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manning
02-12-2009, 02:41 AM
We in america are debating on how health care should be handled. Some want universal health care, some don't.

Please give your insight on how your system works and how well it works.

Thank you very much.

higgy66
02-12-2009, 03:54 AM
This is such a hard answer to give as each region within the UK offers a different service.

Where I live it's excellent.

If I need to see a GP today I phone the Dr's and get an appointment. If it's not so urgent I can go online and then choose an appointment (within the next 2 weeks) with the GP of my choice at a time to suit me.

If my GP says I need to see a specialist then this is usually arranged within 6 weeks and then after that you're within the hospital system.

This is where the levels of service vary greatly. So far in my experience I've never had to wait long for treatment and any treatment I or my family have received has been excellent.

HOWEVER, you will get lots of replies on here that will contradict that and I appreciate how lucky we are living in the catchment area I do. I would not actually move anywhere which meant I would have to change Dr's as i'm so happy with the service we receive.

I know the NHS takes lots of knocks but I still think it's a great service that is provided free of charge. I just wish that they would use the lottery funding to plough money back into it so that everyone could receive excellent treatment and as soon as it is required.

emily1982
02-12-2009, 04:10 AM
As the previous poster said it really is a postcode lottery. My doctors is a big practice with over 13 doctors, although i have a named doctor i don't think i've ever met him. I can phone for an appointment and it varies whether i can get one or not, (they don't let you book more than 48 hours in advance).
I've just had an operation and luckily we had private healthcare, otherwise i would probably still be waiting for the operation. It does cost and i see the same surgeon as i would if it was NHS, it's just at a private hospital and had the op quicker.
We still pay presciption charges on the NHS, which at the moment is about $12 per item, but if i drove an hour away to Wales it would be free, so it's where you live.
I feel we are lucky over here to have the NHS, but i don't think it is run aswell as it could. But then it is nice to know, if we needed an ambulance and emergency hospital treatment we wouldn't have to think about payment.

buzz for boys
02-12-2009, 06:50 AM
My experience of the NHS has always been fantastic. I have a large drs practice where we only see our dedicated dr and ours is fantastic. Our local hospital is fantastic and we have never waited more than 6 weks for an op that we have been refered for.
The treatment that my ds has had for cancer at the childrens hospital is econd to none we have even had a dr come in who had retired when my ds needed to see a consultant urgently and his replacement was in a seminar miles away. :worship:
Whenever we need a dr we can get in on the day and one phonecall to the childrens hosp is all we need for ds to be seen and again thats usually that day.
I personally am so glad wwe have an NHS because we would hav had to fundraise to save my sons life otherwie as private healthcar is far too expensive for us.
Again though I do recognise that other areas do not goet the same excellent service as we do.

jen_uk
02-12-2009, 08:49 AM
At my doctors if it is not an emergency the average wait to see a doctor is 10-14 days which I think is really poor. The local hospitals are dirty and horrible, when I was in one a few years ago I begged to go home as they were so vile.

carolfoy
02-12-2009, 09:28 AM
my healthcare is fantastic, I can see any doctor thats available if an emergency, if I want my appointed doc then I can see him usually within a couple of days. I get free physio, 3 health checks a year which include blood, water and adrenalin tests, I get results within two weeks. also free contraception, free well- woman checks (smears etc).
we all pay national insurance contributions for this, you can choose private healthcare if you want, at a cost, and if you are scheduled for an operation you can choose to go on a waiting list for a free op or pay for private.
prescriptions are £7.10 per item, but you can get a pre payment certificate if you aren't entitled to free (claiming benefits or pregnant etc) and get regular prescriptions.
my only drawback is that the nearest hospital to me is around an hours drive and a hazardous route in bad weather, apart from that I do believe we have the best health care system in the world.

manning
02-12-2009, 09:59 AM
I've just had an operation and luckily we had private healthcare, otherwise i would probably still be waiting for the operation. It does cost and i see the same surgeon as i would if it was NHS, it's just at a private hospital and had the op quicker.
.


This is confusing me. One argument here is that private insurance would not be needed. The idea is to have it all under one system.

scottish mum
02-12-2009, 10:05 AM
I'm in scotland and my healthcare is good. If its an emergency I can be seen almost straight away or my doctor will come to the house. As for just a regular appointment you can usually get an appointment the same day with any doctor or if you want a particular doctor you may have to wait for a couple of days. Our prescription charges are just £5 although all children and senior citizens ones are free. We also get free eye test.
The NHS is really good as no matter how much money you have, or don't have, you still get the same healthcare with no worries of how you are going to pay for it.

higgy66
02-12-2009, 10:10 AM
This is confusing me. One argument here is that private insurance would not be needed. The idea is to have it all under one system.

The NHS is free to everyone but some people who have the cash are offered the chance to "opt" out and pay for treatment in which case they go private.

In an ideal world the NHS would have so much cash that there wouldn't be a private system as everyone would be happy with the service and speed at which they are seen.

You will never do away with Private healthcare as you miust always give someone the option of how they are treated. Just like other things in life - e.g we can all travel on the same plane but some people choose to travel first class. That's just how life is!

wideeyes
02-12-2009, 10:10 AM
My local doctors is good. I usually get an appointment the next day and for a child they will see them same day. My gp also sent out meds to my house when I was to ill to go and collect them. My vast experience with hospitals is mixed, they can be short staffed so you don't always get the best care and support.

CustardTart
02-12-2009, 10:13 AM
Private insurance isn't needed in the UK but it's always an option. We have private health insurance provided by my DH's employer and it has been a godsend for dealing with certain health issues that have required swift resolution but aren't prioritised by the NHS. One health problem my DH had was resolved within 3 months privately whereas the NHS were taking approximately 2 years to refer similar cases for surgery... :confused3 I also had a health problem that the NHS in my local area didn't feel was serious so I opted to pay for a private operation to improve my quality of life...

