About 5 years ago, I was enjoying a drink in a very swanky Sydney bar before being confined to the bathroom with the worst gastro I’d ever experienced. There were putrid liquids coming out of all my orifices, with no regard to the expensive marble they were splattering 🤢. This went on until I passed out which was very dramatic and humiliating I can assure you. But that wasn’t the most memorable thing that happened that night. No, what has stuck with me the most after all these years is the $800 bill I received a few weeks later from the government. Not from the hospital stay, fluids or tests the DR’s ran – oh no, that shit is covered (literally in this case😳). It transpired that GETTING to the hospital *cost more than my salary at the time. Charming.
Now if I’d been dying and was given life-saving treatment by the paramedics transporting me, I can understand the need for an $800 ride. But I wasn’t dying, my body was just kindly expelling everything at a very aggressive rate. So really, it was quite unnecessary.
So what have I done the last 3 times I’ve needed to head to the ER? (Yes 3 times, I am accident prone/have a low pain threshold). Caught an Uber my friends, yep – opened that app and at the max, spent $13 on a trip. That’s a $787 saving guys, bloody brilliant.
It can be even more in the US with their messed up health care system, I read somewhere it costs about $3k for a ride in the back of an ambulance!? Da fuq.
So if you or a loved one needs a trip to emergency (and no one is seriously injured/ill), order that ubes and leave the ambulances free for people who actually need them urgently and their life depends on it.
As my Dad would say (he’s a paramedic BTW, I’m not just quoting him for the hell of it), “an ambulance isn’t a taxi, we are there for genuine calls; not coughs, colds and sore holes”.
You’re welcome guys.
TIP: Take a towel for head wounds, they bleed a lot and the uber driver **probs won’t be happy with their backseat looking like a crime scene.
*Thanks Dad for paying for this.
** This may or may not be my story.
Words by Kelly McCarren.