Hello ATS. As many here are aware the UK has a national health system called the NHS and people who have read my threads will no doubt know i am a
very strong proponent of free health care for everyone as it has many benefits to a society. However like most systems, it is not perfect and i
recently discovered something which utterly disgusted me. I am going to relate a story that happened to me and my family, i'll need to set up some
background first. Warning, rant ahead
Ok i have mentioned on this website before that my father suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (this is pretty much identical to the condition Stephen
Hawking has). It's a terminal condition and most sufferers die within 3-5 years of diagnosis. It's a rather nasty illness becaase right until the
very end you are perfectly aware of what is going on, their is no mental degradation, just physical disability.
One of the leading causes of death among sufferes is pulmonary problems, this is because the chest muscles that help control breathing become very
weak. My father was given two respirator machines so he can breath when he's asleep or if he's struggling during the day. These machines cost
around 5000 pounds each, they have 4 hour batteries, basically very expensive kit.
As my fathers condition has gone on we have come to recognise certain problems and patterns. For example, three times he has been rushed into hospital
with a dangerously high temperature as infections just take him over in a matter of hours (it might be four times my memory is playing up atm). To
give you an idea how serious this is, the first time his temperature went from 37.2 celcius to 39.6 within 2 hours! The first time this happened we
weren't sure what was going on and he ended up in the HDU (high dependency Unit) for two weeks as we didn't call an ambulance quick enough. It
wasn't pleasant, his temperature went so high and his blood CO2 so high he began to hallucinate and become quite verbally abusive. Something which is
shockingly out of character and very upsetting to see.
The system has treated him brilliantly, so much care has been provided without ever having to worry about paying bills and theres no way he could get
private medical insurance with the conditions he already has. We would have simply had to sell our home which would have caused terrible stress to him
and no doubt shortened his life further and knowing my father he would have felt guilty until his dying day for that.
So why am i angry? Well it's because of morons who get drunk out of their skulls. Let me explain.
It was a Friday when my dad said he felt very ill, around 9pm. So we checked his temperature every 15 minutes and watched it steadily climbing. We
gave him paracetemol but it kept going up and once it went from 36.8 to 38.5 within a half an hour we knew what was happening (along with his other
symptoms, mild shaking, dizziness etc).
So we called an ambulance and instead of getting one we were passed through to a nurse, she talked to us and passed us to a doctor, that doctor told
us to wait an hour and see what happened. I took the phone from my mother and told the doctor we had seen it all before, we knew what this was, it's
a consistent pattern. He repeated his comments and then i simply said "get an ambulance here now or i promise when my father ends up in hospital i
will be contacting my MP and the local papers". The ambulance was sent and my father was taken to hospital but while talking to the ambulance crew i
learned a couple of things.
1. The ambulance service works on an american style priority system, this is flawed because americans tend to call ambulances as a last resort becuase
they often have to pay for them.
2. People who have drunk to much alcohol on a night out are given an "A" priority whereas my terminally ill father is only treated as a class "C"
because he just has "breathing difficulties and a temperature" consistent with a cold or something similar.
How utterly disgusting is that. A terminally ill patient gets a lower rating than someone who has drunk to much! The ambulance guy realised we were
not people who panic or waste the hospitals time. He took me aside as his partner was sorting my dad out and said "don't tell anyone i said this,
but next time your dad gets like this, tell the people on the phone he has chest pains and they'll be right out". Of course i haven't told anyone
this but we're on an anonymous online forum so it seems safe enough.
So anyway we got to the hospital and it's absolutely packed and i am willing to bet that 60% of these people were simply drunk or were injured by
other drunk people. Many swayed in their seats, others vomited, one man was screaming in a nurses face and as worried as i was about my father i was
about to walk over and smack him into the floor but security got there first. A drunk moron shouting at a nurse like that, i have a great deal of
respect for nurses, they shouldn't have to put up with it.
Anyway getting a bed took a long time and this is where i'm just annoyed. It's time to start charging people who come into hospital drunk out of
their skulls for the care they receive. This is self inflicted and maybe if they knew they would be paying for it they wouldn't get so damn drunk.
Ok yeah skydiving can result in injury but most skydivers don't get hurt, the whole point is not to get hurt. Drinking yourself into oblivion is
really not the same thing. My fathers out of hospital now and doing ok again (within the constraints of his illness) and his stay in the hospital was
fantastic. He was well looked after, he even got a private room with a nice view. The food is terrible of course but hey it's hospital food, we
always make sure to bring some proper stuff in for him.
Anyway yes sorry this is a rant as i stated earlier. If you go out and drink so much you end up in hospital then
1. You're a moron
2. You should pay for your treatment
3. You're a complete and utter moron
Yeah ok i repeated myself but if you are one of these people just remember that you are holding up ambulance crews who are coming out to help
terminally ill people like my father. And the treatment that is splashed upon you because of your own pathetic lack of self control means money that
could help genuinely sick people is wasted.