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Topic: Health care costs  (Read 6285 times)

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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2002, 12:25:15 PM »
I will once again take up my role as defender of the NHS.  I've been here nearly thirteen years with three kids and have never had any real problems.  My one complaint would be that I think they drug their feet abit when my youngest needed grommits(tubes in her ears.)  but once she was referred to the ENT it moved very fast and we had excellent care.  The longest I've sat in the ER was four hours(a busy saturday night) and other times that I've gone
they were excellent.  We once thought our two year old had swallowed a thumb tack and they took it very seriously.  I've always gotten good care for sick children,  you can get a same day appt.  You  have to say it's an emergency-which I find difficult with my yankee upbringing(don't make a fuss).   They're great about immunizations and check-ups for kids.   You can get the same doctor, but you do have to ask. All kids perscriiptions are free.  
All in all I've found the benefits outweigh the cons, especially with kids.  


Re: Health care costs
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2002, 07:52:26 AM »
I am sure that both systems (US and UK) have their pros and cons.  My husband seemed to "grow up" just fine under the care of the NHS!  :)  My only concern is where in America you would get yearly test/checks done they seem to range from 3-5 years in the UK.  Just trying to figure out the "unknown" becaue my husband's usual answer for my questions is..."I don't remember"!  Thanks for the reply


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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2002, 09:43:26 AM »
I've actually wanted to know the same thing myself.  I've heard stories that they only give one sonogram during your 9 months of pregnancy (which to me just doesn't sound too kosher)!  :o  I know I've never been preggo but I do have many friends who have children and they have always had multiple sonograms at each stage.  And another I just can't seem to get a straight answer on is  - pap smears - once every three years!  Which is just total ignorance for the medical community and a pure travesty for women.  Especially when cervical cancer is nothing to play around with believe me I know this one personally.  If I didn't get regular screenings I would have had irreversible damage at 33.  Preventive medicine is my concern here.
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2002, 12:05:20 PM »
Quote
  And another I just can't seem to get a straight answer on is  - pap smears - once every three years!


Yes,  I think it is once every three years, BUT if you have one that is abnormal-even slightly-they'll do them every six months for a couple years and then you have them every year til the end of time.  That 's my experience anyway.  

Scans during pregnancy-this probably varies but I had one at 12 weeks, check to see every thing is ok.  and then a very thorough one at 18 weeks.  There's really no need for multiple ones in my opinion if everything is going ok.  

Baby checks- The doctor does one at two weeks, six weeks.  the health visitor does a very thorough developmental check, as well as hearing, sight,etc at eight months.  There is another big developmental check at 2 1/4 and a pre school check around four.  Surgeries (Dr.'s offices) have weekly baby clinics where you can talk to the health visitor about any concerns and have your baby weighed and immunized.  

Hope this helps


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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2002, 12:51:51 PM »
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I've heard stories that they only give one sonogram during your 9 months of pregnancy



I had a workmate who was pregnant and she said it depended on which NHS catchment you fell into.  She was living in Glasgow at the time (one sonogram), but was going to move to where her parents lived  (2 sonograms) because the catchment area was bigger, but there was less people, hence shorter waiting lists, etc...
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2002, 07:01:51 PM »
Well, to add my two cents / pence ...

I had a year of nurse's training as a young woman, acquired a certificate and worked at a hospital in southern California, so I have some background.  In England I have friends who are nurses and medical secretaries.  I also worked (in England) for the criminal justice psychiatric nurses and Intermediate Care, and at the main hospital in Liverpool (the Royal) so I have had some exposure to the internal workings of both systems.   They both have their pros and cons.  

