Wednesday, 8 June 2011

We're lucky to have the NHS, but why do they make it so hard to love them?

I love the NHS, or at least the fact it is there. If you or a loved one gets ill it is amazing to know you can have some of the best medical treatment in the world for free. If i was in the USA i'd be worrying about health insurance a lot as i can be a pretty sickly person.
But the NHS just seems like the admin is run by idiots and whilst some doctors are great others just seem to not really give too much of a shit. Maybe its because so many people take advantage of it being free and turn up week after week with health issues that can't be totally clarified so they can get benefits or at least the week off work. For example did you know that 1 in 10 adults in the UK of working age are signed off work full time for being disabled due to illness. I refuse to believe that we have that many seriously ill or disabled people and the freeloaders just make it harder for the genuine cases.
A friend of a friend was looking through a car brochure as they get govt money to buy a new car every 3 years. Why? Because they are really fat. That can't be right, but it is true.
So now to my personal experience. I got tonsillitis ALL the time, maybe every 3 weeks over a period of 4 years and for a singer this is not good. My doctor never seemed to take it that seriously, but eventually after going again and again he pretty much wrote me an open prescription for antibiotics so i could take them whenever i knew i had tonsillitis and nip it in the bud. This worked really well for about a year when one day i took a tablet as i had woken with killer tonsils and went straight into full blown anaphylactic shock as i'd developed an allergy to the penicillin. This was not fun and i was lucky to get away with it, but cannot speak highly enough of the paramedics who looked after me.
I then noticed i suddenly seemed allergic to everything and discovered i really should get some emergency adrenalin injection pens in case i had developed a reaction to anything else so got referred to the allergy clinic in the hospital. As expected it took months to see a specialist and when i got there he didn't seem bothered at all so i asked to see the letter the doctor had written. He wrote "Jon has had some throat trouble from time to time and recently had a reaction to penicillin." This seemed a little low key to me so i described the situation to the specialist and he was amazed, told me i should have been given at the minimum some emergency injections and that repeated tonsillitis like i had should not be treated with an open prescription for anti biotics.
So they took blood...lots of it and did tests. Turns out i was newly dangerously allergic to peanuts. Woo, go me! However i never got the results of those blood tests and now over a year later get a call saying they found some results they didn't know the context of and were sorry, but they'd have to do some more blood tests and they didn't know why they'd taken them in the first place.
Exasperated is the only way to describe my dealings with the whole system. Despite loving the fact we have free health care and i'd always vote in favour of keeping it i cannot fathom how they make such a pig's ear of all the basic stuff and why getting a real condition sorted seems harder than getting a note signed to get a free car due to liking cake a little too much.

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