This heart health care minute brought to you by the America’s Health Insurance Plans
Some Canadians are still licking their wounds from the loss by the Canadian Hockey team to the United States the other night (ht: Real Debate).
I know, we’re making it up that anyone from Canada would want to come to the United States for the health care, right? By the way, did you hear the joke about the premier who flew to the United States because he needed heart surgery?
The 60-year-old Williams said doctors detected a heart murmur last spring and told him that one of his heart valves wasn’t closing properly, creating a leakage. He said he was told at the time that the problem was “moderate” and that he should come back for a checkup in six months.
Eight months later, in December, his doctors told him the problem had become severe and urged him to get his valve repaired immediately or risk heart failure, he said.
His doctors in Canada presented him with two options – a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would’ve required breaking bones, he said.
He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.
That’s where he was treated by Dr. Joseph Lamelas, a cardiac surgeon who has performed more than 8,000 open-heart surgeries.
Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn’t require any bone breakage.
“I wanted to get in, get out fast, get back to work in a short period of time,” the premier said.
Williams said he didn’t announce his departure south of the border because he didn’t want to create “a media gong show,” but added that criticism would’ve followed him had he chose to have surgery in Canada.
“I would’ve been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. … I accept that. That’s public life,” he said. “(But) this is not a unique phenomenon to me. This is something that happens with lots of families throughout this country, so I make no apologies for that.”
Good thing they have some place they can go to escape their wonderful free health care system.
Canadians are even developing a sense of humor about their health care, not unlike the jokes told in the old Soviet Union:
A Provincial Health Ministry Official sits in his office twiddling his thumbs. After he gets tired of doing that, he decides to see what’s in his old filing cabinet. He pokes through the contents and comes across an old brass lamp. “This will look nice on my mantelpiece,” he decides, and takes it home with him. While polishing the lamp, a genie appears and grants him three wishes. “I wish for an ice cold Molson right now!” He gets his drink and sips it. Now that he can think more clearly, he states his second wish. “I wish to be on a tropical island where beautiful women indulge my every whim.” Suddenly he is on a beach under a palm tree surrounded by gorgeous women. He tells the genie his third and last wish: “I wish I’d never have to work ever again.”…
… POOF! He’s back in his office at the provincial health ministry…