I have travelled hugely and I just cannot understand why the British love to moan about the NHS. It is a fantastic system and we should be grateful for it. We have doctors and nurses that are among the most highly-qualified and experienced in the world. We have a care system to beat 90% of other countries. We have access, often completely free, to a huge range of medicines and medical treatments. We are stunningly lucky.
Of course there are problems. How can anybody imagine that a system – ANY system – that deals with a population of 60 million or so can possibly please all of the people all of the time ? To boot, our NHS deals also with a multi-cultural society . Since the NHS was set up in 1954 there have been scores of changes and scores of re-arranging of criteria. How could there not be ?
I spend a lot of time in France and am really fed-up with hearing fellow ex-pats say “oh well the health system here is so good” … as though it is not in the UK. We can all point to examples of where we didn’t get the right treatment or where we were made to wait ages. But believe you me, these same examples exist in France too.
The old adage comes in to play: you get what you pay for. The contributions the working population in the UK pay towards health care is minimal compared to the cost of buying a top-up insurance in France or in any other country. The system in France is indeed very good – but it costs massively more.
I suppose the reason this is on my mind this week is because of the health care campaign Obama is trying to deal with. Isn’t it odd ? A world super-power, one of the most advanced nations, yet they don’t care for their sick. Did you know that in 2010 (the last available figures) the USA had slightly under fifty millions people (yes, FIFTY MILLION) who had no health cover ? Whereas in the UK that same year fifty million Brits – and more – had totally free and unquestioned access to full cover.
I support the NHS absolutely. I champion nurses and doctors and all other medics. They deserve far more of our praise and the British, as a nation, need to be happy and grateful instead of complaining. Just imagine the riot if the UK government decided to put up social contributions to the same level as the French AND tell you to buy a top-up insurance. The mind boggles.
Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites. Her sketches are on her web site http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk . Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.