Was Daniel Hannan so wrong?

August 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 2 Comments

We had an American friend staying with us this weekend and I had a very interesting conversation with him about the whole furore regarding Daniel Hannan MEP’s comments about the NHS, made in America with reference to the Obama Healthcare debate.

Just in case you missed it (where have you been?), he said that the NHS was a mistake. It begun with the best of intentions but in reality is it hasn’t worked.

Well the thing that astonishes me is how the rest of the UK is jumping up and down and saying, ‘No, no, our NHS is a marvel,’ and my conversation with my American friend crystallized for me where the misunderstandings are coming from.

Penguin: But you do have some kind of social system in the US, don’t you? Medicare, MedicAid, something like that.

American: Oh yeah, but that’s really, really under-funded.

Penguin: Just like the NHS.

American: Lots of people who need it can’t get treatment on it.

Penguin: Just like the NHS.

American: And of course all the best doctors won’t work in that system – they go private.

Penguin: Just like the NHS.

American: And basically the whole system’s failing. [Pause] Just like the NHS, huh?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I think a national health service is a bad idea; nor do I think that we should jump up and adopt the current American system. In fact I think the NHS has been making strides in the right direction (although whether it can continue that with a proposed 20% funding cut in the three years from 2011 I don’t know), but the fact remains that it’s a bloody mess, and that holding up as a shining example to the American populace is frankly ludicrous.

It went well!!

August 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment
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Well … I saw the rheumy nurse on Friday … and thankfully it was NOT the same one that I’ve seen in the past, and this one was a) human b) non-patronising c) cheerful and, perhaps most importantly, d) helpful! OK, so she read the doctor’s notes all wrong to start with and got in a bit of a muddle, but I’ll forgive her that given the points above! Although, as suspected, having an appointment in August was a bit of a waste of time in a way, at least this nurse says definitely now she’s met me she’s happy for me to phone in September and say if I feel the MTX needs increasing, in which case she will increase it.

Interestingly this nurse is someone that one of my friends has seen in the past and thought was awful … obviously a personality clash, just like the one I had with the previous nurse I saw. At least I’ve been lucky enough to change.

We also discussed this whole three months/ six months between appointments thing and although the news wasn’t good, at least she was frank about it. What it boils down to is they’re underfunded and under-staffed and while they’d love to see me every three months, it ain’t gonna happen. However, they have apparently improved the helpline (hoorah for that as it was rubbish when I used it last!)

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