One of the blogs I’ve been on in the last week or so belongs to a brave guy from the US who is documenting his experience in dealing with brain cancer. It’s not a sob story and it’s not a pleasant one.
As I was reading his trials and tribulations in dealing with health insurance and government bureaucracy I was saddened to think that he had to even deal with financial problems given what he is suffering.
I was blessing the existence of the NHS and the fact that in the UK we have no need for medical insurance because the finance necessary to cover treatment for everyone is garnered at source from all earnings.
This, by no means, suggests that the system is perfect. My eldest daughter is a nurse in a busy city hospital and financial strictures cause problems with staffing and beds and waiting times.
Many government-run bodies – health, education, social welfare and tax – seem to allocate a disproportionate amount of money, not to mention time, on aspects of fiscal engineering designed to save money while they only succeed in creating paperwork and motivational bonuses in the wrong quarters.
It does seem, at times that, whether the system is in the USA or the UK, one of the main aims is to thwart those working at the coalface from doing their jobs effectively. All to save a few groats.
My eldest son just returned from Cancun where he had to receive stitches to a hand injury. (Don’t ask.)
The first question he was asked by the doctor at the hospital was, ‘Do you have health insurance?’
Thankfully, he did, although he has to go through a lengthy procedure to claim back what he had to pay upfront.
I don’t, however, relish being that doctor who (even while maintaining his Hippocratic Oath) has to ask if you can afford treatment before he will administer it.
At the moment, this does not happen in the UK although there is talk of such a thing in order to minimise perceived and actual abuse of the NHS. If you don’t pay in, why should you take out?
The arguments are long and varied and will continue, no doubt.
However, if Mike, from the Blog above, were living in the UK his worries about one aspect of his care would, I think, be fewer.