Struggles with Public Health

So as I mentioned in “about”, I am currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. Because of my husband’s job, we were able to obtain a visa that qualifies us for publicly funded health. My first thought was that this would be great and I could get some free tests/treatment. This is true, but going through a publicly funded health system has it’s drawbacks.  I’ll give a basic run-down of my experience with how the system works for me.

Here you see your family doctor for all womanly check-ups. So you don’t have an OBGYN relationship that can start your discovery to understand why you can’t get pregnant. You have to just tell your GP that you’re not able to conceive for a year, then she writes a referral to see a “fertility specialist” who is usually an OBGYN who specializes in fertility. For me, that wait was 2 months. Once you see them, they figure out what tests they think you need to understand what is going on. This is where I still am (impatiently…). Those tests can take months to have done. Ultrasound wait can be up to 4 months, HSG can be several months because they only do them one day per week, so if your period falls on the the wrong day (they only do up to day 10 of your cycle), you have to wait a whole month before even calling again for an appointment. Blood tests are fairly quick, but you don’t get another doctor visit until all tests are complete. So I received a letter in the mail with my AMH and his semen analysis results, but am not able to discuss my results with a doctor for months! You can imagine how bad that is for someone now days with a little thing called the Internet. I’m not going to just ignore the numbers I know I have for months until I meet with my MD, I’m going to google them and get 90% faulty information.

After you meet with the doctor you are given a “grade” based on test results, severity, age, time spent trying, etc. After they give you a grade, you sit on a waiting list and wait for an appointment/treatments to become avail. Friends who have already gone through this stage have said it can be up to a year from the “we’ve been trying to conceive for a year now” conversation with your family MD before you to start treatment. It’s times like this you almost wish you had just a few more “cysts”, your hormones were .5 more to one side, or they could find something that would speed up you receiving treatment.

So, because of the waits and frustration with the system here (and wanting to be near family), we have decided it is actually time for us to move home to pursue treatment. We’ll be heading back state-side in June. We are very blessed that we even have the ability to make a choice as I understand many people must just sit and wait and wait some more . Not saying we’re rich–we’re not, trust me! But we’ve made a TIGHT budget and changed some of our lifestyle habits to save up for some potential BIG payments in the next year. What have your experiences been like going through testing/treatment in the US with insurance? I understand there are pros and cons to each system, but I’m curious what it is like in the US since I’ll be experiencing that soon enough. I guess Obamacare may change how things have been in the past? To be honest I’m a bit out of the loop as far as what has changed since we left…



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