U.K. healthcare

  1. Hi,
    I am a nurse in the U.S. and I am doing a paper on Universal healthcare. I would love to hear from a nurse in the U.K. about what your system is like. All the articles I have found depict it as a system falling apart . I want to have a firsthand account from someone who knows and if I could use them in my paper and presentation. Anyone willing to tell me their story?
    For instance, Are there long lines to be seen by an MD? Are people dying before they get to see a doctor. Are you going bancrupt do to taxes? Do you feel that your system is fair for all?
    Let me know:spin:
    Thanks
    beej32
  2. Visit beej32 profile page

    About beej32

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 10
    DON
    Specialty: critical care and long term care

    14 Comments

  3. by   XB9S
    I don't mind answering a few questions but to get a balanced view you may want to speak to a few nurses. PM me if I can help
  4. by   beej32
    XB9S,
    I hope to hear from many.
    You can help.
    Do you like your HC system, any problems?
    Long wait times? Patients you see not being treated due to ths type of insurance? Any problems with getting care?
    beej32
  5. by   madwife2002
    I have experienced both UK and US health as a patient and when you access health care in the UK for emergency purposes there is NO difference to the kind of care you recieve here in the US. The difference in my experience is when you have a chronic illness for example in the UK if you need a joint replacing it can take years before this treatment will be offered to you, where as in the US you need one replacing you will get it done the following week-providing you have the right insurance.
    I have personnally waited to see a doctor hours in the US same in the UK and It is free in the Uk but I have paid mega money here in the US.

    I have phoned for a doctors appt here in the US and had a 3 week appt wait
    I have never had to wait for an appt in the UK though I do of people who have waited.

    Nursing care much the same.

    Pt wait to be discharged from the hospital much the same.

    Pt's same complaints
  6. by   cariad
    beejay32, you have to know how the system works in the uk before you can compare it.
    everyone in the uk is registered with a family doctor, much like your pcp, but there is no cost to see them nor usually a wait if its an emergency. there is a standardised cost for prescription items, but not even as much as co-pays over here.
    health care is free for everyone, emergency treatment is given in hospitals free for everyone, and elective surgery is done on a waiting list in each area. and also can have criteria attached to the surgery before it can be done.
    cosmetic surgery is almost always done privately, paid in full by the patient, as this is not done under the national health system.
  7. by   beej32
    Cariad,
    Thanks for the reply. I am not so much comparing as searching for your ideas on your healthcare. Any likes or dislikes. I actually am all for a single-payer system.
    beej32
  8. by   ayla2004
    likes
    good preventated primary care. although we have a lack of dentist and more of these are not taking on nhs patients where charges are capped.
    dislikes
    money for treatment is sometimes refused even if the cost would be less than the longet time care required, all because the money comes out of differnt budgets.
    also the drive at times to reduce the cost of care by using lesser skilled personal, cheapar supplies, not being staffed enough.

    biggest dislike the system needs review its projected that we won;t be able to fund an aging population with increasing health needs espically since people are begining to expect more and treatment will become more costly.
    the how and where to change some aspect of this free at the point of delivery system no one seems to know.
  9. by   cariad
    cant really say what is going on in the uk healthcare as i have been over here for 3 years. although i do still keep in touch with the ward where i worked. but dont really know the politics of it all these days.
    been a patient on both sides of the atlantic, and although the health care over here is supposed to be better, theres good and bad in both cases. dont like the fact that there are huge medical bills over here even with health insurance. but i do like the fact that dh and i can get appointments with surgeons etc within days, and being able to have mri's for a quicker diagnosis. saw the surgeon a day after being told that i needed to after having my mri, and then had surgery 2 months later. would still probably be waiting in the uk, and not able to have an mri.
  10. by   XB9S
    Quote from beej32
    XB9S,
    I hope to hear from many.
    You can help.
    Do you like your HC system, any problems?
    Long wait times? Patients you see not being treated due to ths type of insurance? Any problems with getting care?
    beej32

    There are many problems with our healthcare system but I do like the concept of free healthcare for all. Emergency treatment has its problems but generally if you present as an emergency to an UK emergency room you will be treated, there are waits depending on your priority and the system is struggling due to many units being short staffed with increasing demand for the service.

    Chronic illness and disease there are govenment targets that all healthcare trusts are trying to meet, in the hospital where I work from time of referral to a consultant outpatient appointment you are looking at 4-5 months then if surgery is required a further 4 - 5 months depending on priority.

