Djcnor’s Weblog

UK healthcare – continued

Posted on: December 19, 2008

So what happens when you have  big problem or a continuing problem, something severe enough to require hospitalization,  in socialized medicine? 

Well, it so happens we had one of those. A member of my household landed in the hospital for a week, and the result was a diagnosis that required extensive after treatment as well as continuing prescriptions.

A week in the hospital No payment what-so-ever.

The home visits (!) afterwards? At first, once a week, slowly tapering to one per month over at least 6 months, followed by continuing outpatient care ever since. No payment what-so-ever.

The continuing prescriptions? They are so many that  we use the 3-month payment plan mentioned in my last blog post.

We have tried to imagine what similar care would have cost in the United States. Even with insurance, it is likely that we would have been bankrupted. With all the prescriptions, we fear to go back simce we would almost certainly not have health insurance immediately under the present system.

Yes, sometimes the NHS refuses to fund certain drugs or certain treatments. Yes, sometimes there is a wait for what is not considered urgent surgery, and the judgement of what is urgent and what is not sometimes differs drastically with what the patient views as urgent.

Overall, though, with experience of both, I vastly prefer the UK system. You will find Brits who pay for private insurance. You will find expats who do not agree. I believe you’ll notice that these ex-pats are almost all young and have not experienced any major problems. This is my opinion based on our own experience. I welcome comments.


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