HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

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Polar Bear
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HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Polar Bear » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:37 pm

I'd be the first to defend our UK National Health Service. When in employment we pay a very small % of our earnings towards this service.

However - It is now overloaded to the point of disaster.
In ER patients are often on trolleys in the corridor waiting to get a hospital bed. It has been known for an ambulance to be sitting outside ER with a patient because there is no room in ER. This in turn is keeping the ambulance out of commission. The doctors and nurses are wonderful but cannot cope. In an emergency you will indeed be in or at hospital and receive care eventually and on a triage system. A couple of months ago my husband had a suspected heart attack and was treated by paramedics at home and then straight to hospital by ambulance. They were wonderful. All was clear regarding anything cardiac and following later tests it would appear likely that it was a gall stone passing. It would seem that he has them in abundance and is awaiting treatment.

If you are not an emergency..... treatment becomes anyone's guess with regard to time frame.
The waiting lists are horrendous, this I knew but not just to the extent that was announced on the local news last night.
It seems that if you have a lump in the breast, the waiting list to see a Consultant is 35 weeks.
To see an Orthopaedic Consultant- hips/knees/arthrtic joints, the waiting time is over 100 weeks, following which there is then the waiting list for actual treatment.
To see a Urologist was something like 75 weeks.
Now this just makes me mad.

As for someone with varicose veins - you'd need to have pretty severe problems before they'd stop considering it as 'cosmetic'. Of course, this is understandable because there are limited funds and more serious conditions to be treated.

I do understand that it is all about money to pay for staff/time/theatres etc. Coming towards the end of a financial year I've heard of a hospital ward being closed for a few weeks because there isn't the money to staff it. Two wards being combined and thus fewer patients in each category receiving treatment until funds level out and/or a new financial year is reached.

Many folks have private healthcare via their employment but even if after retirement they wish to continue this and pay it themselves, the cost becomes almost impossible once age 65 is reached.

I have this week taken out a very basic private healthcare plan which covers any Consultant appointment fee where my GP will confirm that there is a waiting list that is too long to be acceptable. Yes, pretty basic but it will allow a little bit of a 'queue jump'. In the past I have on occasion paid out of pocket to do this.

To see on local news that it takes 35 weeks to see a Cancer Consultant has shocked me so much, I am appalled.

If the contribution from each employed person was increased by 'xyz' it could make such a difference. I certainly wouldn't object to that. Easy for me to say as I'm now retired but I'd be willing to pay it from my Government Pension, it wouldn't be very much per person that would be needed to make a big difference. OK, so I'm sure the Government has some reason not to do this, they are educated and astute people.... aren't they?? If it was that easy they'd have done it .. wouldn't you think?

Of course, there aren't enough trained doctors and nurses coming through - university placed were reduced, the result of misplaced oresight some years ago.... they got that one wrong. We have lovely nurses from abroad and in particular the far east, but not enough nurses in general, and not enough doctors.

Good private Medical insurance is such a bonus to open the doors to the private hospitals.

Ok.....I've got that off my chest. Rant over. :)
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
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debbluebird
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby debbluebird » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:36 pm

I understand what you are going through. I'm afraid that the US is headed in the same direction.

Rustsmith
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Rustsmith » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:27 pm

For years my British colleagues would go on and on about how much better the UK system was than the one in the US. I would just nod my head and occasionally ask why some of them had to come to the US for specialty care. My wife has been faced with dealing with the US Medicare system for decades, so I was expecting that the UK system would eventually degrade into what she has been dealing with. If you are generally healthy and can get by with care from your GP, then things are fine. But when you need quality specialist care, good luck. Many of the better doctors here will not accept new Medicare patients. The government does not pay as much as they can get from other patients and the payment that they get can be VERY slow. If you have something that could escalate into major costs, like cardiac issues or cancer, then you can generally see someone fairly quickly. If it is unseen, like RLS and won't get more expensive if treatment is delayed, that is a different matter.

