Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bureaucracy and ... Stuff

Bureaucracy is a strange beast. We have health cards in this province. We use them when we visit the doctor or go to a hospital.

For a long, long time, I carried my red and white health card with me. I did this for so long that it got rather broken down and needed replacing. Cuppa still has that old version of the card, and it's still in pristine condition because ladies don't sit on their wallets as most men tend to do.

Several years ago, and that's all that it was, medical offices began to plead with me to get a new card — one that was in one piece. Being a good citizen and an obliging kind of guy, I did just that. The new cards were green and white rather than red and white, and they included a photo, seemingly a good idea as health card fraud was becoming an issue. It was alleged that out-of-province or out-of-country folk were using fake cards to obtain free health services here. Who knows whether or not it was true?

Then, just this past summer, I was obliged to update my relatively new card. This required filling in a form and getting a new photo — also not a bad idea. Meanwhile, Cuppa held onto her original card to which no updates were required. Ever!

A month or two later, when we moved, we had to notify the bureaucracy of our change of address — another good idea. This required another very official updating of my card. Meanwhile, Cuppa's original card remained the same.

Doesn't this strike you as odd? The newer card, the one with the photo id, must be continually re-processed and updated while those who hold the older, much older, non-photo card need never update theirs. I simply don't understand.

This topic resurfaced in my mind last week when the doctor's office called after a recent visit. They said that my card was invalid. Did I have a new one? I was confused. I recalled getting the new one but couldn't recall what I had done with it. If it wasn't in my wallet, where the heck could it be?

Then, I realized that the new version was probably in my wallet but they hadn't asked to see it on that visit. Turns out that was the problem — an easily solved one. But I had a moment of trepidation when I received that call because I had just submitted my Hemoccult Test. The doctor's office was calling. Could the test have shown a problem? Could I have colon cancer? I didn't really think so, but these thoughts crossed my mind in those seconds.

I did blog about this Hemoccult Test once before. It was over a year ago before anyone was reading my blog. Perhaps, just perhaps, you might get a slight kick reading my earlier account: Getting My Shit Together.



Granny said...

I can understand your exasperation. We have the same here only worse.

Simply Coll said...

Here in Manitoba every family member has the same health card. My hubby's name is on it.. and I am listed as a dependant (not crazy about that term). Each dependant on the card has an individual PINN number. Is this making any sense?? Funny how it varies from province to province.

Good on you for getting the Hemoccult test. It does save lives. My dad had colon cancer .. but because of early detection.. lived well for another 25 years after the diagnosis.

Bonita said...

Seems like bureaucracy gets bogged down wherever you go...here in the states the issue is the illegal aliens who don't pay taxes yet get subsidized health care benefits, costing our country a fortune.

methatiam said...

I found out that wearing a wallet in one's hip pocket can cause lower back pain and lead to lower back problems – due in part to not sitting straight, etc…. I got myself a little Day-Timer with a phone holder and wallet, and I carry that around. It's nice to not have my pockets stretched out, or having something poking me when I sit.

mreddie said...

I've just changed over to medicare - which we are supposed to do at 65 - and am waiting for things to snarl up, but so far, so good. ec

Lora said...

Oh, what a horrible procedure! I hope that they don't make you do this every year.

PBS said...

That sounds like a huge hassle. I was going to blog about my son's difficulties in getting a driver's license in our new state, maybe later this week.

madcapmum said...

(But I'm not sure how to spell it. Close?)

Can you hear my teeth grinding?

Karla said...

Somehow I have managed to keep my old red and white card and I'm clinging to it, hoping the cracks and plastic peeling can weather a few more years of wear and tear.

I still can't seem to figure out why the new card is so high maintenance? There is zero incentive to want one.