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Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

roadrunner
February 12, 2012 01:32PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 585

Iris, just curious... when was your experience with the hospital?

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

vicanuck
February 13, 2012 06:54AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 830

Indeed...you really dont need health insurance here for a hospital stay. I'm told that most locals use alternative names to identify themselves upon arrival. Healthcare should be provided by the governement at no cost anyway just like it is most civilized countries.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

HappyFace
February 13, 2012 09:02AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 146

Since Health care isn't provided by this less civilized country The Hospitals get a credit on the their tax due, which becomes a burden on the taxpayer!:-( If you want socialised medicine move to the countries that provide it.(td)

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

Mrsyogadoc
February 13, 2012 09:11AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 39

@ vicanuck: many folks give fake names. I'm certain not just those on STX. have you ever seen "free" healthcare in practice? I have. Not a pretty site. Yes there are some advantages, but trust they don't outweigh the risks. My husband is Italian and we currently live in Italy. As such we have access to the care here. No the practice of medicine is not much different, but the application most definitely is! I'd consider retiring here but I fear doing so and having a stroke or a major injury or other medical problem when I get older.Their standard of care is not our standard of care. I know the hospital there might not be state of the art, but with the capability of flying to PR or the States for bigger interventions bets waiting years to close to never happening here where it is free. And if healthcare was to be provided by the government, those of us who actually care for our health (non-smokers, take meds as prescribed, heathy habits, etc)should receive some sort of benefits. Where as those who don't (smokers, drug users, over-eaters, lack of compliance with medications, risk-takers, etc) should have some consequences. . .

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

OldTart
February 13, 2012 09:32AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,967

But surely in the EU you have the option to pay for private healthcare and particularly in the case of emergent surgery? Here we have to pay for it period and only the larger companies these days are offering health care benefits. They used to be common but not any more.

Getting an airlift to PR from here isn't either free or inexpensive (yes, you can take out an insurance policy with the local carrier) and certainly isn't a cure-all. I know scores of people who thought of retiring here and who eventually opted not to because of our poor medical resources. They decided instead to retire in a variety of stateside communities where clinics and hospitals abound. I don't know how many ambulances St Croix has but there have been many times on St Thomas when we're down to just one. Doesn't exactly make for a quick response in an emergency and you can be long dead from a stroke or a serious injury if it takes even over half an hour for help to arrive.

I think you're in for quite an eye-opener during your PMV. The islands couldn't be further removed in just about every way from Italy/Sicily but, worst case scenario, you'll enjoy a lovely vacation!

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

poorthang
February 13, 2012 09:32AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 322

I think I'm ready to throw up..........

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

HappyFace
February 13, 2012 09:48AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 146

Old Tart,
The majority of ambulance services in the States are volunteer ambulance corps which usually have one (1) ambulance for 50,000 residents. They raise money by collecting quarters on the streets and various fund raisers. The Hospitals on the islands will stabilize you if possible and get you on a flight asap. I have heard a lot of horror stories but most are just stories.:P

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

JulieKay
February 13, 2012 09:56AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1,338

When the BF had to take an ambulance a few months ago, it took them about the right amount of time. We live pretty far from Sunny Isle and it took them about 20 minutes to get here. This was at 1 or 2 in the morning.

They were professional and speedy - only the driver did the disdainful thing, I think she was annoyed at having to make a run at one am. But no complaints. And his condition was one that turned out to be a fals alarm, so he came home fine the next day.

We are looking into the airlife insurance, just in case, but hopefully will never need it.

Having "real" addresses for 911 will help, if it ever comes to fruition. It's kinda hard describing your location during an emergency in the dark with just landmarks and house colors (the third pink house on the right after the house on the hill with the spinning windmill). :p

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

OldTart
February 13, 2012 10:22AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,967

Quote
HappyFace
I have heard a lot of horror stories but most are just stories.:P

No worries, I wasn't going to tell you mine (and I have many from first hand experience) as I believe that, more often than not, the best is done with what's available.

Suffice it to say that I have told my friends that if anything ever happens to me again to necessitate urgent medical care and if for any reason I'm incapable of uttering my preferences, they should ensure that I am delivered to the office of my good veterinarian rather than to the ER. :D

My response was basically to address what I felt was the OP's maybe lack of knowledge in comparing health care costs and services here (US) to health care in Sicily (EU).

