Monday, January 26, 2009


A few questions about healthcare here have come my way and I am glad to say that I haven’t had a lot of experience since we have all been well, but I can tell you about the experience so far. Let me state that I think the American system is flawed. So many people make employment choices based on the availability of health insurance and that doesn’t always seem right. Because healthcare is a given here, a single mom for example could work a part-time job and still have time with their family instead of working full-time just to get the healthcare benefit and have probably a host of other issues like childcare. But there are also some wonderful aspects to the American system that we would lose if we switched to a more socialized approach. There is probably no panacea for this issue unfortunately.

So, what’s the experience so far? Well, one of us needed antibiotics and we actually paid more than we have ever paid for antibiotics in the U.S. Also, I do have private health insurance here and pay for it. I was told by everyone that if I could pay for it, I should get private healthcare as well because if you have an issue, that moves you up in the queue faster. Women in the U.S. are advised to have an exam once a year to check for breast cancer and cervical cancer. Here an individual is responsible for their own breast self-exams because that is not part of a checkup, and the cervical cancer check is only once every three years. And ladies, let me tell you, you think the whole experience can’t get any more embarrassing but try the cervical exam without the paper gown and stirrups! So I would say from my experience, the treatment is more hands off than you get in the U.S. My doctor in St. Louis was very much about preventative care. If I came in with bronchitis she would still give me a thorough check. I don’t get the impression that happens here. But on the other hand, doctors here still make home visits. It really is a mixed bag.

Just as I was getting these questions about the healthcare situation, A was scheduled to do some babysitting for L, my friend from the B&B. The day before, she left a message saying that she needed to cancel because she had fallen and broken her leg and was in the hospital. We visited her this weekend and she told me she was glad that I hadn’t come to see her in the hospital because I would have seen the NHS at its worst. I hope I don’t get to test this for myself!

H made a double batch of butternut squash soup yesterday so I could take L lunch. She has to be off her leg for six weeks which I know will drive her mad.

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