Hippocratic Oath

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.

http://miketerrill.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/need-help-dont-ask-the-government/

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.

Fair enough.

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.

4 thoughts on “Hippocratic Oath”

  1. His worries would be less in Canada as well, and in Quebec we do pay the most taxes but we do get more in social benefits above health insurance such as subsidized daycare. I pay thousands more a year than other provinces but still… it`s the best place to live with young children for sure…aside from UK of course:)

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    1. There’s quite a bit wrong with the UK – not least of which is the weather! But I would hate to have to be worried about paying for medical treatment during a health crisis.x

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  2. I agree with both of you. I live in Ontario in Canada, and I also lived in the US for 6 years. And, when I hear people here in Canada complain about our health care it just drives me absolutely crazy. I had a step daughter who was very psychologically ill and was in and out of mental health facilities, her bilsl were racked up to millions and millions of dollars when I left her father (that’s not why I left, he laid hands on me so I left.)
    My daughter had a ear infection one wknd while in the states with me and thank god her father had out of country insurance, but for 2 years I received bills from different dr, nurses and labs that ran tests for my childs ear infection that like you said scottishmom it takes forever to get back from the ins. company.
    Now, just this April my parent’s were down in Mexico and my mother got very ill and had to spend 4 days in hospital and all the bills were covered, including prescriptions and 2 Dr. home visits at the hotel. So I definately encourage everyone to get the out of country insurance, even if it’s for a
    uhh hmm “hand stitches” in Cancun 😉

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    1. It’s just awful that health care is dependent on finances. Our system is by no means perfect but it’s free at source for the most part. Waiting for ops might be about the worst aspect of it. Insurance is a must if you’re travelling elsewhere and might need it for whatever reason. I know boyo was glad he had it.
      On another note, I think if anyone laid hands on me I’d leave them needing hospitalised, insurance or not. How dare they! Glad you got out of that.x

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