Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I like about the UK health system (aka the NHS): The fact that there are standardised bands for treatment. For instance, it's £7.10 per prescription, and, if I need more over a certain period of time, I can get a prepaid certificate for £23.10 covering any prescriptions for, say, the next three months (please check before relying on this as I'm just relying on memory from something I looked up briefly last week). The same goes for dental. There're three bands of treatment ranging from £19.60 to £44.10 depending on what's needed. In contrast, a private GP can charge £40 just for the consultation, and a private dentist, in excess of £100 for doing a routine filling.

What I don't like about the NHS: The fact that whenever I want to make an appointment, I end up being on hold for over 10 minutes. Also, that the doctors on the NHS - or at least the one I've ended up seeing the past two times so far - seem to be rather old-school. I'm not entirely sure I'm confident about his abilities as I'd like to be able to demand medication, which is the norm back in Singapore, I gather, but, here, I tend to trust in whatever they say. I'm revisiting the doctor today after having seen him last week for an infected cut on my finger which hasn't gone away. It sounds gross, looks a little bad (angry, red, swollen finger = scary to some), can't bend easily... yeah, you can see why I'd be worried.

The other things about the NHS I dislike? Well, the regular scary stories you see in the papers which talk about how people end up waiting in the A&E for eight hours before anyone - and I mean anyone - even sees them. There's a reason someone's in the A&E, you know, and that's because they need immediate treatment!

Anyway, that ends my little rant for today. I really hope this stupid infection goes away soon. It even hurts when I write. I mean, one of the first thoughts I had when I discovered that little fact was: Thank goodness I completed my CFA Level III examination last year! If it were this year, I'd be in agony!

Edited to add: So the doctor sent me to a nearby hospital to get my hand X-rayed to rule out any bone infections. Erk. He'll get the results in 7 days and told me he'd call me if there's something to be concerned about, and won't if there isn't. Why can't he just call me regardless? There's still something wrong with my finger even if it's not bone-related!

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