Thursday, August 20, 2009

My (brief) experience with NHS

With all of this discussion raging on in the US about whether health care is a right or a Nazi-esque socialist plot, a lot has been thrown about concerning examples of socialized medicine, such as Canada or the UK.

Today I got to see first hand what the NHS is like. I've been home sick with some odd flu for the last few days, and my office recommended that I go to the doctor to make sure it's not swine flu. So I went to the walk-in clinic at the Royal London Hospital, right near my flat.

Time from entering until leaving the building: less than 20 minutes.

Upon walking in, they asked me for my name, date of birth, postal code, and address. Nothing further. I then gave my symptoms and joined a quite full waiting room. Expecting it would take at least 45 minutes, I sat down to read my book. I noticed that people were frequently called and people frequently left. About 10 minutes after sitting down, my name was called and I met the nurse.

Obviously, since it wasn't swine flu, and since it was clearly viral, there was nothing they could do for me, and told me straight up. Consultation: 3 minutes with a nurse.

I must say, A+ for speediness at a walk-in clinic during lunch-hour. And since it's a flu - it's not like they gave me insufficient treatment - they told me to take paracetamol, drink lots of fluids, and the like.

So far so good. I'm liking the socialized medicine. Still, let's hope I don't have too many further opportunities to test out the NHS.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the monsters trying to stop American health care are either recipients of a kind of socialized system just for them or are idiots, and they really need to think about all the extremist venom they are spewing rebounding on them. The American private hospital is a Dickensian nightmare of humiliation and exploitation. I will never forget the way a private doctor I waddled to in true desperation and severe pain (I have been pepper-sprayed, stung and bitten by a variety of animals, this was truly incredible pain) looked at me. He looked at me coldly like I was a lizard he was going to dissect. At the time I was out of my mind with pain but my dad, a very patient and tolerant man, much more so than me, got red-faced with rage as soon as we got out of the consultation where that doctor made it abundantly clear that he really was not particularly concerned with my pain. A private hospital let me waddle out of their doors without so much as a fucking aspirin. And then somebody's house of worship needs new windows: will the random number you arbitrarily grabbed as a price be enough? Will you flail your arms and insist that you can't imagine why this happened? I'm not worried about the blowhards holding up bibles and allowing themselves to be photographed: I'm worried about honest working people who played by the rules and are getting perfectly legally eaten alive by it. Our health care scams -- in the best of situations, these are scams -- were based on 50s-60s prosperity. Our whole culture needs to adjust to a new America that is more like Mexico or Lebanon. A better health care system can still be a scam, but you steal a little bit and help more people instead of trying to steal everything and helping nobody.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, there is something that has to be pointed up regarding the misremembering of Nazis and the health care nutjobs. And that is that it is totally dishonest to compare the euthanasia of deficient Germans to the Clearing of the East. Hitler wanted a British style Empire ("Russia will be our India," HTT) and being rather too given to ordnung he would deal with problematic populations, which only certain tribalists limit to Jews, in a very final and sweeping way: deportation, permanent bondage, murder, starvation and over-work. This was (1) secret, or at least the Krauts claim so now and there is reason to believe they are telling the truth (after all Einsatzgruppen actions depend on secrecy and speed), (2) inevitable (it was a central part of Hitler's plan to build an Eastern Empire; this was how he would consolidate his hold on the land; the alternative would be making deals with Odessa Jews, so, no.) and most importantly (3) executed with racist disregard for the victims comparable to say actions of the British Empire in putting down the Sepoy Mutiny or in daily Israeli brutality. However, the thing being compared to our possible health care reform, Hitler's euthanasia of deficient Germans, was very different. Hitler as you know had gone around starting wars with everybody; he got to a point where he ran out of hospital beds and desperately needed them for his overtaxed soldiers. So he used painless medical Kevorkianing (compare point 3) on people that in better circumstances he would've kept alive (compare point 2), and because these were people's relatives (as opposed to under-people's relatives) there was actually an outcry (compare point 1). Devout Nazi clergy objected in the strongest terms to this regrettable exigency of war -- the same men said absolutely nothing about the suffering of the Jews. So these really were two totally different programs and it is totally dishonest to compare "death panels" (which are dishonest to begin with) with the kind of imperial mopping-up and brutal stabilization we see in Iraq.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is an article, no doubt ghostwritten by some nefarious conspiracy of anti-Semites, about Jewish terrorists who think they're fighting Nazism. There is so much tied up in this article: the self-stymying quality of leftist movements, the moral freedom that comes with imagining that the Holocaust is going on right now and you are Aldo Raines and your enemy is a Nazi, so anything goes, the total insensitivity of the cruelest people on Earth, the rising tide of ordinary people who can no longer get around Jewish crimes at home or in Israel, but who disapprove of these not out of anti-Jewishness or some high moral throne but because honestly guys you can't steal like it's 1965 any more, the money just ain't there, and the nonsensical equivocation our masters insist on.
Hillel said morality is empathy; Chomsky cuts through the crap with one-for-one replacement; if any Jew was targeted with this kind of treatment how would it be?

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe the cia isn't completely treasonous after all ...

Michael Scheuer, the former director of a CIA unit assigned to track down Osama Bin-Laden, calmly expressed the view that American soldiers are now dying in Iraq for the sake of Israelis. He further claimed that any debate of American support for Israel is squelched in the public sphere.

11:48 PM  
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3:51 AM  

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