Thursday, August 20, 2009

What British health care is really like

Here is an e mail from a friend of mine, who is British and has been fighting myeloma for the last year or so. He wanted to et the record straight about government health care in England. (FYI I don't have a direct line of communication to Sarah Palin.)

Dear Carla
You're American - tell that lunatic Sarah Palin to stop peddling lies about our National Health Service! It appears from over here that some rather ugly people are coming out of the woodwork to try and persuade you all that the British NHS is some kind of communist conspiracy that, if adopted in the US will result in bodies lying in the street (I thought that was what happened after Hurricane Katrina thanks to neglected flood defences...) and doctors arbitrarily deciding who lives and dies.

Sure, the NHS isn't perfect, far from it is some respects due to our idiot government's obsession with targets being met to produce good-looking statistics, hence a top-heavy administration full of box-tickers and not enough actual workers like cleaners in some areas. I can't say though that I have anything to complain about after my experiences. While I was cooped up during most of February in the (spotlessly clean) isolation room, I asked one of the nurses what the difference was between the way I was being accomodated and treated and the private patients on another floor. She said they got a compliemntary newspaper and a better view out of the window.

What did you tell me about how much your various drugs had cost you in the last year? I think you mentioned the figure of $7000. Here in April they made cancer drugs free - previously I had been supplied with all my stuff using a card costing about $150 for a year, irrespective of the quantities. Prior to that I had to pay about $12 for each prescription, sometimes three or four a time, so the high use card became the better option, but as I say now no charge at all.

I wonder if Ms Palin gets paid by the drug and insurance companies in cash or with stock options and Mercedes sports cars.

There, I feel better now, having a little rant about these BS merchants!

Hope things are good with you. Best wishes
Martin
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