In the US; what do the uninsured do?
As a physician in Europe where, in most countries, the state is responsible for every citizen's healthcare, I do not have to deal with issues of who is insured and for what etc etc. I've always been baffled as to how the system in the US works. What happens in emergency situations such as a broken leg, a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, stroke or a heart attack if the person is uninsured? Also what happens in case of a life threatening diagnosis such as cancer etc? I've no interest in the politics. I am just asking for facts i.e. how the system works, not opinions of whether it is good or bad.
You get emergency care here - but they give you a bill. Nobody can make you pay that bill, it just goes against your credit. People without health insurance usually don't have credit anyway, so it makes no real difference.
Thanks Wesman, that clears it somewhat for me. However, something else I want to know is, can a hospital or doctor legally refuse to treat such a person, let's say, if the condition wasn't immediately life-threatening but where a delay could mean difference between complete cure and, well, death?
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How long do you wait in an emergency to call 911?
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