Scene from the NHS

I’m running a fever, have a hacking cough, it feels as if someone shoved sandpaper down my throat, and my sinuses are running so much and are so swollen that my teeth don’t line up properly.

So I went to the doctor.

Apparently it’s not a big deal.

Cons to my visit: it took 2.5 hours to get out of the doctor’s office. The waiting room was packed, there was only one doctor working, and they were only open for a half-day on Wednesdays.

Pros: it was free. The doctor answered a bunch of questions related to traveling and health. And, during that long wait, I overheard the receptionist complaining to a nurse:

“She wants a vaccine for her six-month-old baby. I told her that we only vaccinate high-risk babies, and asked if she had a high-risk baby, and she said no, but she wants the vaccine anyway. I mean, this is crazy! Your baby doesn’t need it, and it could be more dangerous than not vaccinating it.”

If I’d been in America, I would have been seen within 15 minutes; I would probably have been rushed through the system; I would have been prescribed 4-5 medications that I don’t really need, but would help me get better faster; and they would have made an appointment for that woman to bring her six-month-old baby in to get a vaccine, because they would have been scared of the potential lawsuit or lost business had they not done so.

All in all, tally one up for the NHS.

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