National Health Service

I’ve had a cold for roughly two weeks now.  I’m, once again, looking forward to a quiet weekend and hoping that rest will help me kick this thing once and for all. 
 
I’m still walking into work but getting Helios to come and collect me every evening – partly due to the rains and partly due to the fact that I’m coughing up my lungs by the time 5:30 comes around.  I am so tired!
 
I’ve had to make another appointment with the GP to get more Prozac.  Even though I’m tired and grouchy at the moment, at least my heart doesn’t feel like it’s wrapped in a cloud. 
 
I’ve had PMT for several weeks now.  I never thought I would be looking forward to a period but I am at the moment.  I’m bloated, grouchy, hot, tired and my back has been aching off and on.
 
Now I’m going to say something about the National Health Service.  I grew up in the US where the worry wasn’t just that someday you might get ill – but also that you’d have to find a way to pay for it! 
 
I don’t like to talk about the NHS in England because I know so many women in my position do not have access to free care.  When I need to go to the GP, I go.  I walk in, see the doctor and then walk back out again without stopping to pay a bill or confirm insurance details.  When I needed to use my private medical insurance (usually obtained through work), I went to the GP, got a referral to a specialist, phoned my insurance company to get authorisation, went to the specialist (and confirmed my insurance details), and then left again without paying a bill.  I sometimes get letters in the post through from my insurance company where they confirm they have paid a bill.  That’s it.
 
As far as prescriptions go, I normally pay a nominal amount per prescription.  There was a time when I was taking so much medication that I got a pre-pay prescription certificate.  This certificate allowed me to pay a one-off lump sum that covered all my prescriptions for the year.  Believe me when I say that I made it worth my while!
 
Of course, I pay taxes to fund this.  10% of my salary goes toward this vital service. There are some services I honestly don’t mind paying – Police, Schools and National Health are at the top of that list! 
 
So there you have it.  I have health worries without the worry of how to pay for treatment.  Now, I could moan the way the English do and say how bad standards are, or how dirty the hospitals are or how the government is closing hospitals due to funding shortages, BUT it’s here.  The structure is in place and we can do something about improving it. 
 
The fact is that one of the richest countries in the world, I never could work out why you don’t have an NHS.  I vaguely remember Bill Clinton promising this and he put his wife in charge of the task force but then it disappeared.  I don’t even remember hearing excuses as to where it went to or why.  Now, I know Republicans are all for business and BIG business at that, but do Republicans have any health worries?  Do they have a hard time finding the money to pay health insurance?  Or do they walk in front of a bus when their money runs out?  (Sorry, that was a cheap shot, I know.)
 
I can’t help but wonder these things because I’ve got Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovaries and Insulin Resistance.  I don’t have a “high profile” disease that will kill me.  I have a syndrome and a disease that have occasionally made me wish for death because the pain was so bad.  How do people in the US cope?  How do you cope?  While I agree that we need to raise the profile of Endometriosis, isn’t your first priority getting the money sorted?  Hey, we don’t have a cure but at least the surgeries won’t cost an arm and a leg anymore!!
 
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6 thoughts on “National Health Service

  1. Endo can kill, in several ways. One of the most terrible is when endo eats away at the bowel. But the depression related to endo can kill others.

    we do not want a socialized medicine. We have the best medicine in the world, we need to make it better and more affordable, but socialism is 3rd world stuff. NO THANKS.

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  2. By the way, I have insurance in the US, and I just call the doctor, make an appointment, go and don’t pay. I don’t pay a co-pay, and I don’t need to see a general doctor before seeing a specialist. Please investigate things before assuming it’s the same for all people. This IS what all people need, and we should look to people like Sen Kennedy for messing up things years ago with his weird plans for HMO’s. I despise HMO’s.

    If you have bloating, you might also look into yeast / candida issues. Sites like yeastconnection.com can help, and so can probiotics, digestive enzymes and fish oil.

  3. Lola, thank you for your comments. I suppose there’s a system for everyone. I only know what other friends of mine have told me about their experiences… I suppose I suit England more than the US these days. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t despise HMO’s. Do you have Endo too? I’ll look into the yeast issue. Thanks for your recommendations.

    Take care, Foxy

  4. Foxy,
    I hope you don’t mind if I respond to Lola really quickly.
    J (I suppose my comment here is somewhat going to be what I was going to tell you anyway, but not completely)

    Lola-
    I live in the US as well. Since leaving my ex I have been uninsured. My husband’s works insurance is unlikely to cover me, and I cannot get insurance on my own due to having lupus. There are many of us here in the US who cannot get health coverage due to health issues – we are blacklisted.
    Even when I had insurance I had to pay for my appointments. My surgery with an endo specialist still cost me a few thousand dollars (while being covered by my ex’s insurance and my own… I hadn’t developed lupus yet)! The surgeon also was not covered by most HMO’s (that was my understanding at the time at least)… luckily I had a PPO.
    When I was growing up my parents had an HMO, and they did have to see general doctor’s before seeing specialist’s. Granted this has been… I want to say 7 years ago… at least since they switched to PPO’s. My sister had a serious bladder condition, and she was seen at a children’s hospital in Palo Alto, CA. To get there they would have to take her to our general doctor, who would give us referrals to get her to a urologist, who would then refer to the hospital. To get her admitted when she had a severe kidney infection (and we were just admitting her to the local hospital) took several hours because it had to be pre-approved. Things may have changed with HMO’s… I don’t know.
    I also know that my inlaws have my sister in law on my father in law’s health care (they can’t afford to have her on the better plan that my mother in law has, even though my mother in law is a nurse and makes a very nice wage) … and they still have to take her to a income based clinic because a) the insurance isn’t taken most places in our area… or even within an hour drive in a bigger city, and b) there are outrageous costs involved with going to most doctor’s offices.
    In my opinion, this is completely ridiculous and uncalled for. The people who need health coverage the most can’t generally afford to be seen, and the reason the low cost and free clinics exist is because insurance costs are so high, or people can’t get coverage due to health, and need to get taken care of…. but in turn… we drive up the costs for everyone else because of having to go to hospitals and being unable to afford our care… and we put off going to the hospital because we hope we can get better without having to go… which drives up the cost of our care even more! There has to be a better system. No system is perfect… but we need to work together to find something that works for our country!

    On a side note – Completely agree with you on the yeast/candida issues. Probiotics can help, and cutting out sugar (or cutting down on it at the very least) is helpful as well!
    J

  5. J, thanks for your comment. I am sorry to say that I hear more stories like yours than Lola’s. The trouble is, if you aren’t well enough to work, you won’t get insurance and then you won’t get the healthcare you need for fear of the cost or because you can’t find anywhere local that will help you on a budget.

    As for the bloating, I’m torn between thinking I need to cut back on fruit again and thinking I’m nearly due for my period after running several pill packs together… My ovaries are burning and I feel so tired! I might just go back to bed…

    Foxy

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