Tuesday, 15 November 2016
US verses UK health care
You know how it is, you're on facebook and you hook into all sorts of rubbish. You read one thing and then see another on the sidebar and you're away to another clutch of stories about dogs being rescued or cats doing hilarious things. Today I have been reading "27 grateful people share the most incredible acts of generosity someone has ever done for them" There were lots of stories about good teachers and strangers paying for food etc, but those that stood out for this British girl were those when people in the US were helped out with medical bills. There's this girl who has type 1 diabetes, who currently has little health insurance because she is a student. She is making her medication spin out as far as possible and a lovely nurse gives her some freebie meds. from the pharmacy to help her out. Then there is this woman whose husband has had a heart attack and has recently lost his job, who is helped out by the kindness of strangers. Similarly a guy who has cancer and little health insurance to cover his months of treatment. I'm sitting here horrified!
Back in the 80's my husband had cancer, it was over 5 years of chemo, surgery and radio therapy before he was clear. At the time he was employed and would have been able to pay into a health insurance scheme (should he have needed to) though the treatment would have come to tens and tens of thousands of pounds. Years pass, with several health issues such as anaphalactic shock from wasp stings, diseased eye and cataract op, all requiring regular medication, and then the firm he works for folds along with the private pension fund that he has been paying into for 23yrs! It is now difficult for him to get a job, but we have the smallholding so we decide that we can manage as I am still employed. We started to offer Bed and Breakfast, which did pretty well and then seven years ago while he is putting in the mandatory fire escape(!) he becomes ill again and is told that a valve in his heart is no longer working well and will fail at any time (probably damaged by the radio therapy all those years ago) Back into hospitals, open heart surgery and constant, huge amounts of medication for life. And at no time have we worried about the cost.
A few years ago a college friend of mine who married an American was over here for a visit. The year before she had given birth to her third son who was born with a cleft palette and who had many corrective operations. Whilst she was with us her husband, back in the States, was shot outside a cinema and apart from the obvious concern for his health she was also extremely worried that they had used up all their insurance on the son. What a dilemma!
So my British bloggy friends, as if you don't know it already, The National Health Service is THE BEST! I'm sure you all have examples.
All for now
PS this is not my planned post, but my little foray into Facebook set me off!