I don’t remember how many Americans read this blog but given the amount of what appears to me to be complete drivel emanating from your side of the pond on the matter of Obama’s proposals for healthcare reform and slurs against our very own National Health Service.
Though horror stories appear from time to time in the media, I can only take those as stories because they bear no relation to my own experiences, which ore entirely of the sort which is of no interest whatsoever to the media.
First off, I’ve only ever spent one overnight in an NHS hospital ward - I blogged about it here
- and although the experience wasn’t everything it might have been if I had devised it for myself in my wildest dreams, there was nothing I could complain about and everything was conducted in a friendly and efficient manner making the experience no more grim than having the inside of your nose scraped out could be expected to be. Apart from one rearranged appointment with the ENT consultant all the pre- and post-operative care was conducted smoothly and without undue or inconvenient delays. (A few of you reading this will be aware that ten years ago (heavens!) I spent a week in a Belgian hospital, which was very agreeable indeed, but those were different circumstances and I can’t really say how that would compare with the NHS, except that I’ve never much liked the idea of barrack-like dormitory wards)
My other hospital experiences are of A & E, where I have reported from time to time with one of my more severe asthma attacks and have always been seen to promptly and put straight on a nebuliser, and where I was taken once with a suspected heart attack that, thankfully, turned out not to be. And of the tender care of Professor Sir Stafford Lightman and his Clinical Endocrinology team at the much maligned Bristol Royal Infirmary, where I was never kept waiting and always attended to promptly and courteously.
But the bedrock of it all is the GP service. Physicians vary a lot in quality and in bedside (or deskside) manner, but I’ve never stayed long with a Hippocratic oaf and contrary to some of the recent propaganda I have a choice. My current GP, Dr Ruth Wilkinson, is a treasure. Maybe I owe my life, or at least my sanity, to those wonderful Bristol GPs Dr Rhona Macpherson and Dr Sylvia Thompson. (Dr Narayan of Reading - Lakshmi on the desk and “what you are having is a Bell’s palsy” - was ok too but suffered from the disadvantage of being a man. And I don’t have to think long and hard about whether I can afford to see them this month. I see them as and when I feel there might be a need, and they have no problem with that.
That’s my two pence - or two cents - worth. Take it as you wish. And up yours, you deceitful, disingenous, self-serving Tory piece of shit, Daniel Hannan!