In the last week, my sons Grandad fell and broke his femur head. He was already frail having suffered a severe stroke some years ago, and at the time of his fall was unfortunately also fighting a chest infection.
Since the 999 telephone call was made (UK's version of the US 911 or EU 112), an ambulance rushed him to the local hospital, he's had a hip replacement operation, various intravenous drips of painkillers & antibiotics and is 'looking forward' to months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy which will hopefully get him back to something close to fit again. He's still very poorly in a hospital bed though, and I'm still hoping there will be no further complications, but there is nothing more that can be done medically so it's just a 'wait and see' situation now.
My point in this post?
I see much anger on various internet forums from people who think a 'socialist' healthcare system is evil/bad/useless/whatever. Maybe it is a terrible thing, but from my own perspective I'm more than happy to pay 11% of everything I earn above £110.00 per week to fund it. The NHS has actually saved my own life on a few occasions, and in this story, another life I care about has also been saved.
From the initial point of contact with the paramedics only one question was required for the care to be provided, the name and address of the patient. I am proud that in my country you can fall ill or suffer an accident and you will be treated at the point of need without any questions about who will fund it.
Yes, I can get private healthcare insurance if I wish and can easily afford it, but I choose not to as I don't see the need.
To me, the true mark of an advanced and caring society is healthcare for everyone regrdless of how much money they have. The National Health Service here may not have as many scanners or cutting edge tech as a private system, but it will and often does purchase treatments from private hospitals, or even other countries when necessary. Every citizen also has the freedom to purchase their own healthcare if they feel the NHS is not good enough.
In short, I'm happy to pay the taxes that fund this, even if it's used to treat an illegal immigrant in need, it's a symbol of society when being poor doesn't mean you are denied healthcare.
*note* Just in case anyone thinks the 11% tax (on every pound above £110.00 per week) is extortionate, this 'National Insurance' also funds our 'socialist' state pensions as well.
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