They may crush the flowers, and trample every living thing but they cant stop the spring..
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I am afraid I am somewhat sceptical of all this NHS envy. My experience of the NHS as a bog standard user was that it was littered with inefficiencies and delays. To get a sick child seen at the doctors, you had to go at emergency times and join the queue between 8.30 and 9.30, for example. Not clever when said child has winter vomiting bug and you have to use communal facilities to change nappies 5-6 times. Contagion doesn't even begin to describe the problem. And don't even start me on the waiting list for everything except the GP; a year at least unless you had cancer or collapsed. So I was told by my GP. Officially, all waiting lists were less than 6 months. All that meant was that they wrote to you after 5.5 months and asked if your name was to be transferred to the new waiting list.
Or there was the one where you were supposed to be able to ring the GP for a next day appt. The mile long emergency Q was our surgery's answer to that problem; other surgeries gave you a ten minute window at crack of dawn to call in; if you missed it, tough. Blair got rightly roasted on question time over that one, but I don't think it has improved. Finally, there is no opt out; bupa and their like over there often only offer cover for a named list of conditions, the policies were not fully comprehensive. And they cost more than a basic Vhi plan here at the time (ten years ago)
It's not perfect here, but at least I can get a next day appointment with the doc, or even same day if the child is sick enough. And common sense, not rigid rules, seems to be applied. Furthermore, I think the medical card eligibility is calculated on net income and is accommodative of debt repayments and child care when calculated. The last set of figures I saw put the Irish system ahead of the NHS by one place, internationally.
It is the Canadian system, with it's emphasis on prevention, that we need to emulate here. Everyone who can pays health insurance, deducted from wages.
On a final note, the English are starting to declare deficit ridden NHS trusts bankrupt, see the BBC news today. That system is even closer to collapse than our own, IMO. And that's from someone who used it for years recently. Don't forget, our funding drought started in 2008. The NHS and other public services in the UK were chopped from the start of the Iraq war in 2003.
No doubt I'll get responses going on about how great it all is in the North. Yep, the North here is a squeaky wheel and they keep it oiled. Try living in the poorer parts of England and Wales... Totally different story.