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

beachy
February 13, 2012 10:32AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 630

there's been a privately (funded by private contributions) organized program to put AED defibrillators in various locations on stx...police stations, firehouses, etc. I'm not sure how one gets access to one in an emergency though...hopefully by calling 911.

continuing on this, I called the stx firehouse near my home and spoke with one of the firemen on duty. He said they had the machine, but did not necessarily have anyone trained in its use on every shift...and that they would not bring the machine out unless they had a trained emt on duty. I checked the Fire service info for 2011, and it said that 90+% of firefighters were trained in CPR and AED use....but only 11 total EMTs, but from my conversation, I no longer feel confident that a machine would be available to us in an emergency, even within walking distance to a firehouse...he said to call 911, but he would not use the AED because he didn't know how or when etc....now this is scary.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

blu4u
February 13, 2012 02:15PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 855

Emergency flight insurance does NOT guarantee a flight out. Lots of hoops. Takes some serious string pulling by the attending.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

speee1dy
February 13, 2012 02:32PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 4,822

i have heard they will not get you on a flight out unless you can pay or you have masa

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

HappyFace
February 13, 2012 02:46PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 146

The attending does not have to pull strings, only has to stabilize the patient for the flight. If you don't have massa you can use your American Express Card or pay cash. The Hospital has no requirement to pay for the flight out, that's the patients responsibility.:-o

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

roadrunner
February 13, 2012 03:54PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 585

This AED thing is ridiculous. A kindergartener could use an AED with about 5 minutes of instruction. I mean, for Pete's sake, the darn thing TALKS to you and tells you what to do! It's simpler than your microwave.

I would not live in the VI without some sort of insurance that would pay for a medical flight to the MAINLAND if necessary. The hospital on STX is capable of managing basic things, but like any rural or small town hospital, they don't have the ability to do certain things... for example, if you need a neurosurgeon to fix your head bleed, you're out of luck, and that's not something you want to wait around for while your family scrapes up money for a flight out.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

SydSol
February 13, 2012 05:49PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 83

I was in the ER for the first time earlier this week when some foul smell over Enfield Green gave my daughter respiratory attack and she couldn't breathe. Expecting the worst, I was surprised at how well and quickly they took care of her. It was the fastest discharge ever and a great doctor.
That said, I think there is HUGE potential for medical tourism here. sT cRoix should be THE place to go for certain conditions, even cosmetic surgery, and capitalize on the healing of nature surrounding the place. If there were a massage therapy school here, I think students would flock to learn and live here. Etc, etc, etc. I'm starting a yoga herb farm to do classes and tours. People will want to come here for natural therapies, insured or uninsured.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2012 05:51PM by SydSol.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

JulieKay
February 13, 2012 05:57PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 1,338

I agree that the natural health business could be huge here. St. Croix is starting to get the word around in the yoga and alternative communities. Before I left Austin last year, I was surprised how many of my yoga friends want to come spend a yoga/therapy weekend here, if more were available.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

dougtamjj
February 13, 2012 07:11PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 2,130

Welcome Mrsyogadoc. We need good doctors here. It it like a small town. You will see your patients on the beach or at gatherings such as jump up or Agfest. We are all very thankful for the services provided by our dedicated medical professionals. Lots of hugs and kisses like the Italians. At least I will give you lots of hugs and kisses. You are well traveled and understand cultural differences so you will probably do well. I studied St. Croix extensively before I moved here and love it. It is an adventure. The hospital lacks supplies and has good and bad as all hospitals do. Just as in a small isolated town you will have to fly out for some medical problems. It's scary for a lot of stateside transplants because it is an island and sometimes urgent medical care is far away. It is a risk we take to live here. Our family has had a few emergencies. I have handled most of them myself. Super glue, benadine, bandages and antibiotics go a long way. My mother had COPD and we had to take her back to the states for the BEST MEDICAL CARE IN THE WORLD. Yes, I am well traveled as well and I am thankful to know that I can go back to the states for that care as long as it exists. Please come and try it out. You may make a difference.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

Mrsyogadoc
February 14, 2012 03:00AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 39

Again, I thank you all for the info weather positive or negative. I can't wait to learn more about the "small town" of STX upon our visit in Aug. Unfortunately I don't know what "OP" stands for (connotation doesn't seem favorable from the surrounding context), but I do have quite extensive knowledge on US healthcare (seeing how I am an American and trained at American facilities and still work at American facilities). It just so happens that through my travels I have had the opportunities to experience health care in other countries, namely Italy. I've done so either through care of my own pt which required transfer from our humble medical services either on ship or at the small hospitals overseas or from my husband's family medical issues.

The AED issue is crazy! Just as one mentioned all you have to do is look at cartoon drawings and listen! not much training required. They have been placed at major airports to be utilized by lay-persons b/c they are essentially fail=proof. They failure comes through NOT utilizing them. By chance does the EMS on STX need to be re-evaluated, something to look into later, perhaps?

