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Further to my last post (and not friends locked)
ilovenhs
bohemiancoast
I know this is preaching to the converted. But I think I need to say:

On Monday I thought Marianne's sore throat might be worse and she needed to see a doctor, so I rang and got an appointment for the same morning. They prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.

Monday night she was in pain so I phoned NHS Direct, spoke to first a call handler, then a nurse, and was then referred to primary out of hours care. A doctor rang me back about 15 minutes later and, after a phone consultation, made an appointment for her at the out of hours service half an hour after that. She was seen by the doctor and prescribed a different antibiotic.

Yesterday evening I realised she'd need to see a doctor again, so made an appointment for this morning (timed to fit in with our now-aborted trip). They phoned the hospital to say she would be coming; she was seen more or less immediately and admitted to the children's ward there.

Ways in which the service could be improved: I honestly can't think of any, apart from perhaps a private room and a bunch of roses.

Total charge to us: £0. Even her prescriptions are free as she's a child (adults with income have to pay £7.20 each for them up to a cap of about £100 a year). And it's not just the money. I can worry that my child is sick, and I do not have to worry about what is and is not included in my insurance, or which doctors and services and hospitals I can use.

Remember the words of Joe Hill: Don't Mourn. Organize.

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Prescription charges are also free for people over 60 and those with certain medical complaints (like cancer patients). I think they're also free for the unemployed, though I may be wrong about that. Basically, if you're one of the people most at risk you still get access to life saving drugs.

This might help explain why our life expectancy is better than America's.

those with certain medical complaints

Also pregnancy.

Hope she is doing better now. Poor kid!

And yes, even Ireland's shambolic healthcare system fills me with less dread than the thought of living in the US where every foray into the medical world is fraught with insurance hassles and worse.

Just think what you're missing!

If it wasn't for that communistic socialized medicine you got there, you could be waiting in some hospital ER and paying thousands of US dollars for the privilege. But at least we wouldn't have to worry about your soul...

;-)

Hugs (gentle ones) to Marianne .

Thank you.

ETA: Since it's not locked, I presume I may link to it? There might be a couple of unconverted on my f-list.

Edited at 2009-08-27 05:17 pm (UTC)

But with the exchange rate that £0 is a lot more in US$.

I can worry that my child is sick, and I do not have to worry about what is and is not included in my insurance, or which doctors and services and hospitals I can use.

Or whether the insurance company will deny treatment. Or whether you will go broke if there's a yearly or lifetime cap on insurance payouts. Or whether you'll have to spend endless hours on the phone sorting out charges. Or ...

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