General Question

Smashley's avatar

Lottery kiosks in hospitals, run by volunteers: is this normal?

Asked by Smashley (12442points) December 29th, 2023

I’d never seen anything like it, but admittedly I’ve never spent much time in a Canadian hospital before. Of course a particularly sad looking person who couldn’t walk was wheeling back and forth between the kiosk and the ATM while I sipped my Tims. Is this exploitation common in Canadian hospitals? Is it an Ontario thing? A free health care thing? What’s the deal with it being staffed by a person with a hospital volunteer tag? I was just so shocked that it seemed so normal to everyone around me.

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15 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Apparently it helps pay for hospital.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s much less onerous than the lottery of US healthcare where it seems the insurance company flips a coin to see if you are covered.

I had to schedule a special test day before yesterday to get in under the deductible wire. Would have cost me $2,500 out of pocket to get the test next week, Wednesday I was only on the hook for $500.

Smashley's avatar

@Tropical_Willie – so… the state, in order to treat illness… encourages a particular illness because it pays the bills? And for clarity, do you know if the Pro-Line, 649 and scratch off tickets and ATM fees the hospital generates actually directly fund that institution?

@zenvelo – arguably comparatively better does not make it a good thing. Are you saying exploitation is the only way a single payer system can work? That’s actually not the answer I’m hoping for. Tell me the poor always get fucked because they have less political agency or something. Don’t tell me it’s just the way she goes.

zenvelo's avatar

@Smashley Chill out, No one has to play the lottery in a Canadian hospital. It’s a somewhat fun way to pass the time. I would take the single payer system any day over the disfunctional and cruel and expensive US health care “system”.

Smashley's avatar

@zenvelo – so it really is in all Canadian hospitals? Do they all use volunteers to staff them? I guess I’m just curious if this form of exploitation is the standard in socialized systems, or is there another method of funding them, besides promoting gambling addiction?

LadyMarissa's avatar

As requested…The poor always get fucked because they have less political agency or something like that!!! ;-]

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Smashley you appear to prefer the US system where the government gives your tax dollars to a private company who then charges you more for healthcare that an untrained intern with no medical expertise has decided isn’t too expensive that will effect their bottom line.


Entropy's avatar

I mean, what difference does it make WHERE the lotto is? Lotteries are particularly abusive forms of gambling where people are tricked into believing it supports education or what have you. it doesn’t. Money is fungible and whatever the lotto brings in, is reduced in terms of money applied via general revenue. It’s the oldest trick in the book.

I’d much rather have gambling be a private sector thing, and keep the public budget more honest.

Smashley's avatar

@Entropy – It just feels like hospital resources, including volunteers, being used by the state to victimize the staff and, in particular, patients, is in some way against the purpose of the institution. The harm it does, coupled with the lowered state of morale and limited access to entertainment or diversion, creates major ethical issues. The people in a hospital seem uniquely vulnerable, and the state is happy to exploit that vulnerability.

@Lightlyseared – you clearly know nothing about my inner thoughts, or the 51 systems that make up the American system. You reflexively deflect when you have nothing to say. Interesting.

smudges's avatar

It’s kind of disgusting, imo. Something about it just doesn’t seem right.

janbb's avatar

@Smashley I understand your discomfort with it. I would not want to see it in a hospital where anxiety levels are high already.

jca2's avatar

As for in the OP, “is this exploitation common in a Canadian hospital?” we would need our Jelly Canadians to weigh in, namely Squeaky and Red Deer Man.

smudges's avatar

^^ I know, I’ve been waiting.

Smashley's avatar

@jca2 – I’m also curious about other perspectives. If it occurs in some states or other countries, I’m interested in that too.

Forever_Free's avatar

How wonderful they are helping their habit.

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