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View Diary: My experiences with single-payer medicine: Norway (241 comments)

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  •  Can add a few points, in re to Sweden... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssundstoel, praedor, Rogneid, LynneK, xysea

    but for ex-pats trying to get a foothold into the system, it can be as easy as having a boyfriend/girlfriend and living together sambo. For this, you have to do the interview with the immigration office- ours was a bit of fun:)

    Also, if even the low costs indicated in the diary are nice, typically the standard of living is higher in Norway, with a high kroner to dollar exchange rate in the recent years. So, if you are working in Norway, this will seem a bit cheaper. (just a fun note, but once upon a time, not too long ago, a NYTimes journalist wrote what seemed to be a hit piece on Norway right after one of the times the dollar dropped massively in value, and complained that it cost almost $50 for a take out pizza. He didn't bother to mention that most go out for pizza and this is sort of an American concept, that gas is more expensive, that and that this was in Oslo and, iirc, one of the most expensive (gourmet) pizza joints. If memory serves right.)  

    A question for SS: do you have to apply for a frikort or is it just granted at the hospital when you fill your quota? In Sweden, I believe they just give you a laminated card with an expiration date on it. I think something similiar happens with medicine too, though it is computerized.

    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

    by borkitekt on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:26:12 AM PDT

    •  A gourmet pizza costs $35-40 in some US cities.. (7+ / 0-)

      plus tip, drinks = easily well over $50

      Adverse selection killed or failing plans: Oregon 92, Tennessee 92, Vermont 92, Minnesota 92/93, Maine 03. Massachusetts 06. But -single payer WORKS!

      by Andiamo on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:29:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yikes, (2+ / 0-)
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        ssundstoel, MsGrin

        I guess its been a while since I've eaten out in the states- but prices like that would seriously put me off. But maybe that is in Europe they normally make a one person pizza for a few bucks...?

        I always seem to remember the good stuff costing about $10 for a pizza that fed a few people.

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:31:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I shared a deleriously good pizza with friends (3+ / 0-)
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        Cedwyn, ssundstoel, borkitekt

        I was living in Phillie, I can't remember the name, but it was near Rittenhouse Square, in an Italian restaurant.

        It was divine. It had a thin, fresh crust with rosemary,sweet sausage, chicken, three cheeses, caramelized onions, fried eggplant and lots of garlic. $35.00, and worth every penny.

        The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes. -5.75, -7.18

        by Rogneid on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:37:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not standard rate, though. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssundstoel, borkitekt

        It's around $10 for a pie down here.

        I had a pretty average (2 pizzas) and a pitcher of beer for the equivalent of $100 in Norway.  That was a bit of a shocker, I must admit.  I'd estimate the same meal would cost about $40 in the States.

    •  I just had to go to the NAV (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hatu, borkitekt, LynneK, MsGrin, MGross, CMYK

      office with my egenandelskort and receipts and the frikort came a week later.

      And yeah, prices are higher here; you just get immune to it.  It costs me upwards of $80 to fill my Corolla wagon with gas, but since I earn more it's not any different that what I would spend in the States, relatively speaking.  A half-liter of the cheapest beer is $10 or so; we just don't notice the high prices until we leave the country is all.

      "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."-- Isaac Asimov.

      by ssundstoel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and don't you have a closer hospital (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        or some sort of local clinic, if one can call it that? Perhaps the hospital you were referring to, being 60km away, is a specialist place, whereas you can go to a place nearby...?

        We have a vårdcentral (central ward/care?)in this section of Stockholm that is a 5 minute walk away.

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:36:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't have a hospital here, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          borkitekt, LynneK

          just doctor's offices and Legevakt.  I'm way out in the bygda.  But all that has to do with frikort and egenandel and such is handled by NAV, not the doctors or hospitals.

          "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."-- Isaac Asimov.

          by ssundstoel on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:38:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think 60 km is that far (4+ / 0-)

          it converts to a little over 37 miles, which is about the same distance I live from the closest hospital to me.

          I don't understand all the whining about wait times, in the US, most of us already have to wait for non-urgent care, so what's the problem with having to wait? I had to wait 2 months for an appointment with a specialist when a mammogram revealed something suspicious, and another month before I could get a biopsy done.

          "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

          by LynneK on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 06:58:05 AM PDT

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          •  My only point is that there are other options (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            in Sweden, possibly the other Nordics, where they have some medical care that takes place at something that is not a hospital per se.

            Also, keep in mind how European towns are organized- most are more concentrated. SS may live outside of the main big cities, but even smaller ones have some sort of clinic-like place where you can see a doc, get prescriptions, etc.

            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

            by borkitekt on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 07:09:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But the mileage is better (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssundstoel, CMYK

        In the UK I drive Ford Products that are pretty large and average 50 mpg.

        The Ford product I had in America got 20 mpg if everything was perfect.

        My cost per mile is now exactly the same in the UK and US.

        Former Republican, voted for Obama, tri-national (British, Irish, EU Citizen also US) card carrying member of New Labour, that works in The City.

        by Libertarian Friend on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:33:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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