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Don't knock the NHS ..... you'd miss it if you didn't have it ...

(23 Posts)
Ghosty Wed 14-Apr-04 20:50:29

Just wanted to share something with all of you in the UK ...

Some of you may remember that DD had a little exciting trip in an Ambulance at 3am a couple of weeks ago (was advised to ring for one by the doctor on the 'after hours' number).

Imagine my surprise this morning when I got a bill ... for $67.50 (GBP 23.00) ...

insanidee Wed 14-Apr-04 20:55:38

that sucks.

on some levels i hate the NHS for the screw up with my dh, but then i also have to be grateful as it was a complete chance that a cardiologist was the main doctor in a+e that night and dx him in five mins. my husband is alive now because of her.

SenoraPostrophe Wed 14-Apr-04 21:10:49

and don't forget that there may not be enough nurses in the UK to fulfil our high expectations, but the ones that are there do much more than Spanish nurses do.

Jimjams Wed 14-Apr-04 21:15:30

You get charged in the UK for ambulance rides after RTA's. (no idea why). They were very good today though (see my thread in SN).

Jimjams Wed 14-Apr-04 21:40:45

Ghosty I vivisted NZ just after they introduced charges for hospital stays. It was pretty expensive I seem to remember.

Davros Wed 14-Apr-04 21:44:46

I think the NHS is marvellous and I have a LOT of experience of quite a number of different issues. The worst thing about it imho is the organisaiton and admin. Why do they tell 10 or so people at an Out Patients' clinic to turn up at the same time? I've had wonderful medical treatment and seen some very top people and not much waiting either! I was working in a hospital until I went on maternity leave, not on the clinical side, but it just reinforced my view that the admin and organisation is what causes a lot of the problems.

kiwisbird Wed 14-Apr-04 21:50:21

Ghosty I was living in NZ when they introduced fees, but under 5's were mostly free, I am an applauder of paying if you can, but only if the burden is reduced for those that can't.
With under 5's and over 60's being free at all times.
It's at times like that Ghosty you end up think ing it would all be better if you had been run over...
I am still in love with NZ for ginving me superlative independent midwife... For free!
Still am I moving back....
I am lucky enough to be able to afford to seek out private care for those areas NHs fails us on, I have a dd with complex but minor needs which they struggle to help... Why should the tax payer pay if we can?
I'm normally a HUGE lefty with regards to immigration benfits and so forth but health is a bit different IMHO
Sorry for splurge (incoherent rant more like)

Jimjams Wed 14-Apr-04 21:52:55

yeah- think you've hit the nail on the head kiwis. The NHS doesn't do complex very well at all. (in general- but postcode lottery plays a part).

Blackduck Wed 14-Apr-04 21:57:13

have to agree..when the chips are down they pull through...when labour started to go pearshaped (I closed my eyes..) but dp said people ran to the theatre and it was crowded...all for little ol' me...(and ds....)

toddlerbob Wed 14-Apr-04 22:13:57

Apparently if you don't pay it they don't chase you because they can't be sure if you are still alive!

Someone who works for St John told me that.

If you have Health Insurance you may be able to claim for the ambulance.

Beccarollover Wed 14-Apr-04 22:15:53

Do you really have to pay for the ambulance in Uk after RTA? Where is the logic in that?

kiwisbird Wed 14-Apr-04 22:16:42

For RTA's in Uk it is because almost always someones insurance has to pay, I think they are bringing or have brought this in for fires too?
Be bit harder in Nz where insurance was never legal necessity.. at least when I was there it wasn't
All my dreams are going to be shattered NZ is no longer the safe haven and utopia I touted it to be!

eddm Wed 14-Apr-04 22:25:52

I could be wrong on this but I thought the idea with charging for ambulances for RTAs was that your motor insurance company pays... not the casualty.
Davros, the reason cited for giving 10 people the same appointment is that many people don't turn up. I don't think it is justifiable frankly – my guess would be some of those people can't get through to cancel or rearrange (believe me, I've tried) and others forget because appointments are made soooooo far in advance (I've done that too but in my defence did apologise profusely, genuine mistake etc. etc.). And plenty of docs have told me they rely on the odd no-show so they can grab a few minutes to do the paperwork or get a coffee.

