I have been trying to piece together a CAD$ price tag on my cancer treatment since my surgery. I’ve asked my surgeon, Dr. X, what my diagnosis and surgery cost. He threw some numbers around – $1k for the OR for an hour, triple that for the attending staff, the nuclear dyes – but he didn’t have an answer.
Same for my oncologist Dr. F … she couldn’t put a price tag on my treatment. But she nodded when I quoted the American price.
$500k to $1.5M
In the USA, everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – is barcoded to charge the patient. You need a bandage? You pay for it. A piece of tape? Same. CT Scans and MRIs? Ultrasound? Medicine? Lumpectomy? Mastectomy? Chemotherapy? Reconstruction? Recurrence? Quarterly checkups to get to 5 years NED (No evidence of disease)? IV line? PICC line? PICC line insertion? Genetics testing? Endless blood work?
Sell your house or hope to God you have insurance (and not a pre-existing condition today …)!
I wish our Canadian government could hand us a zero balance invoice at the end of our medical journey. I’d love to see what my medical costs were. Would I stop complaining about taxes?
As a Canadian, I just walk into a doctor’s office, hospital etc. There are no copays. No premiums (we pay higher taxes which pays for our healthcare). But it is there when we – and our fellow Canadians – need it. For the most part. If you live in a metropolitan area, like I do.
And how can we as Canadians burden the cost of more and more cancer? Sobering, sobering thought.
Rather educated but unscientific … I estimate the cost to be similar here in Canada. Factor in lower drug costs and a weak Canadian dollar and it washes out. At least for the sake of this post.
$500k to $1.5M
The cost rises as the complexities and surgeries rise. I automatically qualify for reconstruction surgery due to my breast cancer.
I’ve been in the Emergency room for four days.
I’ve been hospitalized for six days in a $425/day private room with around-the-clock care of nursing staff and five doctors.
Blood tests. CT Scans. Three ultrasounds. Mammograms. MUGA Heart Test. Bone test.
$15k to $20k in chemo cocktails et al. including that $4200 Neulasta injection.
Neulasta is not “free” with my OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) coverage … My health plan pays most then the manufacturer kicks in the rest to get me to 100% coverage. I need at least 8 x Neulasta … maybe 16. That almost $68,000 right there.
Don’t panic (in Ontario) if you can’t cover the Neulasta … OHIP covers Neupogen. You get 64 or more needles instead of 8!
Under $200 for my before and after chemo drugs but I only pay 10-20% thanks to my medical benefits.
What do you do without medical benefits???
For today – and every day – I am more thankful to be Canadian and for my employer.
And I won’t be complaining.
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© Lisa Jobson 2017