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To think the NHS would have a few more quid if...

(118 Posts)
DolomitesDonkey Wed 13-Feb-13 09:22:41

They had even half a handle on health tourism?

I left the UK to go abroad in 99. I'm back visiting and on Monday needed a doctor for conjunctivitis. I was seen without any verification of who I am, I was asked to provide a name, local address and home address. None were checked.

At the chemist I caused much hilarity when I asked how much it was or if a passport was ok as ID.

Oh, and the doctor asked if I wanted a prescription for paracetamol. confusedLike that's not available for 15p in tesco.

I am saddened by the whole thing. Being EU I'm entitled to reciprocal healthcare and I'd have been happy to pay and claim back later. But the whole thing was a fucking joke, ok my treatment was cheap - but that's 30 quid not in the budget of "your" child's treatment now.

ChairmanWow Wed 13-Feb-13 09:27:50


Rhiannon86 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:28:33

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DolomitesDonkey Wed 13-Feb-13 09:30:36

Sorry, can't read the guardian link due to socialist propaganda in the face of experienced fact.

SamuelWestsMistress Wed 13-Feb-13 09:31:46


I also think that the free prescriptions for everyone is a waste too. We get this in Scotland now, and I think fair enough for kids, oaps and people on benefits, but for everyone else I'm pretty sure £7 a time is easily affordable and would save the NHS a considerable amount.

And then there's the obesity surgery that seems to be handed out left right and centre which is usually followed up by free surgery for removing skin. I know ten people, TEN, who have had this on our pct alone. One of them was only 4 stone over weight and even got a breast lift.

I could rant all day!

ChairmanWow Wed 13-Feb-13 09:37:13

Oh, sorry. I thought this was MN. I seem to have accidentally ended up in the Daily Mail comments section.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 13-Feb-13 09:38:11

The cost of verifying your right to treatment would have been more than the cost. And they wouldn't have to just verify you, htey'd have to verify every person who the doctor or pharmacist sees every time they see them. Costs could be brought down through some kind of ID system, but it would add a huge cost to NHS service. It's not at all obvious that the NHS would save money - more likely it would end up spending more and add bureaucracy and tedious for filling for everyone.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 13-Feb-13 09:40:22

*More than the cost of treatment.

TrampyPants Wed 13-Feb-13 09:42:04

Sorry, can't read the guardian link due to socialist propaganda in the face of experienced fact.

So, you're not actually asking IF YABU, you just want people to agree with you.

jolly good, as long as we know.

btw, YABU

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 13-Feb-13 09:44:26

Yanbu the nhs is amazing so under valued by us Brits.

Flisspaps Wed 13-Feb-13 09:46:28

Could you not have just seen the pharmacist and bought the Optrex drops for conjunctivitis, thereby not taking up an NHS appointment or having to use your own time waiting to be seen and then going to the pharmacy anyway?

Agree that the cost of setting up/running an ID service would be too costly. In theory everyone should then provide ID at medical appts, Dr X or Nurse Y has no way of knowing if I am actually Flisspaps when I present myself at an appt.

MmeLindor Wed 13-Feb-13 09:46:29

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oopslateagain Wed 13-Feb-13 09:48:55

I was visiting family here in the UK when DD was tiny, she developed a double ear infection and we ended up in A&E on Christmas day. It was pretty quiet for an A&E, and when giving our details I said we were from the USA and had medical insurance so we could pay, and was given a confused look and told that as long as we had a local address we were fine. (I'm British).

I understand that to check whether every patient is 'entitled' to free care would cost way too much for the NHS, but I do think there should be some kind of system in place to bill someone who says they want to pay!

TrampyPants Wed 13-Feb-13 09:49:15

We have a NHS exemption card to show when we collect prescriptions (just as well, I take quite a few drugs) that states our eligibility to receive free prescriptions. We are always asked whether we pay though. I'm surprised you weren't, I have at every chemist.

usualsuspect Wed 13-Feb-13 09:50:08

Did you not have to pay for your prescription then?

MmeLindor Wed 13-Feb-13 09:50:29

£4.5bn ID cards would be a way of ensuring that only Brits access NHS care.

Might be a bit like swatting a fly with a cruise missile though.

usualsuspect Wed 13-Feb-13 09:52:07

Why would they laugh?

I'm confused by your OP TBH.

DreamingofSummer Wed 13-Feb-13 09:52:27

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ParsingFancy Wed 13-Feb-13 09:52:44

A friend's thesis was partly on this, and came to the conclusion that the cost and consequences of not treating people with the particular disease they were studying vastly outweighed the cost of treatment.

Infectious diseases tend not to be too bothered about residency status.

Enigmosaurus Wed 13-Feb-13 09:53:32

Hahahaha @ obesity surgery handed out left, right and centre. Yes, of course it is. Handed on top of a big fat plate of chips as a matter of fact.

If the NHS didn't employ so many paper pushers or have so many layers of management or use consultancy agencies that cost many thousands a day, there might be some spare cash floating around. But lets blame fatties and forriners instead, eh?

theodorakisses Wed 13-Feb-13 09:57:15

Op, for your own sake, please get this thread deleted. I don't think you are a troll but it won't be very nice.

usualsuspect Wed 13-Feb-13 09:58:17

No let it stand.

We need to know who to avoid on MN.

theodorakisses Wed 13-Feb-13 10:02:15

But it upsets people, people on both sides. I don't mind the proper arguments but when people start getting nasty it is really upsetting. I could hide it but I was interested to see what happened.

Just on another tangent, pretty much all of the Qataris I know PAY to use the NHS when they have a serious accident or illness. They believe it is the best in the world and many even travel to london just to give birth. That makes me proud but I hope the money goes back into the hospital. (St Thomas seems to be the favourite)

chocoluvva Wed 13-Feb-13 10:07:03

I'm extremely grateful for our fantastic free NHS, but the OP has a point. There are still things that the NHS gives out which seem extravagant eg, DD asked her GP if she would prescribe the 'mini-pill' for one month when she was going on a camping expedition. Not only was her prescription free, but the GP gave her 3 months worth. I would have been prepared to pay for one pack as the tablets were purely for DD's convenience.

MmeLindor Wed 13-Feb-13 10:11:53

tbh, when I read the OP, I was ready to have a discussion about this topic because it IS interesting.

It was the dismissal of the Guardian as leftie propaganda that I found annoying.

I agree with you, OP on the getting a prescription for Calpol etc - I never do cause we can afford it. At the same time, doing some kind of means testing would be incredibly expensive so it is easier to make it free for all kids.

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