Debi has been posting for a while about her trials and tribulations with her dad and the health service that we are all very proud of, yes, we are, aren't we?. Her almost daily rounds of mailing and making phone calls about the care her dad should be receiving are enough to make me grind my teeth to stumps (oh no, can't do that - dentist bill!).
I am not a sicky, and neither is anyone in my family, but every now and again we get something that can't be treated with homeopathy, or a nice rest in bed. I know that my family are no different from any other, and we trot off to see the quack maybe once a year, hardly a drain on national resources.
In our sparse sickness careers it has come to my attention that not once, but many times, the NHS has failed us badly. We have nearly paid the Ferryman for one adult and one child ticket thanks to the NHS - one undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy (me) and one urine infection cleverly disguised as pneumonia (small fecker). At the time you sort of count your blessings that you managed to survive, thanking the Great Gods of Alive n' Kicking that no matter how hard they tried they couldn't kill you off.
It is only in later months/years that you look back and say "Whoa, hang on a minute". It's not just your 'life in their hands' business either, the small things are often the ones that grate. When my dad was busy dying from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma he didn't notice the filthy oncology ward or the fact that we had to bring him in extra blankets from home because they had run out. When Big Fecker had a gall stone removed, he was left alone for hours on end because there was only two staff on for a ward of about 30 teens and kids.
We could blame this debacle on the fact that all our small hospitals have closed and one huge city-like monstrosity has replaced them - top heavy in management and bottom light in care makes us all a little nervous if we have to have some sort of procedure. I was extremely grateful for giving birth to both the Feckers in record time and escaping before they could add us to a growing list of complainers.
I have worked full time for most of my adult life. I am a middle income earner - meaning I can claim for nothing and yet pay full whack for everything. I don't begrudge a penny to the needy but when my family is needy I would expect to get the treatment I deserve.
The rest of the world still holds us up as an example of how it should be - health care on an equal footing for all, but it isn't, it's lies. You can pay for private medicine and receive the best care but are still expected to contribute to this sickly elephant. I totally believe in a National Health Service but I am starting to think that a stay in hospital is more akin to death row than a place in which to return to health.