Step 13 – Learn about Healthcare in Australia

Healthcare is important to me. I get injured a lot.  Not always very seriously, but definitely regularly.  To illustrate, here is a (non-inclusive) list of some of my injuries:

Sitting in a wheelchair outside the ER in Netherlands.

August 2014 – While bike-riding in Netherlands, I fall off my bike and my knee bends 43 degrees the wrong direction. I go to emergency where I am laughed out of the room by the on-call doctor – it turns out the Dutch only go to the hospital for life-threatening reasons – which I suppose explains why I was the only one in the ER.



image-2 October 2013 – While playing my second (and last) floor hockey game with Dan’s boy-heavy team, I fell to the ground – thinking I’d been slashed by another player. Writhing on the floor in agony, I screamed at the tiny Asian girl who’d been closest to me, demanding she explain why the &*$# she’d slashed me??? Dan ran over and assured me she hadn’t slashed me, that I’d just fallen to the ground. I found out later that an Achilles tear can feel a lot like a slash – but that if it’s going to happen to you, it won’t matter what you’re doing or where you are. It will happen.

October 2012 – I get cleared off the back of a trotting horse by a low-lying tree branch (yes, just like the movies), land on my head, get a serious concussion and while in the hospital, contract Norovirus.

That’s just the last few years!

Other injuries have included:

  • doing a hockey side-stop on rollerblades resulting in a hard fall wherein tiny fragments of my femur broke off, penetrated my quad muscle and calcified, necessitating months of ultrasound and physiotherapy;


  • getting clotheslined across the thighs by a taut wire holding up a snow-fence while playing with the dog causing massive bruising across my legs;


  • moving logs and posts off trucks as part of a fundraiser, and pulling, while dad pushes a log which gives way, right into my forehead;


  • falling off a wall in the backyard and scraping open the flesh on the back of my legs etc. etc. etc.
Post post picture (get it?)


This to say, I’m not a careful or graceful person, so healthcare is important to me.

So here’s the overview:  Australia has universal healthcare coverage, with a private system available for those who want it. Pharmaceuticals are heavily subsidized, as are hospital stays and many other healthcare needs.

We will be covered almost as soon as we land in the country.

It’s a comprehensive healthcare system.

As long as you aren’t an aboriginal…

[Dan says I need to research this a little bit more. He says some of the stuff in here is not correct vis a vis Australian healthcare. He thinks I spent too much of the post illustrating why healthcare is important and no time at all actually talking about healthcare. How true].

7 thoughts on “Step 13 – Learn about Healthcare in Australia”

  1. You are funny!! But you forgot the time you were rollerblading down Main Street in Pincher Creek with Dakota on a leash – You crashed and burned and hurt your hip and leg, if I recall…

  2. I will be interested to hear your views on the healthcare system after you’ve been there some time. Particularly, whether we should adopt a similar type of system in Canada…

    1. It will be good to keep an eye out for a good new system, though if we’re going to adopt a new healthcare system, we should model it after Denmark or Norway or some country like that – they’re so progressive on so many issues! (education, parenting, criminality, pay equity. prostitution, drugs – they seem pretty solid at all of it).

  3. I was hanging out with Dan at your house the day you fell off the horse because when you called him, I was sitting right in front of him. Weird that I found out the same time as him and not through the grapevine. Nevertheless, I’m glad that you were ok, Mare.

    1. Thanks Ryan! Me too! I haven’t been back up on a horse since then. I keep meaning to, just to make sure I’m not scared, but here we are, 3 years later and I still haven’t been back riding. Perhaps in Australia 🙂

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