Like the picture says, I love the UK’s National Health Service. In my opinion it is far superior compared to the healthcare system in America. It’s not perfect, but very few things in this world are. “The NHS was created from ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. It has at its heart three core principles:
• That it meet the needs of everyone
• That it be free at the point of delivery
• That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.”
Those principles just seem so obvious to me.
Access to healthcare, at least in my experience, has been very easy. My doctor’s office is a five minute walk from my house, there is a walk-in clinic 10 minutes away by tube from my office and a hospital that is a 20 minute bus ride from my house. I can visit any of them without paying a dime. Nothing, zilch, nada! In fact, I can even get reimbursed for some of my transportation costs if I wanted. The only things that I have to pay for are my prescriptions. No matter what drug I might be picking up it will only cost me £7.60. Nothing more.
Both Charles and I have had a fair amount of dealings with the NHS over the four + years that we having been living in London. In most cases, we have had very positive experiences. We can normally get in to see our doctor the same or next day. Emergency room waits have usually been minimal and almost every member of NHS staff that we have dealt with has been kind and helpful.
Like I said above, it’s not perfect. A lot of the facilities are dated and badly in need of refurbishing. If you want to see a specialist you have to get a referral from your GP and the specialist appointments usually have a bit of a waiting list. But again, all this treatment is free at the point of delivery. We have private health insurance through my work, but we have found that it’s just easier to use the NHS (even though we hardly go private I greatly appreciate my employer providing it for us).
I could go on and on extolling the many virtues of a National Health Service, but I would probably bore you and I certainly don’t want to do that. I think you probably get it by now that I think it’s pretty great. To be honest, this blog post is kind of a set-up for one that I will be posting in the next few days. Charles and I will be receiving almost daily benefits from the NHS in the next few weeks and I thought it might be interesting to some people so… stay tuned!
*Disclaimer: I am only expressing my opinions and experiences. I realize that not everyone shares those opinions nor have they had great experiences with the NHS. My aim is merely to share my experiences with the hope that they are interesting and helpful to others.
photo via here