Last week, a cousin living in America, came home to help his eighty year old mother settle into her new, more suitable and smaller accommodation. His mother is severely disabled with kidney failure and heart problems. Although we have little community and medical support for the needs of such patients in our community, his mum does obtain highly technical equipment to use at home, (even if has failed four times in a year) and the medications that she needs, to live a reasonable quality of life.

There are people all over the world who just would not survive major organ failures, as services and equipment are not available, or, at any rate, it would not be, without heavy costs.

Our cousin was describing the increasing visibility of the unemployed, in what has been a reasonably prosperous area till recession struck. The people receive food vouchers for specific kinds of food shopping. The check-out queues, these days, are more usually populated by voucher holders than people who have the ability to purchase their household shopping.

While welfare, such as it is, in America, has recently been extended beyond previous time limits, those without jobs or regular income, have no medical cover, no eye care, or dentistry. There will be some limited service at emergency level (Accident and Emergency). Ongoing needs will be neglected because of a lack of insurance or money.

America is a commodity society in all areas; commodities have to be purchased. It includes a whole range of life-saving, quality of living, and basic health care elements, that we are fortunate enough to be able to take not ‘for’, but, as granted. Sure, those of us in work, pay a national insurance contribution that is meant to cover what we receive. At times, it may be a highly imperfect health care system, but, at least we do have it.


0 thoughts on “AT LEAST WE HAVE IT.

  1. It’s terrible. Prescription drugs are a disgrace making some choose, if they can even afford them, between food and medicine. Our healthcare system needs a total overhaul.

  2. There is a little bit of that here still. It could come back in full force again. The problem was, that income for a lot of static or low income groups meant that they had to decide between some of a prescription, as you paid a sum per item, or whether you could afford any of what had been prescribed. For some groups of people, it was a choice between buying essential food, heating in the winter, or cold weather, or paying some other bill.

    As I said we have an imperfect system of medical support, but we do have one. How it operates in all respects, depends on a post code lottery sometimes. Various regions have different systems; Wales has no prescription charges, Scotland’s charges are lower than England and should be decreasing, but we will have to see what happens in the current financial and political climate. Children under a certain age, pensioners and chronically sick individuals do get general prescription support but there is the occasion battle for a particular drug that an authority could deem to be too expensive yet another may allow (the postcode lottery element).

    Then there are other community social services that you probably don’t have, and are looking like near extinction is setting in here for them. Efficiency savings have been looking in the wrong direction in my view, and the pure, short term business bottom line, is not flexible enough to reap cost saving benefits within the structures that exist.

    But, at least we do have something.

  3. You don’t realise what an amazing gift the NHS is until you require treatment for serious illnesses or conditions that entails tablets that (you are told) cost £1,000 each. It must be desperately worrying not to have such basic cover.

  4. It is said what you don’t know you don’t miss. I would not accept that, would you.

    I think if you are desperately ill, or trying to avoid an ailment becoming intractable, you would desire something, you would seek help, with none or little on offer, what are you left with…the very issues you were trying to seek help with. It is inhuman and unthinkable, but that is what happens.

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