Ghosty Wed 14-Apr-04 22:27:10

The thing is ... I really don't mind paying ... and I am a believer in 'paying if you can' ... and we can ...
But because we are British we are so used to having health care free that we still have to get used to the fact that we have to pay.
I never had qualms about going to the doctor in the UK ... went whenever I felt the need.
Since moving to NZ I have been to the doctor (when not pregnant - maternity care is free) only two times ... at $50 a time you do think twice before shooting down to the surgery. You self medicate first, then talk to your pharmacist and then you go to the doctor (last resort!)
Here an ambulance called to an RTA is free as they have a public insurance system called ACC - so anything that is proved as 'ACCIDENTAL' is paid for ... For example, when I pulled my neck carrying DS around a picnic I claimed the physio fees back from ACC as it was classed as an Accident.

Ghosty Wed 14-Apr-04 22:28:34

I had to pay for my scan when I found out my baby had died ... came out and was presented with a bill ... I thought that was a bit mean ...

kiwisbird Wed 14-Apr-04 22:29:57

oh the acc... the joys.. must go to bed now before I go off on one!
Much prefer it too the litigious option here though, the ambluance chaser mentality...
I cam from paying to not paying, still feel like a fraud at times!
I expect to have to wait an age for appointments and not be seen on time at clinics beacuse I do not pay for it, I am not a valued customer per se...
Sad huuh!

toddlerbob Thu 15-Apr-04 01:33:12

Ghosty that's horrible about the scan. I would rather have paid $30 rather than $25 if it meant that women who had miscarriages didn't have to pay.

Jimjams Thu 15-Apr-04 07:56:53

oh that is horrible about the scan And I think you are right about the insurance company pays, or you claim it back from them.

Blu Thu 15-Apr-04 17:20:00


But I've learned (today, on MN) that DS's shoes cost the NHS £800 a year before any of the specially moulded modifications are in place, in addition to his physio, orthotics and consultants appts, and 4 operations so far, AND they will adapt his tricycle for free again.
But I do see and experience plenty of chaos and wasted resources in the admin and management of it. (but even that has been getting better recently....they were trying to get Foundation status...)

highlander Thu 15-Apr-04 21:32:12

I arrived in Canada last week to find that no-one will insure me as I'm pregnant (I have to be resident here for 3 months before I can register for the cheap government health insurance).

Each visit to my GP costs C$40 and the amnio cost a whopping C$1500.

And I can't see any difference between the health system over here and the NHS. Bit of an eye-opener!

grumpyzebra Thu 15-Apr-04 21:39:03

Incidentally, if you have an accident on your bicycle in UK, the ambulence services treat it as RTA and expects you to pay. But, the police usually refuse to treat it as RTA and are unlikely to investigate except in cases where the cyclist actually died -- and even then, the worst the driver is likely to get is a moderate fine for "driving with undue care" rather than causing death by careless driving, or the often more appropriate "manslaughter".

eddm Thu 15-Apr-04 21:43:18

Hmmm. So when I was run over outside my office, the driver did me a favour by carting me into the building, because then my colleagues called the ambulance... so presumably if he'd left me in the road and the ambulance had picked me up there I'd have had to pay? Hate to think I owe the stupid git anything esp. as he was uninsured (and police didn't give a toss).

Levanna Sat 17-Apr-04 22:09:05

I do think the NHS is better than the health service in another country I lived in. Over there, it was disorganised and slow, yet you still had to pay for the priviledge! If I went to the doctor in that country, the visit and medication fees would cost me from half to three quarters of my weekly wage at the time. The premiums for health insurance were also out of my reach, so I ended up with a 'tab' at the G.P's! (PCOS can be expensive ). Hospital stays, the ambulance service and even the fire service all charge quite large fees there, and TBH, myself and my family have always had better treatment (in every sense) over here in the hands of the NHS. (Waiting lists at our local GP's do irk me though!)

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