Sunday, 4 May 2014

In praise of the NHS...

I had to go to the Doctor's the other week and while I was waiting for my appointment I overheard two elderly ladies chatting to each other.  It transpired that somebody they knew had died. 

One lady imparted the news of the death to the other - whose response was 'That'll be another house for sale in the street then.'

I was slightly taken aback by this at first, but, giving her the benefit of the doubt, I concluded she was perhaps just being practical.

When you reach a certain age, perhaps you think of death in a more matter-of-fact way, particularly if it's someone of a 'good age' who has died. 

Back to the Doctor's, I hadn't realized that the price of prescriptions had increased - they now cost £8.05 per item, which I thought was quite expensive.

But I hadn't had to pay to see the Doctor, and I didn't have to pay for the blood test I needed either.  So while my prescription did cost, I'm guessing what I paid probably just about covered the price of the medication.

So yes, this is a round about way of saying how lucky we are to have the NHS, we shouldn't take it for granted, and we need to protect it and make sure it stays free for those who need it.  I certainly don't want to see charges for visiting the GP introduced.

Anyone who saw the recent BBC4 comedy The Walshes will have realized that in Ireland they have to pay to see a physician (about 50 Euros, approx £40), hence the character Graham's keenness to ask his daughter's new boyfriend, Doctor Burger, to give his opinion on a decidedly delicate medical matter.

Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, Doctor Burger wasn't the boyfriend's name, it was where he worked as a fast food cook.  Now none of us want to find ourselves in a similar situation, do we?

1 comment:

  1. Bravo Helen! If we have to start paying to see the Doctor then really, the NHS will no longer exist. And I for one would be in deep doodoo - living on disability benefits is tight enough without having to start saving up to see the doctor.

    We see enough people with rotten teeth because they can't afford to pay for dental treatment (or just can't access an NHS Dentist) - we'll end up with death rates shooting up if people can't afford to see a Doctor as wel!