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Commentology: Healthcare in the UK

Anonymous

Rod Unger writes:

I am, if you like, Joe the Plumber living here in the UK just to the North of London. I have no particular political mandate in terms of the NHS (more of this later). I don’t work for the NHS or have any other such vested interest. Nor do I have any knowledge or contact etc with any of the Pharmaceutical companies. Hence I am Joe the plumber. I am just an ordinary man in the street. Before going any further there is one other thing I would like to state as a prequalification. You have to understand the British mentality (as a generalisation). Many, many years ago we thought it proper and decent to be modest. This then slightly altered to us becoming a nation of moaners and pessimists! Unlike Americans who have (as a generalisation) a wonderful “can do” mentality and optimism.

The NHS is one of the most wonderful things about an excellent lifestyle we have here in the UK. Our weather is better than often reported. (Check out the stats if you don’t believe me) We are full of invention, fun and excel at many world wide industries and sports. But the NHS is one of the best things about the U.K. It is not run by the Pharmaceutical companies who only want to maximise profits. It is not run by lobbyists for their own benefit. It is run for the nation. It is not perfect and you will here the moaners going on about the small percentage of problems (big in number small in percentage). No government ever since the NHS as introduced has ever even considered doing away with the NHS. This is not a political issue in the UK. The NHS is supported by all parties and by everyone. Quite a few people do have private insurance as they can afford to pay for non essential matters or to jump queues. But even they in an emergency will be taken straight to an NHS hospital and receive an excellent service. There will be no queues and no questions asked!

I personally know many people who live in Spain, Portugal etc etc and they all come back to the UK for the NHS. Indeed my own parents lived in Portugal for 12 years when the retired and moved back to the UK at the age of 76!! just for the NHS. Since being back they have used the NHS on a regular basis (they are now 88) and we all have nothing but praise for all parts of this massive organisation. All their care, medications etc etc is free.

About 4 years ago my son was diagnosed with a serious ling term mental disorder. We use the NHS every day. He takes medication every day and will have to for the rest of his life. All this is free and the staff are fantastic

We do live in different societies. It is not for us to advise you as to what is best for your country but do not denigrate or criticise the NHS it is fabulous on a world wide scale. Yes there are problems not least of all trying to move this huge organisation in to the modern technological age plus coping with a huge influx of people from foreign countries many of whom cannot speak English. This has put a massive strain on the resources available, but still the staff provide a fabulous service.

Don’t believe the propaganda from those wishing to feather their own nests. It is too important

Best Wishes

Rod Unger

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StaffAllied
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StaffAllied

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Chalkboards
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I wana translate this blog but my google translator is not working at this time. Is their any substitute tool for it? If anyone knows than please share. It ‘ll be highly appreciated.

chocolates by post
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I wana translate this blog but my google translator is not working at this time. Is their any substitute tool for it? If anyone knows than please share. It ‘ll be highly appreciated.

Climate change and energy efficiency
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Great post! I appreciate all the good information there and will check into this list from time to time and make sure I am staying on track.

Nate
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Nate

J Bean your study is 9 years old quoting one study by a firm who I have never heard of and have no idea who funded or what their political ideology is. Since we are living in today lets use today’s facts. “A Las Vegas hospital providing emergency dialysis services to 80 illegal immigrants says that accounts for much of its operating deficit. “The University Medical Center says the treatment will cost it about $24 million this fiscal year, aggravating a budget deficit that is expected to approach $70 million.” That’s just the dialysis, care for illegal immigrants is expected… Read more »

R Watkins
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R Watkins

Average GP salary in UK: 118,000 pounds/year (January, 2007, Daily Mail).
Significantly higher than average primary care pay in US.

David MD
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David MD

It is nice to hear about personal stories but of course that does not reflect the true situation of the system. When I was a med student I spent three months in clinical training at a tertiary system in London and the public hospital I rotated through in the US had better equipment (e.g. MRI) with much better access for people without insurance for exanmple. I saw older people not get the care that uninsured people in the US get (e.g. a plasmaphoresis which is used to clean the blood of antibodies that cause auto-immunune diseases. For the same condidtion… Read more »

J Bean
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J Bean

And they don’t have a huge and unhealthy illegal alien population.
Nor, fortunately, does the U.S. Of course, what you define as “huge” may be different than what I define as “huge” (in fact, I’m quite sure they will be different). However, expressed in percentage of total costs, the undocumented workers are mostly not elderly or unhealthy with emergency care (they do a lot of dangerous jobs that are not closely monitored by OSHA) being the bulk of the cost.
http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?hint=3&DR_ID=13724

Matthew Holt
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>What is fair to say is that NHS works for the British who are nationally portrayed often as orderly and accepting of queues.
Which goes to show that DKBerry has never run into a bunch of English soccer fans “visiting” foreign parts (Or for that matter the British army visiting the rest of the world in the last 300 years)

DKBerry
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DKBerry

To a degree… NHS is administered regionally. Each region is funded by Parliament based on per capita. It is up to each region to determine what number of procedures or which drugs which are nationally approved are supported by the regional management. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)provides the best source for comparing performance rather than political posturing. http://www.oecd.org/topic/0,3373,en_2649_37407_1_1_1_1_37407,00.html What is fair to say is that NHS works for the British who are nationally portrayed often as orderly and accepting of queues. The major difference between UK and US is that unlike the US the UK has a very… Read more »

Nate
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Nate

And they don’t have a huge and unhealthy illegal alien population. They are better drivers, less violent, and in better health. All sure fire signs that public plans are better tben private plans.

Hilary
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Hilary

Yes, Kurt. The NHS is paid for in taxes. But it’s worth remembering that the UK taxpayer still pays less in taxes for the NHS than the US taxpayer does for US publicly funded healthcare.
The difference is that because the NHS is a reasonably well-run system (with some glitches as the original post acknowledges) it delivers a high standard of universal health care at low cost.

Kurt E
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Kurt E

Dave,
NHS is a state-managed, single-payer agency. The government effectively acts as an insurance group serving all physician practices and citizens. It’s free only in the sense that it is paid for in taxes–like roads or public schooling.

Dave
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Dave

I am very sorry to hear about your son’s ailment. However, I am unfamiliar with the British system and was wondering if you can you explain how his care is “free”?