Wednesday, June 10, 2009


As some readers may recall, Emma suffered a fall shortly before we left Switzerland, splitting open her chin. The cut was not large but gaped and bled profusely due to its location.  We went to the local emergency room where the wound was cleaned, assessed and determined to require stitches. Multiple injections of local anesthetic were required, as were three nurses to keep a hysterical Emma from moving. In the end, Emma left with three sutures and a smile on her face.  We'd both survived.

Leap forward now to two weeks ago when Emma's cheek was split open by a flying tow rope handle. The cut was slightly over 1 cm long with straight, well opposed edges but due to its location —just under her eye— we drove to a nearby walk-in clinic to have it checked. A nurse took Emma's vitals and cleaned the wound.  Shortly thereafter the doctor on duty examined the cut and judged it to be small enough to glue closed.  No anaesthetic or assistants were required for the procedure which took about five minutes from start to finish.

Let's compare bills, shall we?

Switzerland: $549 (converted from Swiss Franc)
USA: $836

OSF St. Francis Prompt Care has some explaining to do.  


  1. That is crazy expensive. Ashley special needs stroller cost over $6000. (pretty $$$ for a stroller) my 20% of her AFO's cost me $650 or something close to that. Sunlife paid but still. The government paid the rest. Her feeding tube supplies are outrageous priced as well. Everything medical has a big price tag even sterile bandages for her g-tube. I guess medical supply companies are willing to milk the hospitals gov't and the insurance companies. I don't really understand the economics of this really.

    James had a similar split open forehead last week we went to the urgent care clinic for a similar service are bill $0. Did i mention I'm a big fan of OHIP. Thank god for Universial heath care in Canada otherwise after Ashley birth could you image the million dollar bill. I'm sure it's not perfect but I'm pretty happy with it.

  2. I'd love to know what OHIP pays for the same procedure.

    Yes, I have insurance, but this total will definitely exceed the 'allowable amount' for the procedure. The insured then must pay the balance plus whatever percentage that the insurer doesn't pay including the deductable, copay, etc. I can't help but imagine a single uninsured parent receiving the same bill. It's inhumane.