if you live in a uhc country, i would like to know your opinions on your health care system. specifically:
are you aware of the rate of medical bankruptcy? how common is it in your country for a person to file bankruptcy because of medical costs? does it happen?
it's not something i've ever heard of in the uk, nor have any of my colleagues so i would say it's very rare.
what about choice? are you free to choose any doctor you want and do you feel you have a say in your treatment, or do you think the system makes the choice for you?
you tend to choose a general practitioner within your area but there are usually more than one doctor in each surgery so if you don't get on with a doctor you can chose another. for referrals to secondary care your gp will usually refer you to the local hospital or regional specialist. i suppose that choice of medics would be less than in the us as you don't actually go and pick your doctor you go to the one that is within your area and referrals to other doctors are made from there
concerning culture, what's the general ratio (you can estimate) of those in your country who are for or against the current uhc plan? how are the proponents and those who foster the uhc viewed through a cultural lens? (e.g. “people who support uhc are free-loaders and losers”.)
i think that the nhs has been a part of uk culture for that long that healthcare for all is considered as a right, i don't think that there are many who would consider those that support it as free loaders. it's a way of life, you don't have to pay for healthcare and we pay national insurance.
concerning quality of care, what about these terrible wait time that americans hear about? is that true? are you receiving poor care because of the system?
the waiting times in the uk are vastly improved to what they used to be, we are not perfect and there are some specialities that struggle to meet the government targets. your time to treatment for non urgent patients should be 18 weeks and within my area we are achieving this (just) urgent treatment is treated much more quickly for cancers we are trying to achieve 1 month.
is your system sustainable?
i really don't know, there have been so many cutbacks and staffing problems where i work, there are times that i wish we did have a different system but i am not sure that i would want to give up the right to healthcare as a compromise.
is your uhc coverage guaranteed? has your coverage ever been denied ( or others that you are aware of ) and for what reason?
coverage is guaranteed, although there are some treatments or drugs that may not be covered if they are felt to be too expensive for the benefits that they provide, that's not to say too expensive because of the money but the benefits do not warrent the cost to the nhs if that makes sense.
all care is covered including medical treatments, therapies and some dental work although finding a nhs dentist is quite difficult. we get free prescription medicines where i live as well so we don't pay for any drugs or dressings
personally i am very grateful for our healthcare system as i have spent the last 2 years needing surgery and post op care / physio, combined with being unable to work because of an injury for 6 months and i had full pay for this time, i dread to think how i would stand financially if i didn't live and work in the uk health service
please tell what country you are from and feel free to discuss anything at all about your uhc system, the good, the bad, the inbetween.
uk, i like the idea of healthcare free at the point of access, i don't mind paying extra national insurance to cover it, i've always done it so i don't notice that it's not there. i do feel that nurses and nursing is a scapegoat because of underfunding, poor care is blamed when there are too few nurses on the wards to be able to provide adequate care.
i don't like identifying a need for a new service and then being told that there is no funding and it's going to have to be done neutral cost _ ha!!!!!!!
i don't like the fact that in august we are going to have to reduce our junior doctors ours to 48 hours a week and again this has to be neutral cost. how on earth are we to manage that.
i dont like that social services and healthcare are 2 different entities working to different targets, so that when we say we need to discharge a patient because they are medically fit it can take weeks to get a social service input and a placement in appropriate care. then we have surgical patients in inappropriate areas because the surgical beds are full of those that should be in rehab / care homes / residential homes
we have a good pay structure, and excellent holiday and sickness benefits with 27 - 35 paid holiday days annually and 8 bank holidays, 6 months full sick pay and 6 months half pay. the pension is one of the best in the uk.
i like the concept and idea of universal healthcare and subscribe totally to it, but i do think that we need to do it better in the uk.