originally posted by: rickymouseNow, remember, when you say they buy a policy, that policy is a supplementary policy. It
covers excess of what socialized medicine does not cover.
Nope. I pay for private treatment because it's nice to make a GP appointment when I need it, not spend three weeks doing the "8 o'clock first come
first serve appointment dance."
That's how it works in a lot of areas, you see. Once, I could ring the GP and ask them if they had an appointment next week - "Next Tuesday? Great,
see you then!" - which let me plan accordingly, let the school know the kids would be late, or arrange with the boss to take half a day off work.
Then it became a political hot potato. Tony B'Liar decided he needed to make himself look better with more feelgood policies, and threatened to
penalise surgeries who didn't see patients within 24 hours. What did many surgeries (certainly the ones in my area, I rang most of them to check) do?
They stopped booking routine appointments in advance.
Now, to see a doctor, you and hundreds of other people all have to ring the surgery at 0800 when it opens. The first people to get through can get an
appointment for that day. If that person is lucky enough to start work after 0800 then they can at least give their boss a few minutes warning that
they won't be coming in. If that person starts work before 0800, then they either take a day off in the hope that they are one of the 1 in 10 who get
an appointment that day, or they just turn up late and face an angry boss.
Everyone else has to start all over again from scratch the next morning. Because you're not offered an appointment, you don't count as being on a
waiting list. Everyone is unhappy, except for the politicians who get to crow about "reducing waiting lists".
Thanks to that "reduced waiting list" I once spent about 3 weeks trying to get an appointment. On another occasion I was ready to give up completely,
though thankfully by that point it had become bad enough that I was taken to A&E (ER for the yanks) and seen quite quickly. I also had the pleasure of
having a doctor telling me (diplomatically) that I was an idiot for not going to my GP in the first place
When you do get seen by the NHS, however, the quality of care tends to be quite good.
Welcome to socialised medicine. Don't get me wrong, I like the NHS, but mostly because they pay my mortgage. I just have to pay for private healthcare
if I want a realistic chance of seeing a doctor. Also, the private GP's clinic is closer and they don't cram everything into a 10 minute slot!