However, on a day-to-day basis we use the NHS and see a local GP (general practitioner) for minor healthcare issues...

Dimplenose
02-12-2009, 10:19 AM
This is confusing me. One argument here is that private insurance would not be needed. The idea is to have it all under one system.


Private health care isn't essential here but it can give you choices that you won't otherwise have.

The NHS isn't free as we pay for it through our taxes and national insurance payments but apart from presriptions there's no payment to use it.

To keep the NHS cost effective the majority of hospital beds/ operating theatres etc. have to be planned to be in use all the time. This makes it difficult to cope with emergencies. For example my Nan broke her hip and needed a hip replacement immediately which she had (without extra charge), but the person already scheduled to have a non-emergency operation that day would have had theirs moved to another day (it's not uncommon for scheduled operations to be cancelled at very short notice.)

My son needed grommits when he was younger and as DH has private health insurance with his job we were able to choose when and where he had the operation.

I think the the NHS is great in an emergency but not always for routine matters.

P.S. Dental care and opticians tend to be private these days unless you are entitled to totally free care you are expected to pay.

orlandothebeagle
02-12-2009, 10:19 AM
Lynne gets on her soap box

What really bugs me is how some people are NEVER away from the doctor, snif, away to the doctor, sore neck, away to the doca, sticky eye away to the docs, now this is from personal experiance, what more it is the folks that dont work that have time to do this, I was meant to get a hrnia op on the nhs and it did not happen as it did not bother me enough,arrgghhh, so I had to pay bupa, pathetic, never been to the docs for years and they wouldnt fix me, cheesed me off completly. Personaly I think if you can work the nhs, ie know how to get apps etc you are laughing, my dh had a few nose bleeds, it is ALWAYS more than a week before we can get an appt However my SIL I reckon books an app before she leaves just in case.

Did you ever watch bread?

Ah, of my soap box.

orlandothebeagle
02-12-2009, 10:22 AM
I'm in scotland and my healthcare is good. If its an emergency I can be seen almost straight away or my doctor will come to the house. As for just a regular appointment you can usually get an appointment the same day with any doctor or if you want a particular doctor you may have to wait for a couple of days. Our prescription charges are just £5 although all children and senior citizens ones are free. We also get free eye test.
The NHS is really good as no matter how much money you have, or don't have, you still get the same healthcare with no worries of how you are going to pay for it.

You dont live in Kelty then thats for sure, it must vary hugely, sometimes it is 10 days, i am not joking! I say I will be dead or cured by then so dont bother.
That is another thing, my sil picks up prescription for everything under the sun then doesnt use them because in my op and hers obviously they did not need them, but she gets them free.

PoppyAnna
02-12-2009, 10:36 AM
Private insurance isn't needed in the UK but it's always an option. We have private health insurance provided by my DH's employer and it has been a godsend for dealing with certain health issues that have required swift resolution but aren't prioritised by the NHS.


However, on a day-to-day basis we use the NHS and see a local GP (general practitioner) for minor healthcare issues...

This is the same as us. When DH was self employed and we didn't have private cover we also paid on an adhoc basis for some Heamatology tests to be rushed through when I was pregnant.

We have a wonderful GP surgery, they always see the children the same day and I've never waited more than 24hours for an appointment.

I think the issues arise when health care is needed on an elective basis, generally the emergency services and operations are run well, it's when waiting lists complicate things that the NHS let down it's clients. I also think outpatient services could always be improved.

My DD is having a Tonsiloctomy at a local private hospital on Monday as the waiting list for this on the NHS is months and months, she is suffering so regularly with it this winter that we want it resolved quickly, if we use private healthcare we can choose a day during school holiday thus minimising her time off school too.

orlandothebeagle
02-12-2009, 10:49 AM
This is the same as us. When DH was self employed and we didn't have private cover we also paid on an adhoc basis for some Heamatology tests to be rushed through when I was pregnant.

We have a wonderful GP surgery, they always see the children the same day and I've never waited more than 24hours for an appointment.

I think the issues arise when health care is needed on an elective basis, generally the emergency services and operations are run well, it's when waiting lists complicate things that the NHS let down it's clients. I also think outpatient services could always be improved.

My DD is having a Tonsiloctomy at a local private hospital on Monday as the waiting list for this on the NHS is months and months, she is suffering so regularly with it this winter that we want it resolved quickly, if we use private healthcare we can choose a day during school holiday thus minimising her time off school too.

I hope your daughters ok, I never had it done til I was 25,the best thing I ever done!Every time I get the cold I thank god that I have no longer have tonsils

manning
02-12-2009, 11:15 AM
[QUOTE=scottish mum;30247547]I'm in scotland and my healthcare is good. If its an emergency I can be seen almost straight away or my doctor will come to the house. QUOTE]

That's surprising to hear. House calls here have gone the way of the horse drawn carriage. It is either go to the doctor or emergency room.

wideeyes
02-12-2009, 11:59 AM
I don't think house calls are that common anymore, I know here the doctors don't do them as much and will say go to a drop in centre if it is an emergency. They does seem to be an increase of drop in centres in south manchester lately.

emily1982
02-12-2009, 12:03 PM
This is confusing me. One argument here is that private insurance would not be needed. The idea is to have it all under one system.

Alot of companies now offer free private healthcare for their staff, my moms being one of them. So when i got ill we used this as we got referred quicker. I went in and was seen and my operation was within a few weeks.

Private healthcare is availble to people who want it, but if its a normal doctors appointment obviously i would just use the NHS. It just covers you for the bigger things.

scottish mum
02-12-2009, 12:06 PM
I don't think house calls are that common anymore, I know here the doctors don't do them as much and will say go to a drop in centre if it is an emergency. They does seem to be an increase of drop in centres in south manchester lately.