I have to say that I am not impressed with the NHS.  Prescriptions are cheap.  Which is a good thing because my doctor was nothing more than a pill dispenser.  I never saw him for more than five minutes at a time.  Standard procedure in the USA is to take a patient's temperature and blood pressure at the start of any doctor visit.  The only time my doctor checked my blood pressure was when I requested it because I had symptoms of high blood pressure and it, along with associated problems, runs in my family.  My doctor never listened to me, rarely even looked at me.  He gave pat answers and on the spot diagnoses.  His wife, a doctor in the same surgery, was even worse.  

I have sat in the emergency room with my partner's mother for hours.  One day she was taken to hospital at 2:30 in the afternoon and lay on a guerney in a crowded reception area until she was "assessed" at 10 p.m.  It was 8:30 before they even offered her a cup of tea.  Then it took them two days to find a bed for her (and yes, the beds are all in wards).  Unfortunately, this was not a "one-off" occurance.  I realize that the Royal has been documented as the busiest emergency room in Europe, but I was appalled.  

Dental and vision are not covered by the NHS.  They will tell you that dental is covered but try to find a dentist who will accept it!  Hovis and I both wear glasses for reading.  Neither the eye exams nor the glasses themselves were covered by the NHS.

The waiting lists are long for any "non-emergency" procedure.  My partner needed surgery and had to wait a year and a half.  He also required dental surgery to repair a crown that had abscessed.  He waited eight months for that (and he went to the dental training hospital, because his own dentist couldn't fit him in and we couldn't find another dentist who would take NHS).

The NHS needs a major overhaul.  Some months ago much was made on the news about some Brits who got tired of the waiting lists in the UK and went to France to have surgery.  The hospitals there looked lovely, clean, the patients had private rooms, and the NHS paid for it.  So maybe more Brits will start doing that.

The truth is, the best thing I can say about the NHS is that it's free.  But I think you get what you pay for.


« Last Edit: June 02, 2002, 07:07:18 PM by Elaine »


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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2002, 01:03:07 PM »
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My BF's mum can't get over the problems with healthcare coverage and costs over here.  Of course, neither can I...


My Brit husband used to be of the mindset that it was shocking how Americans had to pay for healthcare. He has, over the last few years, begun to change his mind, after the NHS blunders and problems that have been in the news since then. I have always said what Scrumpy said "You get what you pay for."

I agree that both systems have it's pros and cons, but I would prefer, in the current NHS state of affairs, to have US healthcare. I'd rather pay thousands to get life saving surgery than be stuck on a waiting list, or to have to be taken to another hospital hours away because of lack of free beds. Other European countries have successful national health care programs, they also spend more, so until the UK can put more money into the NHS, it's not going to be as good. I think I read that the UK puts 8% of tax into the NHS, whilest France puts 12% in.

I will say, that if you're not happy with the surgery or GP that you have, you can change. I did. If you want a certain doctor at the surgery, you can request them as well, though you may have to wait a week or more.

Dental care on the NHS is only cheaper, it's not free, unless it's for children (as well as eyecare). And it's difficult to find an NHS dentist. There's a bit of info on the Medical page of the site on that. http://www.uk-yankee.com/medical.html






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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2002, 05:25:06 PM »
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I agree that both systems have it's pros and cons, but I would prefer, in the current NHS state of affairs, to have US healthcare. I'd rather pay thousands to get life saving surgery than be stuck on a waiting list, or to have to be taken to another hospital hours away because of lack of free beds.


The problem is, you have to HAVE the thousands of dollars in the first place.  Otherwise...

I guess I'm coming from a different place than most on this forum.  I don't have a "career" - I have a job.  I am a single mother of two children - never been married.  I do receive child support, but it's hardly worth mentioning.  And neither father has put "his" son on his insurance like he's supposed to.  So it's left to me, and I've never made enough money to add two dependents to health insurance.

I am one of those who has fallen through the cracks in the health care system, and I can't help but wonder why...the American way of health care is kind of a twisted version of "only the fittest survive" - twisted, because the fittest are usually the ones who can afford regular health care, not just because they ARE fittest...

