Monday, 2 February 2009

National Health...Ha Ha!

For the past 4-5 weeks, someone in our family has been ill, pretty much every day. All three of my children had slapcheeks disease, which I couldn't discover until they came out in the rash, by which time it's too late. I seem to get a bug, just when someone else recovers, just so I don't miss out on being forced to sympathise with all the sick patients in my home! It was all just getting a bit ridiculous!

Anyway, James had a high temperature for 4 days in a row last week and he was just a mess. I couldn't do anything without him getting upset and clinging onto me for dear life, so I resorted to the idea that all I was able to do was sit and watch dvd's all day. I couldn't understand what was wrong with him, though, b/c the only symptom he had was this temperature that just didn't want to take a walk!

On the third day of his temperature, I decided it was time to see the doctor about his temperature, hoping for some advice. The only problem is that over here, my children don't get to see a doctor for the first visit, they get to see the nurse and if they want to see the doctor after that, then you have to make an appointment for the doctor to call you to book an appointment with them. It's such a hassle, that I rarely ever bother to go through with it! So, I booked with the nurse and took James to the surgery, where the nurse saw that he had a high temperature, checked his ears, breathing, etc., and then proceeded to check the internet to diagnose what was wrong with him. Can you believe it?! After a million possibilities showed up on the search engine, she turned to me and said that she didn't know what was wrong with him, as it could be a number of things. Thank you so much for the information!! I could have come up with that conclusion all on my own! She then proceeded to tell me that it was not necessary to go to the doctor and just go home and keep loading him up on the Calpol.

I then mentioned to her that I had seen on the internet that slapcheek can cause complications to pregnant women who have been exposed to it, after which she again turned to her computer and found that what I was saying was right, but as I was over 20 weeks, the computer said that I shouldn't worry about it.

Uh, thanks for the confidence! You put all my worries to rest with your Googling! I can't believe that our tax money is paying for service that seems to be the equivalent of something out of a dodgy back alley!

To all my fellow Americans, you're in for a rude awakening when Obama starts throwing out his National Health policies at you! Most of you I know didn't vote for him, but for those of you who did...thanks a ton!


allypally said...

'Computer says no....' I can just see it! That is very unprofessional and if I were you I would write to your NHS trust to point it out... but I'd still take that over no insurance and no health care at all (our current situation as of yesterday!)

Pratt's Press said...

never heard of a service being that bad in the UK.... i've never made an appointment with a nurse then a doctor!! change practices thats all very strange!! glad they are all getting better now xx

Lee said...

I feel bad that you have to go through all the trouble with your kids. But rest assured this is not the case everywhere in England.
Let me tell you about my experiences with the NHS...
Kaylee, out five year old, was born 6 weeks premature. She spent the first week and a half of her life in hospital. Fair enough, things like that happen.
Spencer, nearly two now, was born three months premature. Spencer spent the first two months of his life in hospital. During this time he had several complications, including a collapsed lung. The doctors and nurses were such a tremendous help during that time.
A week after coming out of hospital Spencer had a small relapse and was admitted to hospital. This was devastating to us, yet the doctors and nurses helped Spencer, and our family, get through it.
Some months later Spencer had a hernia operation. He was taken to a children's hospital where his care was exemplary.
Spencer and Kaylee also both have asthma.
Any care and medication that they have needed has been charged to the NHS.
Two weeks ago my dad had three heart attacks. He was treated immediately and in a professional way. He is now on medication that he will be on the rest of his life.
I can tell you that any time that a family member has needed to see a doctor, they have seen a doctor that day, most times within an hour or so.
NHS Direct, and the out-of-hours doctor are available whenever our local doctor is not.
Yes, things go wrong from time to time but these are not as common as their successes.
I can not begin to explain the relief I feel when I think of how I might have been if I had to deal with the additional stress of trying to figure out a way to pay for all this, as well as filling out pages of insurance forms just to get treated. I imagine that I'm n a much better position than the 70 million Americans that can't afford to pay for their treatment.
So forgive me if I disagree with you as my experiences differ somewhat.
Don't forget that you can always pay for private health care if you feel the NHS isn't up to it.

The Scott Family said...

I have never had this experience with the NHS...sorry to hear about this! As Paul works in healthcare, he is surprised by this, and in all his years working in healthcare, has not come across something like this before(although he concedes that you get good and bad Drs/nurses wherever you live, for example, he once had to stop a doctor in North America prescribing a potentially harmful drug to our daughter) So it could be just a bad service in your local area.
Equally, I have never had a problem getting appointments to see fact we had a very distressing situation with Milly last year where she began sucking harder for breath. We saw a doctor at the local GPs within 30 minutes then within the hour she was up at the hospital, having being seen by a specialist and playing in the hospital nursery!
We may not have a perfect healthcare system, but I wouldnt have it any other way, and I actually think if you Americans had a little more faith in your countrymen, you could do a FAR better job with healthcare than we can!!!

Mandi and Rob said...

Oh my just next time you will know to go to WebMd .com . Oh and by the way I sent your package last Wednesday and so you should receive it soon. Love you all and I hope everyone feels better soon.

sophie said...

Agreed!!! It's appalling she googled it...I would have snatched my baby up and gotten the heck outta there!

Hoffman Household said...

Oh I think I would have flipped out! I can see why you got mad! Well you now know where to find out whats wrong with your babies! Hows he doin now?

Jaimers said...

James is much better, now, although he is still very clingy, which isn't the norm for him.

I've always thought that the maternity care I've had through the NHS has been great and I really do think the NHS tackles life threatening illnesses in just the way they ought to be cared for. My American family and friends can confirm that I've always been positive about my experiences with the NHS, mainly b/c I'm a positive person, even when I've had unprofessional behaviour on more occasions than I can count on one hand.

My point is that Americans don't have a clue what it actually means to have National Health. Your hospitals won't be as clean anymore, for one. When I've needed clean sheets in hospital before, in Preston and Bath, I've had to change them myself. I've also seen nurses who were covered in cat hair, would see to me with gloves on (where they would come into contact with my bodily fluids) then with those same gloves on type something on their keyboard, then see to me with those same gloves on. I've never in my life experienced unprofessional healthcare like this at any point in America.

I'm all for private healthcare, to be completely honest. If we had a Conservative government in office that was giving tax breaks to those that choose to go private, then I would be there. We do actually go private on some matters, already. As it is, I don't feel like Simon should be made to pay for everyone elses healthcare on top of our own going private.

All I'm saying is that I miss clean, professional healthcare. I can't just change surgeries here, either. I've already tried it. Once you've been assigned to one, even if you move to another area in the city, you can't change your surgery. I'm on an impossible waiting list to change mine.

Sarah Coyne said...

Oh, Jamie I'm sorry to hear about the wretched nurse! That is so frustrating! I'm at 2 sides with the NHS. I really like it in some ways, but dislike it in others. I actually just went on a rant about the American health services on my blog a week ago! So maybe we'll never be happy....I've always thought a mix between the two systems would be ideal.