Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Unhealthy dose of reality
Don't worry, Our Man's put his pencil away for a bit. He was going to find out what came of Aso's epic meeting with Mr O., but then got sidetracked by matters closer to home: sorting out his health insurance. Yes, Britain's highly inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare that is the National Health Service was a pain in the arse - all too literally. But here in Japan, you have to pay up front for the privelege of having doctors tell you to take a couple of aspirin. Actually, there are no GP gatekeepers here, when you are ill, you decide which specialist doc to see - all by yourself. The only problem is when you have to be hospitalised for something serious - hospitals seem to be under no obligation to accept you - if they are full, which they frequently are, sling your hook - even if it means death.
Then there's the insurance malarchy. Take your pick - lowish monthly payments (￥5,000) but they don't cover the three biggest killers - cancer, heart disease and car accidents - or choose which nasty ways to die you reckon will get you and pay a premium.
It amounts to: I bet you 50 quid that I'll snuff it this month v. the bookie's 5,000 quid that you won't. The odds get worse as you get older though.
The bookie always wins this game.
Odd picture sort of symbolic of something or other lifted from here.
Labels: Not feeling so hot