Quit your whining, the NHS is amazing

11 Jun
I have just seen for the first time an incredibly neat and tidy little scar across my leg, left by some surgeons who had to totally rip apart said leg to get 6 inches of titanium and 7 screws out. I will never fail to be amazed by how brilliant those guys are. How on earth can they do that?!
I dread to think how much money my second trip to hospital must have cost in terms of doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, anaesthetist and surgeon time (I mean how much per hour are those top notch ortho surgeons paid?!), two night’s accommodation, meals, medication and other misc. materials. I have no real idea how to estimate that, but it’s got to be into the thousands. Far more than I have ever paid in national insurance.
And how about my previous 10-day sojourn? Eek! I was told that the piece of titanium they put in my leg was worth £1000 alone, let alone all the other above costs.
This is why it really gets my goat to be sitting in the outpatients’ waiting room behind somebody who is moaning loudly that the NHS is a "disgrace".
"How come you can make an appointment and still have to wait for two hours? It’s disgusting!"
No, madam. Disgusting is a world you have never experienced, where healthcare is not free. In that world, the rich can afford health insurance, and the poor cannot. The rich can afford cosmetic surgery, and the poor have to choose between having their cancer removed or eating dinner for the next month. People really are making those sorts of choices every day. I am willing to bet that if I had got run over in the USA, there would have been lots of things my health insurance didn’t cover. I would be in debt right now. I would certainly not have been able to afford to have that troublesome metalwork removed again, and would probably have chosen just to live with the discomfort for another couple of decades.
Does that woman know that in most of Latin America, if you are booked in for an operation, you have to provide your own blood for transfusion? Yes, you have to get all your friends and family to give blood, and hope that there are enough people who love you with the right blood type so that you can go in for surgery.
No, I didn’t think she did.
What about the person at the end of the ward complaining about their bland hospital food? For goodness’ sake, I want to yell at them, it’s FREE! What do you expect? If you want something gourmet, get your family to bring it in for you, like the rest of the world does.
"I’ve been here for over an hour!"
And that is not going to kill you. Because we have the miracle of a National Health Service. Don’t you think all that is worth waiting an hour for?

3 Responses to “Quit your whining, the NHS is amazing”

  1. Sarah 12/06/2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Yay Mel! I like it appreciation :) And for your figures… a hospital bed for one night not including any medication/food/staff etc. costs £200. I had a patient the other day who was complaining that the beds were lined up so that she kept catching the eye of the patient opposite, and it annoyed and distracted her. And another one who wanted us to make the ducks by the beautiful pond that she could see out of the window be quieter because they were annoying. Sigh.

  2. Anne Thomas 13/06/2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Mel, you are worth every penny! I hope the leg is strong and painfree very very soon. I hope too. that lots of hard-pressed NHS staff find your blog and feel encouraged!

  3. MrTim 15/06/2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Yeah, it’s amazing! If you go to a private hospital’s website they list the costs of various operations. I’m not sure if that’s a reasonable comparison, but I looked up how much my hernia repair would have cost and it was about £20,000. Yeowch. Praise God for the NHS :o)

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