In New Zealand, you can get medical treatment for free, or "publicly", but you have to get on the waiting list and wait and wait if it's not life-threatening. If you have private insurance, you can opt to have treatment done "privately". Ben and I are very healthy for the most part, so though we've always had insurance, a few years ago we opted to reduce our premium by having an "excess" for each claim. We weren't counting on natural wear and tear. To get rid of the excess, we have to cancel our current policy and reply, and I just can't be bothered.
I've arrived at that age where excess (worth only about 100 cups of coffee in town) or no excess, I want things done yesterday, so I went and had a wee procedure at Manuka Street Trust Hospital on Thursday. It's routine stuff, but having visited hospital wards only a few times and never having had a peek into a theater before, I just had to do this . Though I got Doc Adrian's permission, I didn't expect him to pose for us!
I've been of the belief that specialists' hourly (or minutely) charges are ridiculous and extortionary, (that's what dictionary.reference.com said), but I felt sympathetic to the good doctor's schedule Thursday morning; it was one right after another, and after he was finished with me, he had to run to get to his office for the afternoon consultations, or was it a leisurely lunch? Mind you, I'm not getting soft; I'm sympathetic to THIS doctor's schedule for just THIS morning, alright? But the man is so terminally cheerful and meticulous, I can't help it.
And JB would have given me a hard time if I didn't step up, because he stayed overnight, whereas I walked out in a couple of hours.