As for a shortage of doctors and nurses, we have that as well. Enough nurses are being produced, but they burn out and leave the profession to quickly. As for doctors, we have plenty in the low risk, high pay fields like cardiology and radiology and not enough in the high risk and/or lower paying fields like anesthesiology and GPs practicing outside of the large cities.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Polar Bear » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Yes, Steve, it is the specialist care that is most lacking.

Thank goodness for a decent GP. My practice (has 5 GPs) runs 3 drop in clinics each week as well as an appointment system.
But if you wish to see your 'favourite GP... the one you trust ' well that can take a couple of weeks.
Attend with a sore ear, for example, yes - anyone can check that.
But sometimes we want to see a particular GP who is familiar with our ongoing condition like RLS and that can take 2 or 3 weeks. I mean..... no way are we going to go to Dr Joe Bloggs just because he is available. A few years ago Dr Joe Bloggs asked me was my ropinerole an arthritis medication!
I've spent many years training up my favourite GP.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:29 pm

I could offer a rant about the US system that would be very different, but just as horrendous in its own way. If you have money in the US, all is great. When you do not? Not so much. And we spend something like 2-3 times more than any other country to have much poorer outcomes regarding some things such as infancy mortality (ranked 26th in 2010). That is unconscionable, in my opinion.

"Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report."

It's a huge moral and ethical issue that we MUST tackle in ALL countries, in my opinion.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Polar Bear » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:14 pm

Someone I know in the US is provided with excellent medical insurance via employment, it covers employee, spouse and child. Employee's contribution is about $200 each month and the company pays around $1,500 monthly. A total of $1,700 each month sounds a helluva lot for medical care if it was not heavily subsidised by employer. A colleague who was being treated for cancer was let go, no more medical insurance.

I guess with regard to care and treatment, being poor in the UK might be easier than being poor in the US.

Ann, I would truly have expected the US to have been up there, up at the top. I agree totally with your last sentence.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Yankiwi
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Yankiwi » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:27 am

I think the problem with expensive medical care in the US isn't because of the doctors or medical system, it's the litigious society. In New Zealand it's almost the opposite. Because of ACC "Accident Compensation Corporation", a government run scheme, it's almost impossible for anyone to sue anybody or company for personal injury. Someone injured on the job or playing sport is paid by ACC (and not a lot) but often turned down. I heard my knee crack with a torn meniscus and ACC said it was due to age-related arthritis.
In my opinion, because of ACC, workplaces can be quite unsafe (a tree trimmer falls into a wood chipper, for example, and the fine might be in the thousands, not the millions as possible in the US so the employer is not all that careful). To be fair, the government is trying to address workplace safety issues now. Somewhere in between the US and New Zealand's systems would be ideal.

ViewsAskew
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby ViewsAskew » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:14 am

Yankiwi - I think a lot of us think that. But, it's pure litigation isn't that much of the cost. The answer is very complex - no one thing alone - but essentially everything costs more. Administration is huge. Drug costs is a part of it (other countries have greater limits on what the companies can charge). Equipment (every hospital has the same expensive stuff instead of sharing, for example). Americans do get more tests - part of that is litigation related, but part is not. And more.

if anyone is interested, here are some links that offer reasons - and there are many of them...


First, one of my favorites (I love these two brothers who podcast nerdy stuff to each other)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSjGouBmo0M

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/why ... id-cutler/

http://www.cjr.org/the_second_opinion/d ... thcare.php

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... re/374576/
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Polar Bear » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:26 pm

Excellent links Ann.

Yes, I just love the brothers :clap:
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
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Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby ViewsAskew » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:34 am

I don't like to the two brothers as often as I used to... nice to hear someone else likes them, too :-).
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Yankiwi
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Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: HAVING A RANT ABOUT UK NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

Postby Yankiwi » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:42 am

Interesting links, thanks for posting them. I didn't care for the brothers much mainly because I don't like to spend four times as long watching something as I could just reading the text.
One article (maybe more) talked about too many unnecessary tests in the US which is certainly true. I used to go to an OB/GYN twice a year for a check up including cervical smears. In New Zealand women get one from a GP every three years. A happy medium would be better.


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