I think because where I live is so remote we do get house calls as our nearest a&e is 50 miles away and I'm not sure if there is a drop in centre there or not but there is certainly none any nearer.

florida sun
02-12-2009, 01:03 PM
Here in Wales its slighty different, with regards to prescriptions as we dont pay for prescriptions at all, but Im still a firm believer if you get something for free then you are paying for it in other ways, be that less money spent on education, rubbish collections etc etc. I also have free private healthcare with my firm, but again its not entirly free as Im taxed on it yearly through my salary, and we also have to pay an acess of £250 before any treatment through Bupa can begin, so I have never yet used it.

With regards my doctors, I can phone at 8.30am any morning and get an emergency appt that day with any Dr that is on, if I want to book an appt with my own GP then that can take upto 10 days.

It took just 6 weeks to get referred to see a consultant with regards my heart issues as I wasnt consisdered an immediate risk, so I thought that was really good, and when ,mum was diagonised with Breast Cancer, she was seen, consulted, and operated on all in a matter of 2 weeks. With brilliant follow up care.

On the other hand I fell down the stairs the other week, went to A&E, had to wait over 5 hours to be seen in a freezing cold hospital, but I know that it could have been much worse as a friend of mine was there the night before and waited 12 hours, so I guess, its some good and some bad but in my opinion our healthcare is not bad at all.:)

manning
02-12-2009, 02:56 PM
one thing that is being tossed around is something like a means test in regard to age,

The idea is to take the cost of a procedure and divide that by your age. This gives you a score. If you are within the perameter of your age you got the procedure. If not you don't get the treatment. The older you get the less likely you will get treated. This would be for major procedures. As it is now if you have the money or insurance you are covered and will get the procedure.

The elderly are concerned about this. They see this as age related rationing.

Is this the case there??

PoppyAnna
02-12-2009, 02:58 PM
I hope your daughters ok, I never had it done til I was 25,the best thing I ever done!Every time I get the cold I thank god that I have no longer have tonsils

Thank you. She's only five and although I feel sick to my stomach thinking about Monday I know it's ultimately for the best.

wishspirit
02-12-2009, 03:20 PM
Private insurance isn't needed in the UK but it's always an option. We have private health insurance provided by my DH's employer and it has been a godsend for dealing with certain health issues that have required swift resolution but aren't prioritised by the NHS. One health problem my DH had was resolved within 3 months privately whereas the NHS were taking approximately 2 years to refer similar cases for surgery... :confused3

We had something similar, when my sister was younger was hospitalised with (at that time an) undiagnosed illness. The hospital figured it out to be Crohn's Disease, dealing with the blood work etc, and were mostly very good, except some medication mix ups and not giving her strong enough anti-nausia meds. At that time my dad was in a job which had health insurance, so she went to a private specialist to deal with it so she could jump the queue and choose her specialist, since my dad has left that job, and only has personal private healthcare, but she has transfered onto his NHS list, and gets to keep the same doctor!

one thing that is being tossed around is something like a means test in regard to age,

The idea is to take the cost of a procedure and divide that by your age. This gives you a score. If you are within the perameter of your age you got the procedure. If not you don't get the treatment. The older you get the less likely you will get treated. This would be for major procedures. As it is now if you have the money or insurance you are covered and will get the procedure.

The elderly are concerned about this. They see this as age related rationing.

Is this the case there??

To my knowledge it really isn't! Britain works on a basis of those who need it most go first (especially in A&E or emergency opperations), then its first come first served on each tier of need. Elderly people are given treatment if it is deemed worthy (and in some areas, cost efficient). They give treatment to people who need it, regardless of age.

My GP service is pretty good, they usually get me seen in 2 or 3 days if I ask for my GP, however if i am picky about seeing a female doctor (and i can be sometimes!) it can be a bit longer. My university one, however, is dreadful. It works on a good idea, which is a drop in service each morning then appointments in the afternoon, first come first served. However some days I have seen it so busy they have started turning people away at 10.30, or else the nurses couldn't finish for 12.30. Appointments can take days to get, and they make EVERYONE see a nurse first before they will refer you to the doctor. I have spent over 2 hours sitting in that waiting room waiting to be seen for the Doctor to then GOOGLE my symptoms!!! However if it is serious, they refer you straight to the Hospital.

tennisfan
02-12-2009, 03:36 PM
Can't fault my local hospital, if it wasn't for them I would probably be still waiting to see a specialist about my knee.

My GP on the other hand I can't say the same, it is now a locum as my GP is more bothered about running his nursing homes & private work. We are lucky to have got a locum who will work for him as I remember the old practice nurse telling us he has a bad reputation.

I don't rate the locum either, he has had the wrong notes before & last time I went he had a load of medical files lying on the couch & desk for anyone to read.

the problem we have is that it is a one doctor surgery, it is hard to get an appointment. they don't do house calls but also criticise people for going to the emergency doctor by putting up letters in the surgery saying to not use it unless its an emergency. The thing is the emergency service will only give out appointments if its an emergency.

I have to say the NHS is a good thing, it would be even better were it not for the long waiting lists. I can't complain really as for both my surgeries I have only had to wait 6 weeks max.

I would love to change surgeries but all of them have closed their books & not taking on new patients.

oceanscape
02-12-2009, 05:35 PM
I'm not a fan. We have private medical insurance and, personally speaking, I wouldn't step foot in many of the NHS hospitals here. My sister in law had a routine operation a couple of years ago at an NHS hospital and came out with MRSA. She was lucky to live; it was very serious.

The private hospitals seem so much cleaner and well managed. The doctors aren't rushed off their feet and actually bother to spend time with you. Having your own room and bathroom is so much nicer and more hygienic, too.

The NHS costs millions and millions yet, in my opinion, it is poorly run and a haven of inefficiency.

manning
02-12-2009, 07:52 PM
I'm not a fan. We have private medical insurance and, personally speaking, I wouldn't step foot in many of the NHS hospitals here. My sister in law had a routine operation a couple of years ago at an NHS hospital and came out with MRSA. She was lucky to live; it was very serious.

