Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Limitations of Lupus

I've said it numerous times, lupus impacts on all areas of life.

A friend asked me recently if I could live in another country. The country we were discussing was India, but it could be anywhere.

What I realised was: I can't live anywhere else. It's not because I'm completely in love with Australia, although I do think this is a good place to live, and it would be hard to go anywhere my children weren't (even though they are adults now.)

I can't live in another country because of lupus.

Without the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
the cost of lupus medicines would be
In Australia, I have health insurance.  I've had it since I first started working - so for many, many years before I was diagnosed with lupus.

If I moved to another country, the chances of getting health insurance, when I'm already diagnosed, would probably not be good.

Then there is the cost of doctors.  Here, I am on a pension concession card. The government heavily subsidises the cost of my doctors - and some doctors charge only the government rebate.

The biggest expense of all is medication. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidises  prescription medications for Australians in Australia. With my concession card, every medication I take which is on the PBS schedule is only $5.80 for a month's supply. That does add up with the number of different drugs I take - but is nothing like what I would be paying if the government didn't subsidise it.

And of course, as an Australian living in Australia, since my health means I can't work full time, my income is supplemented with a part disability support pension. That's income I wouldn't have overseas.

So for me to live in another country, I would have to have a very good job, working full time, to be able to pay for my doctors and drugs. And I'd have to somehow become well enough to be able to work full time. Either that, or I'd need to find a very rich husband (and I haven't had any offers so far.)

It's all immaterial. I wasn't actually planning on living anywhere else anyway.

It's just another lifestyle limitation.  My younger sister has travelled to places I'll never see, and lived in a couple of other countries. She's spent more time away from Australia than she has here. For me to see the world - I meet people from other countries on social media - seeing the world through their eyes is the closest I will ever come.


  1. If you can't come to Canada, I'll take pictures for you of Ottawa, so you can see what it looks like from the comfort of your own home!! :o) What an interesting look into another country's healthcare system...ours is decent...but really, only for basic care. Only the rich get treatment, and, many go to the U.S. Thank the gods for my husband's benefits for medications/physio/etc!!!

  2. Brynn I'd love photos of Ottawa. And please tell me all about the places you take pictures of.
    People complain about our healthcare system all the time - especially about surgery waiting lists. But the couple of times I've needed life-saving surgery, it's been available as soon as it was needed, in a public hospital. We have the waiting lists because emergencies get a higher priority. When my daughter was in an accident and fractured her skull - there was a hospital bed found for her immediately (and a helicopter on standby in case they had to bring her to Brisbane - we were at the Sunshine Coast at the time, so only a small hospital there.)I actually don't mind that people have to wait for their elective surgery, when people whose lives depend on it get the treatment they need.


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