No, that's not how long you've been reading my blog, though I understand it might feel that way. In fact I'm referring to the NHS which is 72 years old today. It's a wonderful system. I know in America health care can be extortionate. So imagine a system where almost any health care you require is free at the point of need. No insurance. No hefty bills. No fretting about how you'll afford it. You just pitch up and get the necessary treatment. We are charged £9.15 per item If our GP writes us a prescription for medication. Children and pensioners are exempt. Also people on certain benefits are exempt [e.g people without paid work]. Anyone who isn't exempt that needs a lot of regular medication can buy a pre payment certificate. £29.65 for three months, £105.90 for 12 months.
We do have to pay towards dental treatment though the maximum at an NHS dentist will be £269.30 Again, children, pensioners, and people on certain benefits don't have to pay. Cosmetic dentistry isn't available on the NHS which is fair enough really. To put that in context, I had to pay almost £1,000 for dental treatment for my daughter when she visited friends in America a few years back. The exact same treatment here in the UK would cost £22.70 plus £9.15 for the antibiotics she was prescribed. Just think about that for a moment. Someone somewhere is making shed loads of money every time you have a toothache in America. Foot care is a bit more hit and miss in terms of what is available on the NHS - unfortunately for me right now! On the upside, prescriptions are free here in Wales for over 60's.
The NHS compares well in outcomes with other countries though there are some areas that need to be improved. And of course there have been some very bad things happen - as in all health care systems. And yes of course we do actually pay for it through our taxes. 'I bet you pay mega bucks in tax' I hear you cry. Well, no actually. As this comparison of the UK to other countries [including The States] shows.
So, you can see why for most of us everyday peeps in the UK, the NHS is revered and almost like a religion we have such belief and faith in it. You could say the NHS is the equivalent of our blue suede shoes!
Given the horrors of The Fizzy Flu ravaging The World, we rightly feel extremely grateful to the NHS and to all key workers atm. Last night key buildings in the UK were bathed in blue in honour of the NHS and remembrance of those we've lost during the pandemic. We were encouraged to put a light in our windows which I duly did. Normally I'd opt for a candle but given my curtains were drawn, I decided upon a lamp. I reckoned the emergency services and key workers [not to mention the neighbours], would probably prefer it if I didn't set the house on fire.
This evening we went out at 5 p.m to 'Clap for the Carers' one more time. It didn't seem to get quite the response as the original 'Clap for Carers' during the first 10 weeks of lockdown but still, it was a nice gesture. Let's hope it is followed up by the Government putting more into the NHS so they are able to get on with the backlog of operations that need to be dealt with, and prepare for future Covid19 spikes. Don't hold your breath mind!
Meanwhile I need to complete my application for a bus pass. Because bus travel is also free in Wales for those of us who are 60+ Of course I'm actually 59 and holding until suitable celebrations can be held, as you all know. However, if The Powers That Be consider I'm technically 60 and therefore entitled to free prescriptions and a free bus pass, who am I to argue? While I'm doing that, you have another chance to guess what the present I bought myself yesterday was. Here's a reminder.
1Crazydog guessed something gardening related which wasn't correct but at the same time wasn't a bad guess given I had also bought a little something for the garden. Some blue trailing Lobelia to be precise.