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Illness is big business

WHEN I WAS in my early twenties I lived in New Zealand for several years, working on a television series. Our series was stunt based and one day I almost broke my ankle. New Zealand has a national healthcare system. Even though I was not a New Zealand citizen, I still was taken to a doctor who x-rayed my ankle. Once he deemed the foot not broken he prescribed me a regimen of physical therapy. A trained therapist came to my house and rubbed my swollen and quite purple foot twice a day. None of this cost me anything– of course the production company was taking care of that– but that original doctor was a public one, in a public emergency room. When he finished up his exam and knew that my foot-bones were still intact, that simple extra step he took prescribing me physical therapy was his way of treating his patient’s whole care, not just the condition.

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