The private hospitals seem so much cleaner and well managed. The doctors aren't rushed off their feet and actually bother to spend time with you. Having your own room and bathroom is so much nicer and more hygienic, too.

The NHS costs millions and millions yet, in my opinion, it is poorly run and a haven of inefficiency.

I didn't catch this at first. Are there two systems, the NHS and private? How does that work?

Can you give some perspective how I would have fared if I was there. I am in my 60s now. Over ten years ago I went to the hospital on a saturday due to bleeding and was diagnosed with colon cancer and had my operation the following wednesday.

Under your system would I have the had the same swift results or would I have had to wait. This is one question that is being asked.

oceanscape
02-13-2009, 03:10 AM
I didn't catch this at first. Are there two systems, the NHS and private? How does that work?

Can you give some perspective how I would have fared if I was there. I am in my 60s now. Over ten years ago I went to the hospital on a saturday due to bleeding and was diagnosed with colon cancer and had my operation the following wednesday.

Under your system would I have the had the same swift results or would I have had to wait. This is one question that is being asked.
Yes, there are private hospitals and government-run (National Health Service) hospitals. NHS hospitals are open to all, without charge. They are funded through our taxation system - don't forget that we pay considerably higher taxes than you do in the USA (example: our sales tax was 17.5% and has just been reduced to 15% - still much higher than the equivalent taxes in the US).

People with private medical insurance can elect to be treated in a private hospital instead, OR, those without private medical insurance can choose to pay for private treatment (very expensive) if the NHS waiting list is very long or if they are unhappy with the idea of being treated in their local NHS hospital.

There is no easy answer to your question. It completely depends on a number of factors - some NHS hospitals are much faster than others. If it was a medical emergency that was critical that it was fixed, then I don't doubt that you would have received the same swift results under the NHS system here. The long waiting lists generally apply to non-emergency procedures. It's the lack of cleanliness and a decent standard of care that is my issue, not how long you have to wait if you are in critical need of an operation.

tennisfan
02-13-2009, 03:54 AM
One good thing about the NHS in the past few months is you can now choose what hospital you want treatment from, i'm not talking emergencies.

Dr_Finkelstein
02-13-2009, 06:25 AM
I didn't catch this at first. Are there two systems, the NHS and private? How does that work?

Can you give some perspective how I would have fared if I was there. I am in my 60s now. Over ten years ago I went to the hospital on a saturday due to bleeding and was diagnosed with colon cancer and had my operation the following wednesday.

Under your system would I have the had the same swift results or would I have had to wait. This is one question that is being asked.

Yes there are private hospitals, but they generally only treat elective/straightforward cases.ie., hip replacements/investigations etc.

They do not take emergency admissions - ie., you break your leg/have a heart attack/stroke - you go to the NHS hospital.

My MIL was getting treated on the NHS for leg ulcers, my SIL investigated transferring her to private healthcare and paying for it (she is a high flying banker). The private health company didn't want to know. They only tend to treat if it is straightforward and has a definate 'cure'. Something like a leg ulcer is too costly and the treatment drags on. BTW, she stayed with the NHS and is now almost healed.

Working in the NHS we often had patients transferred from private hospitals to our NHS unit for treatment as they can't always deal with more complex cases.

BTW, private hospitals also have cases of MRSA - they just don't like to publicise it!

di x

tennisfan
02-13-2009, 08:38 AM
Also regarding the NHS you always hear the bad news, never the good. An example of this is a local hospital got named & shamed recently over a case. the next news story was some parents praising a hospital over treatment but the hospital wasn't named:confused3

Booknut
02-13-2009, 08:40 AM
I have lived here in the UK for 13 years (i'm from Western Canada) in various places in London, Surrey and Wiltshire and it definitely is a postcode lottery as to the type of treatment you will receive. My big beef with the NHS is the inequality in the country. If we all pay the same for it then we should all have the same access to it. It's very poorly run and very top heavy. And sadly I have had better NHS treatment in the better areas that i've lived than the less affluent ones. It's just a fact.

Where I live now is excellent, my GP surgery has over 10 doctors on a rota, if you turn up between 9am and 10am you can see a doctor urgently without an appointment each day, they have late surgeries 2 days a week until 8pm and they work saturday mornings too. When I was pregnant the midwife care I got was excellent. I was a high risk pregnancy so I had to see a gyn/ob at the hospital, again no waits. When I got carpel tunnel in pregnancy I was referred to a physio at the hospital the same day for splints. All on the NHS.

The only negative i've experienced on the NHS so far has been post-natal care at the hospital. Not enough midwives, nurses, doctors etc, it was like Bedlam and was the reason I asked to be discharged 12 hours after giving birth - it was just better at home really. Once at home though I had a health visitor come see me every day for a week to see how I was doing, I could ask her questions etc so that was great and none of my friends in Canada had anything like that after they had their babies.

I'd love to say the private hospitals are the same as the NHS ones but i'd be lying ;) The London Bridge Hospital is like a hotel compared to St. George's (where I gave birth). It was more comfortable, luxurious, I wasn't in a hurry to go home! :lmao:

Was the care any better though? A little bit as they have more staff. But not a huge difference though.

Re your colon cancer, in my area you would have been seen to the same week but we have a specialist cancer unit. My neighbour was just diagnosed with cancer and he was operated on the same week and he's in his early 60s.

hildasmuriel
02-13-2009, 12:00 PM
I can't speak highly enough of the NHS. When I read on the US board of people having to visit the finance department of some ER rooms BEFORE they have treatment I am aghast! (recent thread on the community board).

My sister collapsed at work 4 weeks ago and was taken by ambulance to the ER. She has thrombocytopenia - dangerously low blood platelets - and has been in hospital ever since. This week she had her spleen removed and had to spend a day in the high dependancy unit. She is back on the ward now,although still on a morphine drip. She will be in hospital for some time. This has been a very worrying time for our family, obviously, but we have NEVER had to consider the cost of this treatment or worry that she and her husband will be paying it back for years to come.
I remember saying something similar when my elderly Dad fell and broke his hip this time last year. (Seems January is not a lucky time for my family :confused3 )

thelittlemermaid83
02-13-2009, 02:14 PM
My health care is fantastic.

