While at my job, a back pain extending through my left leg got worse, to where I had to leave work and go straight to my primary doctor. The doctor completed his examination and prescribed me pain-killers and a corticosteroid. He told that I should feel better in two days. If there was no improvement, I should contact him.
Realizing I was not getting better, I called my employer and my subcontractor, and neither of them provided disability compensation. Please note that I am a highly trained and educated individual with a doctoral degree, and still these benefits are not granted. Is this fair?
My condition got even worse to where I was not able to walk, and I went back to the doctor's office. He prescribed a stronger pain killer and ordered an MRI, and tried to schedule an appointment with a specialist right after the MRI. Next day, upon arrival to the office for the MRI, a staff person notified me that the health-insurance company did not approve the MRI. A friend called the insurance company, but no approval was granted. Because of my severe pain, I asked my friends to take me to the emergency room, where they injected me with pain-killers and performed the MRI.
It is incredible that we brag about the greatness of this nation, but its health-care system performs far below those expectations. We also see employers not providing adequate benefits for these situations (e.g., disability compensation).
It's time to implement good values and a sense of fairness -- not only in our families but also in our corporate structures.
Jose A. Cortes-Concepcion, Ph.D.