I would love sometime in the future to open a yoga/wellness clinic. I've been practicing for over 15yrs! I'm looking to take a 200+hr cert class soon. I'll be looking for you SydSol! ;)

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

OldTart
February 14, 2012 06:02AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,967

Quote
Mrsyogadoc
Unfortunately I don't know what "OP" stands for (connotation doesn't seem favorable from the surrounding context) ...

That's pretty funny. "OP" is standard "forumese" which translates to either Original Post or Original Poster.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

Iris Tramm
February 19, 2012 10:18AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 693

Quote
roadrunner
Iris, just curious... when was your experience with the hospital?

Within the last few months.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

Iris Tramm
February 19, 2012 10:21AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 693

Quote
HappyFace
Quote
Iris Tramm
Quote
HappyFace
It appears that Continentals with no health insurance complain about the Health Care given and they don't want to pay for it either.*-)[/quote


Just so you know. NO ONE is underwriting individual insurance policies in the VI right now. I'm happy to pay for health care. Someone wanna write me a policy if I live here and am not part of a group plan? NOPE.

You're a lawyer and work with a Law Firm, I assume you can get small group insurance but you gotta PAY. Since you have no isurance you have to PAY not hide.:P

You make a lot of assumptions.

My employer does not offer health insurance.

Stop assuming I don't want to pay. The reality is that, for single individuals without access to a group plan, THERE IS NO HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE VI. PERIOD.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

HappyFace
February 19, 2012 10:42AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 146

Quote
Iris Tramm
" don't want them hounding me for cash" Who said that?
Quote
Mrsyogadoc
Hmm, thanks for these responses. What you two have described seem to be hospital issues and not so much medicine issues. Most ERs don't have pillows, blankets usually yes. The goal is to have patients in and out quickly. Sometimes patients are "housed" in the ED due to staffing issues with the hospital floors.

But how are you finding the care? What is the average length of time you waited to see a doctor? How clean is the facility?

No pillows when you have a head wound and a condition that requires you to be in an a non-existent ICU? Horrible. Beyond horrible. I'd rather be treated by Sean Penn in Port au Prince. Never saw a doctor. I showed up with a severe head wound and it took them FOUR DAYS to show me the results of my CT scan, and then only by flashing the piece of paper in front of me for three seconds because I insisted I had no recollection of the procedure. I'm afraid to ask for my records because I don't want them hounding me for cash.

People are shot and killed there. I would no more admit myself to JFL again than I would move into one of the public housing complexes.

Look into the PR medflights people.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

BeachcomberStt
February 19, 2012 11:34AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 832

I can't speak for JLH on STX, but the majority of my experiences I've had at RLS on STT has been favorable for the most part.
Most were out-patient services-diagnostic services.

The couple times I had to go to the ER were an OK experience. It's mostly the wait time I had a problem with, but the doctors and nurses were nice to me. The doctor & nurses explained everything clearly to me during discharge.

You have to be assertive, but nice and ask questions, if you don't understand what the discharge papers say. Don't think you are being a bother to them, it's your health, not theirs.
BTW, wait time in the states can be long too depending on when you go to a hospital.

It's a hit and miss at the hospitals, banks, post offices, and any govt. office concerning wait time.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

Iris Tramm
February 21, 2012 05:57PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 693

Quote
HappyFace
Quote
Iris Tramm
" don't want them hounding me for cash" Who said that?
Quote
Mrsyogadoc
Hmm, thanks for these responses. What you two have described seem to be hospital issues and not so much medicine issues. Most ERs don't have pillows, blankets usually yes. The goal is to have patients in and out quickly. Sometimes patients are "housed" in the ED due to staffing issues with the hospital floors.

But how are you finding the care? What is the average length of time you waited to see a doctor? How clean is the facility?

No pillows when you have a head wound and a condition that requires you to be in an a non-existent ICU? Horrible. Beyond horrible. I'd rather be treated by Sean Penn in Port au Prince. Never saw a doctor. I showed up with a severe head wound and it took them FOUR DAYS to show me the results of my CT scan, and then only by flashing the piece of paper in front of me for three seconds because I insisted I had no recollection of the procedure. I'm afraid to ask for my records because I don't want them hounding me for cash.

People are shot and killed there. I would no more admit myself to JFL again than I would move into one of the public housing complexes.

Look into the PR medflights people.

Thanks for the repost Happy! It's good for people to know these things.

Re: How's the healthcare in STX?

HappyFace
February 21, 2012 06:42PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 146

I am here to serve Iris and I will not hound you for cash. My service is free not like the Hospital.:-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2012 06:46PM by HappyFace.

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