At my GP's if you need a appointment that day you ring up at 8am, if its not so urgent you can book one for the following week. I am very lucky that i always see my own GP, not a locum etc that maybe working at the doctors surgery. I have a great relationship with my GP and i know i can tell him anything etc.

I'm not one to be negative about the NHS in my area as i have always been treated well and never had to wait long for anything if there is a waiting list involved. Except i did have to wait 18 months for counselling when i really needed it sooner.

manning
02-13-2009, 03:17 PM
Thank you for your insights. It is much appreciated. It looks like we may be in for some changes and you know the unknown can be unsettling.

paulh
02-13-2009, 05:09 PM
i can only give you my own experiance, after my brouther had a problem with his eyes 9 years ago ,i was asked buy his hospital to be seen,to look for a genitic marker,it was found i had a rare eye problem(pigmentaticion dispersion sindrome)a form of glocoma(apolojys for spelling).
Am seen every 12 months to have a check up
While having an eye check up at opticions 2 years ago,he found it hard to prescribe glasses so referd me to hospital,which was a couple of weeks later.It was found that i had cataracts in both eyes.that was on the tuesday on the folowing monday i had the first eye done and the second one 6 weeks later (standared lenght inbetwen even in the states).Have had secondary cataracts since and this was sorted out within weeks
Last year after lossing weight (3 stone= 42lbs) in 6 months,which didnt bother me but the numbnes in my fingers bothered the wife.i mad an appointment to see doctor,as i thought it wasnt seriours had to wait for 2 weeks for one that suited me due to work
Whent doctors explained everything,she asked me to return in 2 days for bloods then phone in 10 days for results.atfer bloods taken 2 days later they phoned me to come in ASP which i did,told overactive thyriod.Was greferd to hospital and was seen within 6weeks,would have been sooner but i had a 3 week hoiliday with mickey to go to.
Only thing i have paid for is prescriptions,but the way it looks and they take out the thryiod they would be free for the rest of my life
if i wanted an apointment sooner i could have but i thought all my condictions at the time were not serious
Paulh

orlandothebeagle
02-13-2009, 05:21 PM
i can only give you my own experiance, after my brouther had a problem with his eyes 9 years ago ,i was asked buy his hospital to be seen,to look for a genitic marker,it was found i had a rare eye problem(pigmentaticion dispersion sindrome)a form of glocoma(apolojys for spelling).
Am seen every 12 months to have a check up
While having an eye check up at opticions 2 years ago,he found it hard to prescribe glasses so referd me to hospital,which was a couple of weeks later.It was found that i had cataracts in both eyes.that was on the tuesday on the folowing monday i had the first eye done and the second one 6 weeks later (standared lenght inbetwen even in the states).Have had secondary cataracts since and this was sorted out within weeks
Last year after lossing weight (3 stone= 42lbs) in 6 months,which didnt bother me but the numbnes in my fingers bothered the wife.i mad an appointment to see doctor,as i thought it wasnt seriours had to wait for 2 weeks for one that suited me due to work
Whent doctors explained everything,she asked me to return in 2 days for bloods then phone in 10 days for results.atfer bloods taken 2 days later they phoned me to come in ASP which i did,told overactive thyriod.Was greferd to hospital and was seen within 6weeks,would have been sooner but i had a 3 week hoiliday with mickey to go to.
Only thing i have paid for is prescriptions,but the way it looks and they take out the thryiod they would be free for the rest of my life
if i wanted an apointment sooner i could have but i thought all my condictions at the time were not serious
Paulh

That certainly sounds like great treatment but ofcourse it is not free you have been paying NI.

I work in a vets and people expect a huge level of treatment, they compare it to the nhs, which makes me laugh as all emergencys are seen as soon as they arrive etc, but also they say, what how much?? It is free on the nhs and you charge bla bla for a blood sample, I feel like screaming, maybe you dont pay but I pay a large wedge of money of my wages every month as most folk do.

It is very interseting reading this, tX does seem to vary hugely depending on where folks live.

I am glad you are all well and fixed out Paul.:goodvibes

paulh
02-13-2009, 05:26 PM
That certainly sounds like great treatment but ofcourse it is not free you have been paying NI.


I am glad you are all well and fixed out Paul.:goodvibes

Sure i read once that the tax take in the uk is around 42% of income,this would be bases on income tax,national insurance and tax on what we buy,and conuncil tax.and it is around the same amount in the states.
Still not quite fixed yet but getting there,after reading this that i am glad Mr Bevin set it up all those years ago
Paulh

oceanscape
02-13-2009, 05:59 PM
.and it is around the same amount in the states.
Um, not sure where you got that from but it's not correct. We're taxed significantly more than residents in the USA.

catherine
02-14-2009, 04:15 AM
I didn't catch this at first. Are there two systems, the NHS and private? How does that work?

Can you give some perspective how I would have fared if I was there. I am in my 60s now. Over ten years ago I went to the hospital on a saturday due to bleeding and was diagnosed with colon cancer and had my operation the following wednesday.

Under your system would I have the had the same swift results or would I have had to wait. This is one question that is being asked.

I'm an Endoscopy nurse so I can answer your question as far as the treatment you would've received in the hospital I work in and the surrounding hospitals. If a patient is admitted into the hospital with this type of bleeding they are sent to us for an emergency Colonoscopy. If they are query colon or rectal cancer they are referred to the specialist colorectal nurses, who then receive all the results from bloodwork, biopsies ets., arrange for the patient to have a scan etc. The allocated nurse also acts as the patients point of contact. When all the information is collated the patient is then seen by the specialist nurse and the specialist to talk with them about treatment. Most patients opt to have surgery, but not all do. If the patient opts for surgey then it is a priority and if the patient is fit enough will be done within a couple of days.

