So you think you need a doctor?
I’m in full agreement every person, regardless of nationality, age, gender, colour, lifestyle, religion, sexual orientation, income, personality, size, intellect, qualifications, class, profession or status should be entitled to health care. Apologies if I’ve missed out any specific group.
I understand why England’s National Health Service is envied by many and held up as a shining example of how things should be managed. I appreciate it has many good points and will be the first to praise services when there’s a job well done. It sickens me that so many countries have no organised health care at all and I’m sympathetic towards others who do not have the resources to pay for a service that should be funded and affordable. I’m not an expert in this field, or any other for that matter, and I can only speak from personal experience. I am not stating facts, merely opinions, as well as realising everything in life is a matter of comparison.
Without our NHS my grandson would not have been born. Without our NHS I would not have survived to see him. Without our NHS my mother would not have lived beyond teenage years and I would not be here. Contemplations that get my knickers in a twist, but basically I’m grateful for what our NHS does achieve, yet sceptical of its progress and future. It seems to me that targets, finances and statistics have become more important in this country than people. England is overpopulated and services are underfunded, but I repeat all things are comparative.
But this is how I perceive things at this moment in time. Firstly, we have an over-the-top, prevention is better than cure mentality. Everything you smoke, drink, imbibe, inhale, inject, breathe or even think will be held against you and responsible for any ailments you may develop. Our NHS expects you to do your duty, subscribe to sainthood status and hopefully never need a doctor or hospital treatment. As the old joke states you may not live longer, but it will certainly feel like it when every pleasure you’ve ever indulged in is frowned upon and a definite no-no as you rapidly race towards old age. Immortality is the name of the game and there’s plenty waiting out there to make a profit when the health-fixated population of today need care homes to help them achieve it.
So, failing to be fit as a fiddle or having the audacity to contract a virus, you then have the complicated process of making an appointment with your G.P. It helps if you know exactly what day you’re going to fall ill as you are not allowed to make an appointment prior to or after the day you call the surgery. To guarantee seeing the one doctor in your practice who resembles a human being, speaks clear English and actually makes eye contact, you need to be up before sunrise and prepared to risk the added injury of a sore finger as you constantly redial the surgery to secure a five-minute slot. It usually takes several days before you're quick enough off the mark to actually speak to a receptionist and succeed in being squeezed in for an appointment.
Once booked, you then spend a happy hour in a crowded waiting room surrounded by sick people. Eventually, your name is called and off you go to discuss your symptoms.You squirm a lot, you apologise for being ill and taking up the poor doctor’s time, but you know instinctively every ailment you suffer from is your own fault. Your in growing toenail is because you smoke, your rash is down to your drinking habit and your panic attacks a result of having butter on your bread instead of pro-active, cholesterol-reducing, unsaturated fats. If you don’t have any bad habits, then it’s concluded that whatever is wrong with you is due to being overweight, inactive, hormones, being female or the ultimate of health sins, depression.
If you’re lucky you may walk away with a prescription for medicine. Despite the fact you’ve paid six per-cent of your wages all your working life into National Insurance for health care, you’ll wind up paying over seven pounds for each item prescribed. Many are much cheaper over the counter and probably of better quality than the cheapest variety you've been prescribed. . Exemptions apply to some for various reasons, including weird ones like if you have a thyroid condition you don’t pay, but if you have ongoing high blood pressure or are thwarted by constant mental health problems you do.
If your condition has been correctly diagnosed and your medication has cured it, then that’s hunky-dory. But if your symptoms persist and you feel you may need a repeat prescription, there’s no longer the simple option of asking for it on the telephone. It’s essential you return to the surgery and most likely you’ll have to wait another hour surrounded by sick folk to discuss with the doctor what sin you’re still committing that’s responsible for your failure to recover.
I think I’d better stop there as I’m getting a headache. I suspect it’s probably down to that liquorice allsort I ate this afternoon, it being full of sugar, artificial flavourings and several E numbers. I'd better not even start writing my thoughts on our hospitals, as my head might explode completely and there'd be no chance of getting an appointment with the doctor until at least three weeks on Wednesday.