    THere is quite a wait for investigations, MRI as a non urgent out patient can take up to 6 months. But I do think that the scarcity of these resources makes us more cautious about ordering these investigations, I wonder if we compared the investigations within a free healthcare system to one that is privately finananced if the numbers of investigations differ.

    I like he variety of patients that we get to see, today I dealth with patients each at completely different ends of society. One a homeless destitute the other a personal injury solicitor, both recieving equal care.
  11. by   RGN1
    Can I just remind everyone that healthcare here in the UK is far from free. It's "free" at the point of delivery in some areas of healthcare but you are paying for it in your taxes. Eyecare & dental care is by no means "free" even at the point of delivery unless you are under 16, over 65 or on benefits.

    The NHS is a wonderful institution but it's falling apart at the seams due to lack of money/mis-management.

    Again I'm happy for you to PM me beej32.
  12. by   madwife2002
    Quote from RGN1
    Can I just remind everyone that healthcare here in the UK is far from free. It's "free" at the point of delivery in some areas of healthcare but you are paying for it in your taxes. Eyecare & dental care is by no means "free" even at the point of delivery unless you are under 16, over 65 or on benefits.

    The NHS is a wonderful institution but it's falling apart at the seams due to lack of money/mis-management.

    Again I'm happy for you to PM me beej32.

    Yes I agree it is not free but compared to Canada who pay extortionate taxes for their 'free' health care and compared to the US where you pay large monthly insurance bills and still pay money per visit to see doctors ie co-pays of upto $35 just for a quick doctors visit, and 21% Taxes. UK do still fare better in the health system, at least people dont pay to pop in to see their own GP.

    If you cant pay hospital bills/Doctors bills in this country you get debt collectors letters for thousands of dollars coming to your door.

    Dentists probably cost about the same over here even with the insurance payments I pay about $20 a month but to get 2 crowns made and fitted the total cost is around $2000 if the insurance agrees they will pay aprox 60% of the total cost. I think this similar price ??
  13. by   Tanvi Tusti
    Quote from XB9S
    Chronic illness and disease there are govenment targets that all healthcare trusts are trying to meet, in the hospital where I work from time of referral to a consultant outpatient appointment you are looking at 4-5 months then if surgery is required a further 4 - 5 months depending on priority.

    This is very dependent on where you live "postcode lottery" comes to mind. The trust where I worked, just prior to me leaving for Oz, had got the "choose and book" sysytem up and running and virtually everyone, whatever their referral speciality, were getting consultant appointments within 1 to 3 weeks. Any necessary surgery/treatment required following was offered within the 3 month target wait. So its really variable depending on whether or not you are lucky enough to be in an area where the NHS trust providing services is one of the better run ones.
    I have worked in several healthcare systems. Not one of them is ideal, there are flaws to all.
    A system such as that in the UK, where treatment is available to all free of charge at point of service, is the ideal, BUT its unsustainable at current levels of funding. I don't and never will agree with the concept of every individual having to pay for healthcare at point of service.
    Those that have experienced the two extremes will know how desperate it can truly be when your ability to pay will determine your level of hospital care. We are all human, surely we all deserve the best in healthcare, why should those with more money than ourselves get priority? Its not right. The basis of the NHS was to provide a "free for all service", that would not differentiate between the rich and the poor. Unfortunatly, with medical advancement, larger population, people living longer and more ill health, the cost of such a system places a massive burden on the resources of the country.
    Sure, let people with more money go out and buy their Ferraris', Ill stick with my micra, but shouldn't we all get the same benefits when it comes to our health?
    There are some abusers of such a system, there will be of any system, but most people work hard and every human deserves to be treated with equality.
    There will never be a "right" answer, all we can do is look at how other countries provide healthcare and maybe bundle a few ideas together to create the "perfect" system. (I can dream can't I!!!!!)
    Last edit by Tanvi Tusti on Apr 27, '07 : Reason: spelling
  14. by   XB9S
    Quote from Tanvi Tusti
    This is very dependent on where you live "postcode lottery" comes to mind. The trust where I worked, just prior to me leaving for Oz, had got the "choose and book" sysytem up and running and virtually everyone, whatever their referral speciality, were getting consultant appointments within 1 to 3 weeks. Any necessary surgery/treatment required following was offered within the 3 month target wait. So its really variable depending on whether or not you are lucky enough to be in an area where the NHS trust providing services is one of the better run ones.

    Thats impessive Tanvi. Yes I agree it can be a bit of a lottery and I think Wales are behind a bit on the targets because the Welsh assemble never introduced fines as an incentive to meet the targets. but I do think that we are getting there even if it is slowley

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