As far as the NHS is concerned my family and I have had excellent treatment. In fact in some cases we've had much better treatment than we would've had in CA. Yes, there are some areas where the hospitals are not up to scratch, but there are also areas in CA where they have the same type of problems. A friend of ours went to the emergency room for treatment and he had to wait 20 hours to be seen!!! I can't inagine the uproar there would've been in this country if this had been allowed to happen!

As far as our GP is concerned we've never had a problem getting an appointment, even if I've needed one on the same day that I've phoned. If one of us has needed to be referred to a specialist it has been taken care of right away. I can honestly say that we've never had a problem.

One of my DDs has had some health issues and had to be hospitalised for several months. There were many times that I sat there wondering what we would do if we were living in the States and had to pay for the healthcare that she was receiving. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to know that your child is ill and have to decide whether you can afford to take them for medical care! :sad2: I really hope that President Obama can make a positive difference to the way healthcare is managed over there because it seems that what you have now is not working for a lot of people!

paulh
02-14-2009, 08:58 AM
Um, not sure where you got that from but it's not correct. We're taxed significantly more than residents in the USA.

in 2007 usa 40.% of gdp was taken as tax.in uk 38% was taken as tax.i stated as a hole on all taxes.in the usa 18% of gdp on health care uk 8% of gdp on health care,so if they didnt declare independance they would be paying less tax.funney that the boston tea party was about paying tax to the uk
Paulh

Lizzybear
02-14-2009, 02:10 PM
I haven't had vast experience of the NHS (very very rarely go to the doctors, never had a serious health issue that needed attention) but it does seem to vary an awful lot going by the experiences of others I know.. My mum recently had a knee replacement and it was done in a brand new centre which was definitely as good as any private hospital (in fact I think they do private ops there aswell) but for another issue to do with her foot she basically has to wait for it to get worse before they'll do anything for her on the NHS, since it's not life-threatening, and it's already causing her a lot of pain now so my parents are seriously considering having it treated privately as it could be done almost immediately. Despite it's flaws though, i'm glad that we have it as the alternative is a little frightening.. I know my mum wouldn't be able to get medical insurance in the US without paying astronomical premiums for having pre-existing conditions.

orlandothebeagle
02-14-2009, 02:42 PM
I just cant get over all those posts that say they get a docs app the same day no probs, I think I am going to get tough with my docs, It doesnt seem right that I have to wait a week at least.
Not that I mind others having a gd service obviously but is is just bugging that there is such a differance.

Tinkerbelle32
02-14-2009, 03:00 PM
I live in the states and feel that we have excellent health care. There will never be a end all be all fix to any problem that will accomadate every person in our country, and that includes healthcare. I for one would rather keep things the way they are , than to have my taxes raised dramatically (sales tax, etc.) I've never had to visit any type of finance office due to an illness or emergency. I'm afraid that if Obama changes things around, we will be the ones waiting 6 weeks for surgeries, counseling, etc.

mushumadness
02-14-2009, 03:09 PM
my local doctors surgery is rubbish, you call for an appointment and its 7 days even an emergency one!

they even turned away my 3 month old and I didnt think they were meant to say no to babys (thankfully I took him to a&e and it turned out to be an allergy)

Think our waiting lists are a joke though!, I was put on the waiting list for a scan concerning pcos, got told its nine months lol have now paid and its Monday!

cant fault the local labour ward though, they were great during labour. the after care was rubbish on the ward

I would prefer to go private at least I know its good fast care.

poppyolivia
02-16-2009, 07:15 AM
I cannot and will not ever complain about the treatment we get here in Scotland, at the end of the day we are damn lucky to have the NHS.
Where I live if you need a doctors appointment (emergency) then you get it that day, mind you I'm never there but I had to take my son in January as he was pretty bad and they could not have done enough.
I'm also getting orthodontic treatment quoted between 2k-3k for free, I really am so happy with the NHS...
I don't take it for granted and seriously do count my lucky stars!

ps my husband works full time and so did I but stay at home now with the children.

Aardvarks
02-20-2009, 04:10 AM
The NHS is not in an open market so there is no need to reduce costs or improve services.

If you live in an area with go ahead Practice based Commissioning groups, then you may get the services locally that you need.

However, you may be in a jobsworth, I've hit my 1000 points Quality Outcome Framework points level, therefore I dont need to improve.

The NHS is in reality a sickness service and not a health service.

We have a great local nurse lead trauma/ minor injuries clinic which runs from 7.am until 11pm each day.

However, in my area, if you have to work for a living, there is no access to a GP outside of office hours. No weekend surgeries.

For me, a visist to a GP or nurse for blood tests or other advice/tests to keep me healthy means I have to take a day off work at a cost of £150. Some of us working in the new UK ecomic climate work for agencies that do not pay out for sick leave until day 3 off sick.

Bring on the new Darzi centres I say, It will give people like me who have to work long hours the opportunity to actually see a health care professional.

I appreciate that there are people who get lots of great free support from the NHS, but sadly it is the people who work flat out that are disadvantaged.

Also, give a thought to the poor people who need expensive treatment for advanced or metaststic cancer and who live in an area where the local PCT refuses to fund treatment. There options are to pay for the cost of treatment themselves or move to a region that will fund such treatment.

Too many inequalities in the NHS for it to be seen as gold standard

Goodlife
02-21-2009, 08:32 PM
[QUOTE=hildasmuriel;30268080]I can't speak highly enough of the NHS. When I read on the US board of people having to visit the finance department of some ER rooms BEFORE they have treatment I am aghast! (recent thread on the community board).

In defense of the US health system, not every person has to visit the finance dept first. In my experience, in a true emergency it has always been treatment first then payment issues on the way out. We have some people who use the ER as a primary care service, which is not what they are designed for.