Sorry.  This is a very touchy subject with me.  I think that BOTH countries could do a damn sight better, really.  And I won't even be covered when I come over in August because I'll just be there on my passport.  So my situation won't even change.

But I can't help but think that health care is one of the most fundamental rights of any citizen of any country, and it's one of the hugest failures over all.  In the case of the US, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" don't go very far if you're not healthy to begin with.
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2002, 02:03:15 PM »
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I think that BOTH countries could do a d**n sight better, really.


I agree with this, I fully support a national health program, and was hoping that Hillary Clinton would succeed when she was First Lady. My comment was based on the choice of the two, lesser of two evils at best.

I was a single mom with 4 children, little child support, and could have been in a situation of falling through the cracks, I took advantage of the State programs. There was Medicaid, and for those who made too much to qualify for Medicaid, there was another program to provide low cost insurance to families with children. I agree with you, everyone has a right to quality healthcare, and not to those only who can afford it. I would only rather dig out of a mountain of debt than to be placed on a waiting list that could end my life, or my child's life.  :-/

All that said, I have received satisfactory care under the NHS thus far, at least with my current GP, and a lot of my opinions are based on the horror stories that make the headlines. Things happen that rarely happen in the States, at least where the hospitals are concerned (hygiene, medication errors, full beds, etc.). They're trying to rectify the problems.  :-/  The standard of care is, I found, not up to the standards I experienced in the US.

Back to the topic of cost, is it possible that you could get temporary travel insurance from the US to cover you while you're here?


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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2002, 04:57:47 PM »
I have to look into that - but, again, cost is a big issue.  We're doing this on a shoestring as it is.  It's all in the timing, really.  School starts here 12 August; school starts there 4 September.  I just really don't want to enroll the boys in school for 2 weeks (or even worse 2 months), let them make friends and get settled, then rip them out of it.  I think the transition will go much better if they just start the year right where they're going to be.

My BF's father does insurance, so maybe he can give me some pointers on what I can do.

I think we're definitely on the same page here, though!

But I really am one who fell through the cracks - too much to qualify for Medicaid, and couldn't find a doctor in town that was accepting "new" patients under the Healthy Kids program.  So, there you go.  Yep, the programs ARE out there - it's just a matter of getting someone to participate in them!
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2002, 12:21:53 PM »
Some interesting things being said.  I honestly don't know about someone who is only a "visitor" here, per se trying to get on the NHS.  I'm on the NHS and frankly, considering going private and finding private health insurance.  The things I hear about waiting 2 months to be seen and sitting in hospital waiting rooms for literally days before being seen just scares and angers me.  

I know before coming over that I had the notion that the UK health care system couldn't be beat.  Free for all and no one had to lack for medical care.  Ha ha!  What an eye opener when I got here and began reading the newspaper!

I think there's good and bad in both systems (US and UK).  I couldn't say one is better than the other.  I gave birth at a German hospital and my experience with that was really good, I thought.  German health care seems to be pretty good.  But I don't feel I have enough experience with it to say it's necessarily better either.

Peedal, I think you're better off going private anyway.  Seriously.  I don't think the NHS is all it's cracked up to be.  I'm thankful it's here.  I think there's better though.


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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2002, 01:52:40 PM »
sean is looking into whether or not i can be considered his "partner" and be covered under his BUPA plan at Sun Microsystems (where he works).  i'm only here on a work permit & don' t have a national insurance number yet (don't even get my passport back for another 4-6 weeks), so i'm not sure if i will qualify, but he's going to try to put me down as his partner.  the only requirement listed is that we have to live at the same address.  so.. maybe.  if i do qualify, then i'll have a BUPA coverage plan for #13/mo.  not bad compared to the COBRA rates i'm paying right now to keep my states coverage up ($250/mo).  
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2002, 12:38:33 PM »
Well, I thought finding some info online was going to be easy. It's not. But here's a sort of conglomeration of my experience and what I found...

