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.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Back yet again

In the end, I always come back.

I guess I was over-optimistic. I had hoped that somehow Obama's presidency would marginalize the right-wing.

Unfortunately, it just made them louder, scarier, and more crazy.

As long as lies are presented as facts, as long as irrationality gains enough current to riddle the US airwaves, every voice to the contrary helps. And so I'm back, to join the chorus of those who are proud of the US today, happy to see us refuting policies of the last 8 years, and hopeful that things can change for the better.