My wife and I met in Colorado in 1976. She is Canadian by birth and in the mid-80's we decided to relocate to Canada. She arrived before me to get an apartment and look for work. I stayed in Colorado until my immigration papers came through, then I followed her to Canada. While driving to the border, I developed a nasty and persistent cough. I'd never experienced anything like it before or since. On arriving at my Canadian destination, my wife arranged for me to be seen on an expedited basis by a family physician she had obtained. Since I was new to the city, my wife drove me to the appointment and accompanied me. The doctor, a pleasant fellow, examined me, diagnosed a bacterial infection and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. At the conclusion of the appointment, I thought I would do the polite thing and ask the doctor how much I owed for the visit. It was apparent that my question caught him by surprise. He and my wife exchanged a humored look. "Don't worry about it", he said. Until that moment I had not truly understood one of the greatest things about the country I had come to. The provincial health care system meant that I didn't have to pay to see a doctor if I became sick. Welcome to Canada! Since my arrival, I have benefited enormously from the health care system. About 15 years ago, I developed arrhythmia (a heart condition) which eventually led to two short hospital stays for radio frequency ablation procedures. Thankfully, I now have a normal heart rhythm due to these procedures. I also have a wonderful family physician who I see on a regular basis for my slightly elevated cholesterol and mild thyroid problem. All of this has been fully covered by my provincial health plan.