When I came to the UK on a tourist Visa for three months, basically living with the guy I was still contemplating whether or not I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I was enrolled on his BUPA insurance as a "partner" because we shared the same address and heck, BUPA got the extra money; it doesn't judge personal circumstances, didn't care my last name didn't match the bill payer.

In that grace period I also got an earache. I went to the local surgery and inisted I did not qualify for free NHS, offered them gobs of money and they looked at me like I had two heads. Never dealt with an American visitor before. So, they did the only things they could think of to do. Treated me, charged me nothing and sent off my details to the NHS place to enroll me. I did not know that they did that, so imagine my surprise when I got this thing in the post: My Own NHS Card. So, I have this prescription and I have to fill it. Handed it to the pharmacy guy with the explanation that I did not qualify for NHS treatment. He did not know what to do so he said "5 quid" and I walked out with my soon-to-be-hubby asking "welll?" and then laughing that's less than he pays!

In other words, as far as I can gather, you are allowed medical attention and it's up to the individual surgery what they do and how much they charge.

I sorta got a confirmation of that on the Notre Dame web site giving medical details to its students going abroad, part quote (note this has to do with students, not us normal folks, but some do apply):
Quote
Registering with a GP should be an easy procedure. Look in the phone book for your local health authority's phone number. Call or visit the local health authority to obtain a pamphlet that contains the names of doctors in your area with whom you are eligible to register. Call the doctor's office (surgery) and ask what days they will register new patients. When you register, you will have to answer some questions about your health and may be given vaccines or tetanus shots if you are not up to date!

Holders of EU passports are automatically covered by the NHS, though they still have to register. You should get a copy of Form E111 from the pertinent government office within your country before coming to London. With this form, your passport, and proof of student status, you may register for care with the local NHS doctor in your area.


I was hoping the American Embassy could help. Without coming out and exactly saying it, they confirm the above gist as well. They go on to list American-friendly surgeries, but 1, they are all in London (assuming American toursits only go to London) and 2, they say to look in the phonebook for a comprehensive list (which means to me that you can go anywhere for health treatment). See their site at:

http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_web/acs/uk/medfac.htm

Nothing I could find on the NHS and related web sites to give a direct answer to your question, peedal. However, this site does give comprehensive online NHS referrals/advice which might be bookmarkable for general reasons:
http://www.surgerydoor.co.uk/level2/howthenhsisstructured.shtml

And this URL gives a link to a "Send us your enquiry" in case you want to write to the NHS itself to get your specific question answered.
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/misc/GPSurgery.asp
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2002, 02:06:40 AM »
Wow, LisaE!  Tonnes of info!  Ta much for it!

My BF's mum suggests I just head to a doctor if I need one, and let the chips fall where they may.  My BF's is self-insured, so there's no private insurance to just add me onto, unfortunately.  (Might I add how much more progressive the private insurance is in the UK to add "partners" w/o question than it is in the States, where your specific employer has to decide whether to allow them...)

I guess we'll all know what happens once the move is made and it's time for my Depo Provera shot!  I'll keep you posted!
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Re: Health care costs
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2002, 05:19:22 AM »
ok here goes my story

when i came here the first time i needed to get perscriptions refilled. so..we called the gp..got an appoint ment..saw the doctor..he wrote out the persciptions and i went down the hall and got them..all no charge...

this time around...i cant register..they arent taking on new patients...onlty if im sick will they see me...

i went to the womens clinic..got on the pill..at the time i was 'unwell' they told me to come back after i was finished and they would give me my exam and pap smear.
all this is free...the bith control..any for you like..even the depo shots. the pap is free..the exam is free

i htink you are entitled to nhs coverage even if you are a visitor..they will charge you for perscriptions..i think its like £6

so..find out where your womens clinic is..ask at your gp office..or the phone book

but all in all..its a good sysyem..they just need to put more money in it i think..and more doctors...

thats my tid bit

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