i stayed in hospita with Joe. Thought you might like to have that bit of info. (Steve 22nd Nov. 2005)