I gave someone a ride to the county hospital in Oakland yesterday for a dentist appointment. Being that it is a low cost clinic, they had LOTS of people in the waiting room. The whole experience brought back memories of the socialized medicine in China. At one point, my friend said, "I feel like I'm in a cattle drive, and am just being run through the chutes." I think she was right.
This woman has a lot of medical issues, and really needed to be seen soon. Her regular dentist told her that she could drop in any time. But when we got there, I read signs that said the drop-in clinic registration hours are from 5:30 am to 6:30 am! We didn't get there until 11:00 am. My stomach dropped at the thought of having to come back another day, and to have to be there by 5:30 in the morning! I kind of pushed the issue a little, and the woman at the desk said, "Well, unless the person is bleeding or has an infection, they can't be seen the same day unless they register in the morning." I quickly said, 'Well, she has an infection!" They allowed her to be assessed in the triage area. Yay! I didn't find out until later that her infection is better. But luckily, the doctors could see that with her health issues, she couldn't wait. Whew....that was close! We were there until 4:30, but at least they took care of the problem that day, and we don't have to go back! Yay again!
As I sat in the waiting room, I saw patient after patient come out with a gauze pad stuck in their mouth. I had to wonder after awhile if they all really needed those teeth pulled! But welcome to the future of socialized medicine. They will give the bare minimum of care, and they don't care if you are satisfied because you aren't paying them a lot of money. And I heard that they are eliminating many of the services which they have given in the past, such as dentures. I'm thankful we have this clinic for those who need it. But I'm sure glad I don't have to depend on that system for my own dental care!
My dentist has a big plaque in his office that says, "Every tooth in a man's head is worth as much as a diamond." If you have been to the dentist for any kind of work lately, you will know that statement is true! Why do I have this sudden urge to go floss my teeth?