My GP will see me the same day or will make advance appointments. My son's doctor detected a heart murmur when he was about 2, on a routine visit, and within 2 hours we were in front of a pediatric heart specialist. Same thing when he was about 6 months old, she didn't like the way his head was growing and within a couple of hours we were in front of the specialist. (The same doctor who separated the Eqyptian twin boys).

I can't complain. I do have insurance, which I choose the level I want. I can pay more or less. My federal income taxes do not pay for it. I am in the
30-35 percent tax bracket. I really don't want to pay more to the tax man because the tax man does not allocate it the way I would. If we have to, we make changes in our budget to get the insurance coverage we want. Most families we know do this. That being said, for those families without insurance they have access to the same healthcare, sometimes they have to work out a payment plan. And if they say, "I can pay $10 a week" the healthcare provider has to say "ok". That is why you see pregnant Mexican women crossing the border to have their babies in America. They cannot be refused medical care, and if they have to pay something it is usually very little.

I think sometimes the US healthcare system is seen as unfair, unjust, etc and
I just have not seen much of it.

hildasmuriel
02-22-2009, 05:02 AM
i think it would be difficult to introduce universal health care anywhere now. You have to get everybody who is in the middle or upper income bracket to accept that they will be paying for poorer peoples' health care. Too many people do not like this idea. For example, I often read on the US community boards that people are fed up with people who receive Medi Care Aid thing (sorry don't know exact terminology).

In the UK we are used to this concept - having had the NHS for more than 60 years. I know my taxes pay for my elderly Dad's care, or the unemployed man down the road, or ...yes, even the illegal immigrant. But I am fine with that.

As a side note - a thread on the US board last year started by one person concerned their child who had pushed over another child at a playground (or similar) and the other child sustained injuries needing hospital treatment. (It was young children - not criminal act or anything). The advice to this woman included the fact that she would probably find this family would claim this cost against her medical insurance. See to this Brit, that sounds so complex and confrontational. Here - something happens - you go get it fixed. No forms, no claims, no pre-pay, no excess, no phone calls to see if it is covered - just straight on to the medical. When you're patched up - you go home - no more forms etc....and certainly no worries that you now have a pre-existing condition which may cause difficulties being treated in the future.
If I want to apply for a new job I don't have to worry about what the medical package is like, or be concerned about leaving my present scheme.

To me, at least, it's all good.

Aardvarks
02-22-2009, 05:54 AM
There are three of us here who work full time and pay out a fortune in Tax , national insurance etc etc.

We are probably the second highest taxed nation on earth ( I think Norway has the edge)

What we get is a basic, no choice sickness service with average standards.

For example.

It took three visits to the ER for them to identify a broken arm and a broken leg in a three year old child who had fallen down stairs!!!!

It took two visits to set a broken wrist correctly in a lady of 40 something.

The same lady of 40 soemthing had previously broken a foot in the same year.

Can we get a bone density scan out of the NHS to see if she is developing osteoporosis...........can we carrots.

And if you want physiotherapy, you go at the back of a long waiting list as you are classed as low need, needles to say we pay cash and go private.

If you go to the GP with flu like symptoms and you work in forrestry or complete outdoor activities in these areas, are you offered a test for Lyme disease , my bet would be no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease

However, if you do get an appointment with a GP after taking a day off work to visit them during office hours, they will measure you, weigh you, take your blood pressure and then ask you if you have ever smoked before you even get to discuss what your concern my be.

And then you will be prescribed the cheapest generic medication available, because if you get prescribed the good stuff, your poor GP will get penalised by his local PCT.

If we could stop paying taxes and pay for a private scheme where we had some choice in the level of service that we get, then this would suit us much better.

I have a good friend who is married to a lady from Lithuania. When their child was sick and a visist to the ER room in an English hospital gave them no support, they got on a cheap flight to LIthuania and lo and behold, the child actually needed IV antibiotics as it had a serious infection. They were given copies of all the tests that were carried out together with a list of likley causes, all typed out in english.

Sadly we pay a fortune in tax so that my family and another 20 families that dont pay tax, can have access to a one size fits all sickness service.

I can see how, if you are low income that the UK system looks like nirvana, especially if you are a recent arrived person from abroad with no such state service, but if you need a service that will help you to stay healthy and keep in work and keep paying your taxes and mortage, then I would be for the american system.

Edit, none of us here gets employer private cover, if we go private, we spend our savings

mark&sue
02-22-2009, 06:37 AM
I've often wondered what happens to pregnant ladies in USA as over here you get pre care, the birth and after care (as well as free densist care while pregnant etc) for as many children as you want and at very young age (we have hight teenage pregnancy rates in UK).

How is pregnancy and birth paid for in the states?


Susan

Dr_Finkelstein
02-22-2009, 06:42 AM
There are three of us here who work full time and pay out a fortune in Tax , national insurance etc etc.

We are probably the second highest taxed nation on earth ( I think Norway has the edge)

What we get is a basic, no choice sickness service with average standards.

For example.

It took three visits to the ER for them to identify a broken arm and a broken leg in a three year old child who had fallen down stairs!!!!

It took two visits to set a broken wrist correctly in a lady of 40 something.

The same lady of 40 soemthing had previously broken a foot in the same year.

Can we get a bone density scan out of the NHS to see if she is developing osteoporosis...........can we carrots.

And if you want physiotherapy, you go at the back of a long waiting list as you are classed as low need, needles to say we pay cash and go private.

If you go to the GP with flu like symptoms and you work in forrestry or complete outdoor activities in these areas, are you offered a test for Lyme disease , my bet would be no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease

However, if you do get an appointment with a GP after taking a day off work to visit them during office hours, they will measure you, weigh you, take your blood pressure and then ask you if you have ever smoked before you even get to discuss what your concern my be.

And then you will be prescribed the cheapest generic medication available, because if you get prescribed the good stuff, your poor GP will get penalised by his local PCT.

If we could stop paying taxes and pay for a private scheme where we had some choice in the level of service that we get, then this would suit us much better.

