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Different Hospital Systems in Canada and Korea캐나다의 의료시스템
박은경 지구환경과학부 4학년  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2016.11.17  16:12:59
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

▲ Wellness Center at UNBC

    I participated in an outgoing exchange program to the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Canada last semester. I suffered from an ear infection just before leaving Korea. I brought medicine that my doctor prescribed in case of relapse. Unfortunately, my ear had been acting up again in Canada. I would like to take medicine after a doctor’s diagnosis and find out whether it was the same disease I had before or not. For that reason, I looked for an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.
    It was very difficult to go to a hospital because I have not heard about the Canadian hospital system. I struggled to look for ENT doctors and soon found out that there is only one ENT doctor near UNBC. As soon as I visited his office, I returned to my dormitory because a medical report from a walk-in clinic or a family doctor was required. Besides, the only ENT doctor in Prince George was on a business trip, I had to go to a walk-in center. When I went there for the first time, a doctor would not diagnose my case as relapse of an ear infection unless I insisted that I had the ear problem. My relapse symptoms had lasted for 10 days, and then the doctor agreed with my opinion. I was very embarrassed and scared of hearing loss because my disease is one of acute illnesses that must be fixed within two weeks. Moreover, I should make an appointment again and wait one week to take a hearing test at a phoenix center as I came close to hearing loss. Finally, my hearing loss was improved to a normal condition with medicine. To examine my exact condition, I had to go through lots of processes and spent a lot of time for an exact hearing condition check.

▲ Having a great time watching a home team basketball game

    When it comes to Canadian health care services, especially for Prince George where UNBC is located, a walk-in-clinic is a primary medical service available on a walk-in basis without any appointment. Walk-in clinics are easily seen in big supermarkets, drug stores, and shopping centers. The Canadian hospital system is not subdivided into several departments such as ear-nose-and-throat, internal medicine, urology, etc. In other words, a Canadian hospital is similar to a general hospital like a university hospital in Korea. Unlike the Korean hospital system, there are a few specialists in Canada so a patient has to wait one or two months for seeing a specialist.
    I would like to give information to those of you who will go abroad for studying or working. If you have an uncommon disease like me, your medicine and medical report in English must be prepared. It would be very helpful for you to study the medical system of the country where you will go. If you are afraid to go to a walk-in-clinic alone, it would be better to go a health care center at a university. Then, you will save time with their directions. It means that they will give you a prescription or ask you to go to a walk-in center or a hospital. For someone who has a simple cold, medicine can be purchased at a pharmacy.
    It is very hard for everyone to be put in a new environment different from what they used to have. However, the most important thing is that you should take care of yourself with a positive mind.

By Park Eun-kyung, Senior, Faculty of Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences

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