US/UK Health Services

I finally heard back from the hospital that they haven’t lost me in the system.  My surgery will take place in March and that I’ll get a letter in the next week with a specific date and details of what to expect.  I will admit to feeling very nervous about the procedure: I’m not going to a private hospital this time where I’ll have my own room and a nice breakfast the next morning.   I always likened the private hospitals to “hotels with drugs” because I was in absolutely no severe pain after surgeries there.

NHS hospitals have a certain reputation here: they’re not very well maintained, not entirely clean and we have to wait and wait for a surgery date only to be told that the date will be postponed by letter.  It’s an irritating process I’ve entered into here and I’m forced to admit that the system isn’t perfect.

It’s made me think…  Am I better off here?

I met an Englishman in the past couple of weeks who said that he really liked his visit to Las Vegas but he thought that he really wouldn’t want to be poor there.  I could only agree.  As someone with chronic illnesses I would have been entirely unable to reach a certain standard of living over there – I’ve needed surgery too often.  Had I remained in the US and got my diagnosis, I wouldn’t be able to get health insurance thanks to “pre-existing” nonsense that health insurance companies give Americans.  I still can’t quite see how any American in my position (and there are quite a few) would be able to get the treatment that they need.  For instance, I wouldn’t be able to pay for my surgeries – who can afford that?   I wouldn’t be able to work without the surgeries curbing my symptoms.  In short, I would have quickly been destitute and in so much pain that I would probably want to kill myself.

England saved my life.   I don’t want to kill myself.  I handle my pain management as best I can and I know that after this surgery (all going well – *touch wood*) I’ll still be able to work and I’ll be able to afford the mortgage.  I am still a valuable member of society.  In fact, all things considered, I’m a high-achiever.


4 thoughts on “US/UK Health Services

  1. american health care is nuts, such a pain in the ass. i guess every system has it flaws, but ours does seem particularly bad, health care should be a right not a privilege. i think obama has changed, or is trying to change the per-existing condition stipulations.

  2. I know the US system is nuts. I was American once. I am a dual citizen now but am wondering if I will leave the US behind completely. I’m grateful that I’ve arrived (in my opinion) in a more civilised country. Funny you mention it really. I was chatting to a friend whose best argument for keeping the US system was worth keeping because if a free national health system were implemented, the amount of people wanting free healthcare would overwhelm the system and it would end in disaster. It’s not worth trying because it will fail. End of discussion. Crazy, isn’t it?

  3. some people just don’t get it, everyone should have access to healthcare, even people how are poor. i totally don’t agree with our system, some people are sitting pretty with no worries while others are stuck in a constant struggle trying to obtain the care they need. it’s totally unfair.

  4. If it’s any consolation, I totally agree with you. Shame that the people who are desperately ill and really need the support of a real system don’t have the good health to take on the fight for the healthcare they need. Believe me, I struggle at times and I have a system in place. It’s not as good as it could be but it’s something!

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