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Scary difference between healthcare in Australia and US

Written by on May 22, 2024

A man has shared the terrifying difference between healthcare in the United States and Australia, which was the catalyst for him and his Aussie wife relocating to Melbourne.

Andrew Polino shared his experience on X about not being able to access the healthcare his wife needed when she was pregnant, despite having health insurance in the US.

Obstetricians deemed Ms Polino’s pregnancy “high-risk and an insurance liability”.

The couple were based in Florida, where Mr Polino worked as a journalist.

The couple thought they were “golden” when Ms Polino became pregnant because he had health insurance covered through his employer.

After doctors said his wife had a high-risk pregnancy she was discharged and “effectively black-listed” from accessing other obstetricians in the network.

She was transferred to different hospitals but was told the next available consultation was available when she would have been eight months pregnant.

Mr Polino said other maternal specialists would not take her on as a patient because her pregnancy was too far along.

“We were near eight months, no delivery team, no word from the hospitals, no obstetrician and no other resources,” he said.

“My wife, afraid for her safety, flew to Melbourne and found a full medical team to help her deliver safely.

“I followed as quickly as possible and arrived with only a week to spare.”

After their baby was born, the couple received a hospital bill for $50, then decided to live in Melbourne.

“We had a home, resources for parents, healthcare and a high quality of life,” Mr Polino said.

“In Florida, we faced low pay, high medical bills, inflation, gun violence and other struggles for survival.”

He said it was an easy choice to make and carry on their lives in Melbourne, but his privilege was not lost on him.

“I’m still voting as an American and advocating for those less fortunate,” he said.

“No one should be left feeling trapped by their own medical providers.”

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