I have a good friend who is married to a lady from Lithuania. When their child was sick and a visist to the ER room in an English hospital gave them no support, they got on a cheap flight to LIthuania and lo and behold, the child actually needed IV antibiotics as it had a serious infection. They were given copies of all the tests that were carried out together with a list of likley causes, all typed out in english.

Sadly we pay a fortune in tax so that my family and another 20 families that dont pay tax, can have access to a one size fits all sickness service.

I can see how, if you are low income that the UK system looks like nirvana, especially if you are a recent arrived person from abroad with no such state service, but if you need a service that will help you to stay healthy and keep in work and keep paying your taxes and mortage, then I would be for the american system.

Edit, none of us here gets employer private cover, if we go private, we spend our savings

The issue here is that you are taking your experience with the NHS (which I have to say sound awful, and should never happen!) and generalising that into "the NHS is all bad everywhere". Which is totally untrue.

I work for the NHS (so i am slightly biased I suppose, but I can see it's good as well as bad points).

For the issue of bone density scans - I work for the Family Planning Service and we routinely send patients for bone density scans if they have been on injectable contraceptives for 5 years - no problems with getting these scans at all!

My DH dislocated his knee 2 years ago - he was referred to Physio - got his sessions within 4 weeks.

The standard of Medical care does vary (even within private care) - if you have issues with your GP and are unhappy with your level of care - you are entitled to a second opinion, or go to another GP.

FWIW, I've seen quite a few patients transferred from private to NHS hospitals because their treatment needs were not being met, in fact the standard of treatment in the private hosp was appalling and worsened the situation!

The NHS is not perfect, but neither is private healthcare. In the US if you have a pre-existing condition you may find your premiums become exorbitant, I've heard shocking stories on the DIS, as well as in the media, about families becoming practically bankrupt because their premiums have gone through the roof after a serious illness.

IMO the US system is great - until you actually become seriously ill, and if you then develop a long term condition after that...:scared1:

It's easy to criticise the NHS, but if we didn't have it, we'd really be unhappy! It's not perfect and the standard of care nationwide should be standardised, it's top heavy with managers, we need more staff on the ground....I could go on and on. But I hope we never go the way of the US system.

Di x

daipp
02-22-2009, 06:44 AM
The NHS is fantastic. There's always well publicised "bad-stories" but they are few in comnparison to the thousands who are delat with every single day throughout our country.

The last thing you want to worry about at a time of illness or emergency is cost and how to pay for treatment.

We nearly lost our NHS in the 1980s due to the appalling government we had but I think it will now be safe for some time.

http://www.culturenetcymru.com/en/wp-content/nye_bevan120.jpg

This is Anerin Bevan who was voted the greatest Welsh person of all time in the biggest-ever poll of our national heroes. The Labour politician is regarded as the “father” of the National Health Service. He would be very proud of our NHS.

David

wishspirit
02-22-2009, 06:59 AM
my local doctors surgery is rubbish, you call for an appointment and its 7 days even an emergency one!

they even turned away my 3 month old and I didnt think they were meant to say no to babys (thankfully I took him to a&e and it turned out to be an allergy)

Think our waiting lists are a joke though!, I was put on the waiting list for a scan concerning pcos, got told its nine months lol have now paid and its Monday!

cant fault the local labour ward though, they were great during labour. the after care was rubbish on the ward

I would prefer to go private at least I know its good fast care.

If ypou are having problems with your GP, esspecially if they are turning sick kids aweay, complain to you PALS (Patient Advisory and Liason Service (i think) or directly to your NHS Trust. They can't do anything without being told the issue. If you get no reply, take it to the local news!

Aardvarks
02-22-2009, 07:48 AM
If ypou are having problems with your GP, esspecially if they are turning sick kids aweay, complain to you PALS (Patient Advisory and Liason Service (i think) or directly to your NHS Trust. They can't do anything without being told the issue. If you get no reply, take it to the local news!

Yea, I rang my pals about finding an NHS dentist.

I emailed them about an NHS Dentist

I wrote to them about an NHS dentist

Eventually 3 years later, I found my own NHS dentist. It took me over 60 phone calls. I even have to take a day off work at no pay to go to see my NHS dentist as he is 100 miles from where I work.

previous posts

Is it acceptable for a working man to wait 4 weeks for physiotherapy for his dislocated knee when he goes to work each day in pain.

Just because we are used to accepting such a low standard, doenst mean that this is acceptable or right.

If you live in a rural area, good luck to finding another GP who covers your catchment.

The NHS is top heavy with managers who have no medical training who make clinical decsions for whole towns of people. There is wholesale waste of resourses, lok at the billions of pounds paid into the new computer system that is worse than the old system. There are PCTs with hundreds of staff and lots of loveley clean MRSA free buildings that actually do nothing other than make decisions and more around bits of paper

For every person who posts saying that have nothing but admiration for the NHS, there is one that can post the contrary.

The system is not perfect, the standards vary across regions, the waste varies across regions. The NHS is on its a**

edit, I wont post anymore on this topic as I have said enough already

hildasmuriel
02-22-2009, 09:34 AM
The NHS is top heavy with managers who have no medical training who make clinical decsions for whole towns of people.

I can't imagine the CEOs and other mangement of US medical insurance companies are any different. I'm sure they have their shiny offices too - and they need to keep their shareholders happy.





For every person who posts saying that have nothing but admiration for the NHS, there is one that can post the contrary.




Well of course I can't disprove it, but I seriously, seriously doubt this statement. I don't know anyone who would write off the NHS. I know a few people who have had a less than satisfactory experience but who would still choose NHS everytime over the alternative. That's just a few of my friends and family. By far the majority are very happy with it.

I'm sorry for the people who haven't had the treatment they are due - but that is NOT the norm or the standard.

I am really sorry for people who object to paying so that non-tax payers receive treatment. But that's a whole other story.