Hey Y’all. I have blogged about the NHS before (you should check it out. I would. I did). So, I thought it was high time to revisit that subject again, since it was threaded within my life timeline a few days ago. The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare system for England. It is the largest and the oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. In short, the healthcare here in the UK is FREE.
On the 2nd day of 2015, I found myself in casualty. No, not the medical drama that is similar to ‘ER’ but rather A&E (Accident and Emergency) also known as the emergency room of the local hospital. Friday night at casualty. Just great.
We arrived by taxi. So far, so good. We registered our details at reception. Plain sailing. Saw a nurse pretty much right away who took some vital statistics which included her asking, ‘Are you allergic to penicillin?’; Followed by ‘Have you ever had mad cow disease?’ Kidding. But she wanted to ask, I could tell. Then 1 hour later, we got seen by another nurse. More vitals taken. ‘Do you like cats?’ she quipped. Kid not. But I had cat hair all over my black jumper (sweater) so it was a fair question. The nurse told me then to wait for the Doctor. I never saw him. I waited 4 hours in the emergency room and witnessed the fragility of life all around me. I was told that the average wait time was 4 hours. I waited 4 hours and 15 minutes. I went home defeated and deflated. To make matters worse, I even stole someone else’s taxi. In times of adversity, its ok to steal someone else’s taxi. I read that somewhere.
So, healthcare is FREE here. Going to the emergency room, hospital or GP cost nothing. Prescriptions are fee. Glasses and contacts are free as are vision and hearing tests. However, if I need a hip operation or another operation I am put on a waiting list until its my turn to get that new titanium hip or whatever else. But if I was pregnant, I would have both a Doctor and a midwife. The midwife will then come to my house before and after the birth. She will continue to come post birth to see how I am getting on. I will most likely make her a cup of tea. The NHS is not perfect. Neither is the US healthcare system, including Obamacare.
A British woman recently gave birth in a US hospital. Her little bambino came 11 weeks early when she was on holiday in the US. Her hospital bill was 130K. Wow. That poor Mum has to pay her hospital bill instead of send her kid to college. Long live the NHS. For real.