Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The NHS......... if it was a business it would be bankrupt.

In theory we are very fortunate in this country to have the National Health Service. In practise it is a hulking great machine, lumbering along with the organisational skills of a 3 year old. If it was a business it would be bankrupt.

The reason for my dissatisfaction is this...

My youngest son needed to see a Specialist about something that was/is affecting him. I went to see my doctor about it and he was brilliant. He was sympathetic and dictated a letter to the local hospital whilst I was in the room. 6 weeks later I had heard nothing. I phoned my GP and the receptionist said that a letter had been sent out on the 6th October, the day of my appointment. I phoned the hospital. They had no record of any letter. At my request they faxed a copy of the letter from the GP to the hospital. Again I heard nothing.

Today I phoned the hospital to see if any progress was being made. It turns out ( and I won't bore you with a transcript of the conversation I had with a complete cretin at the hospital ) that my son has an appointment tomorrow. At 2.30. No letter has been sent to inform us of this and when I asked the address of the hospital ( I had never heard of it as it is in another town ) the woman said , in a bland and vacuous voice : " Ooooh... I dunno... I don't drive... "

We may well be part of some NHS experiment in remote messaging, but its not working. From now on we will be going Private. We didn't use my husband's health insurance to start with because of the precarious state of his job. To Hell with that... my son's health is too important. I shall be writing letters of complaint.... or maybe I shall just try and send my thoughts through the ether.


Gail said...

I have heard this is a problem. That is why noone let Hillary put in a public health care policy while she, uhh, her husband was in office.
Good luck and hope your son gets the health care he needs.

Balou said...

I hope all works out well for your son. What luck that you called the day before his appt. It's interesting to hear the downfalls of a National Health Care System. Do complain though - otherwise they'll assume all is fine. The USA needs some kind of public health care though. Especially now with people losing their jobs in record numbers and consequently losing their health care insurance. It's a mess over here.

Kork said...

I shall not comment on my own views about health care in the'd not let me back to your blog again if I did.

Needless to say, I hope your son gets better, and that you get stellar care at the appointment.

Do make sure you complain, loudly, and a lot, to let those in the system know that it was broken in your case.

Keep us posted, and remember that you can now jive away your anger...

Inkling said...

I think what you just described is one reason why just about every physician I have seen in Canada is originally from the UK. Apparently, they like the national system here a bit better, though I don't understand all the details or reasons. Canadian docs go to the States where they think they can rake in the money, and that leaves Canada wide open for docs from other countries.

I am so grateful to have national healthcare that sticks around even when my husband's job vanishes, but I have learned that many Canadians here do not know how to be assertive and proactive in their own healthcare. They seem content to sit by and wait for the medical community to do things. Most of them would never think of calling to follow up like you did. For me, the system has worked fairly well so far, but I wonder if it's because I've brought along my American assertiveness and curiosity to know every detail and timeline involved. (Those qualities are the very things that irritate the administration here when they have to deal with me, but at least it gets me answers in a timely fashion.)

However, if I had the kind of care your son just experienced, I think I'd be on the first plane back to the States to get my private healthcare.

I hope this situation works out for you, and that you are also able to bring about a change for the better in your system. Maybe you should run for political office as you mentioned awhile back. Heaven knows England would be a better place with your common sense and wisdom.