Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Health Care Stories: London, UK

Lino rarely uses British health care but still felt the need to defend the system against the naysayers.

Fortunately, I have not had any serious medical condition so my experience with health care in the UK has been very limited.

The only time I can think of when I was admitted to hospital was a few years back when I had tonsillitis and my body reacted very badly to the infection. I had a seizure and was taken by ambulance to my local hospital. The doctors took various tests on me (blood pressure, heart rate, blood sample) and I was kept overnight for observation. I was checked upon on a regular basis and was released first thing in the morning (after they had given me breakfast).

I visit my GP several times per year, and the services at my local GP has been nothing but excellent. Whenever I feel unwell I can make an appointment to see my doctor, and the advice, information, opinion, and the guidance that I get from him is invaluable.

Needless to say that I don’t pay a penny for any of the above (well I do but in the form of taxes).

I also have access to a nurse, who I tend to contact whenever I travel outside the EU, for advice on jabs (the jabs are covered by the NHS, so you don’t pay for this either).

In reference to the idea of Britain's letting people die in the streets, this is simply not true. Yes, there are extreme cases where some of the medication is so expensive that the NHS cannot afford it; but there are so few, and in most of these cases, they always try to work out a solution to the problem. The NHS does not let people die due to lack of funds. The fact that every single citizen of the UK has the right to good health care, regardless of their income, is something that we British feel really proud of.

I cannot think of a better way of spending taxes than on health care, and I would even say that I wouldn’t hesitate to pay higher taxes if it meant better health care for everyone in this country. Good health care should not be the privilege of the rich. Good health is a basic right.

London, UK

Submit your story to

No comments: