This Country Has Gone Mad

Last Updated on August 15, 2015 by RetiredAndAngry

No wonder the NHS is short of money.

Last night Mrs Angry was talking to a member of her family who works in the NHS at a large hospital in one of our cities.

Said relative has unexpectedly resigned her (highly responsible) post with effect from the end of this month.

Why?  I hear you ask.

Because instead of helping to heal seriously sick patients she has become inundated with patients from  “Abroad” who have come here on “holiday” and suddenly been taken ill with a medical problem they have clearly been suffering from for many years.

For some reason, quite unclear to all of us, the NHS has accepted these patients for treatment without requiring them to pay for their treatment, thus radically reducing the already depleted resources available to the residents of that city.

Then it gets worse.  After a few appointments said foreign patient now announces that his/her family are arriving from whichever country it is, and “you must organise housing for me and my family”.

Presumably, because NHS staff possess good humanitarian values, they then get themselves bogged down liaising with the Local Authority to arrange suitable housing for the foreign patient and his/her family.

I might be a crusty old gig, but this seems wrong to me on so many levels.

When I was unfortunate enough to need to take my daughter to. French hospital A&E whilst on holiday we had to pay.

When I lived in France we had to pay for our Healthcare and, normally, claim it back from our Health Insurance company.  Neither as a holidaymaker, nor as a resident, could I pitch up at a French hospital, get free treatment and housing arranged for my family.  Neither, incidentally, was I ever offered any leaflets or information in any language other than French.  If I couldn’t understand it, it was my responsibility to get it translated into English at my own expense, nothing was ever printed in 39 different languages, but we seem to spend a fortune on it.

It seems to an old duffer like me that the NHS (and others) like the Police Service needs to concentrate on those things that are their responsibility and NOT what is somebody else’s job.  It sounds a tad harsh maybe, we’re used to the Police and others being almost like a One Stop Shop, but the government has made clear that that culture has to end, it is not sustainable.

Rant over, enjoy your weekend

2 comments on “This Country Has Gone Mad

  1. Well I live in France and have done for some years. The French health service does provide a very helpful booklet in English providing translation for medical problems and much information about rights for health care treatment available on request from information desks of public hospitals. Also there is a law in France requiring those who need translation services for health care to provide them themselves or at their cost, unless it is English they need where the state will provide an English speaker.
    I pay exactly the same for any healthcare as a French citizen.
    I have also had British resident friends who have had accidents here and received excellent free treatment, including an MRI scan on a Sunday.
    There are also a nation wide series of clinics who provide free health care to the indigent without papers or who are not in the system.
    The NHS has the legal right to charge non residents of the UK for medical services, it is inefficiency and incompetence that prevents it.

    • Things have obviously improved post Sarkozy. We were never once offered information in English, nor translation services. As a resident, the State paid the first 60% of our medical bills and we either had to pay the rest or provide suitable top-up insurance.

      I seem to remember a system whereby those on low income could get free treatment, but that did not apply to us or our French neighbours, and when my daughter needed an XRay following a fall we were presented with a bill to pass on to her Travel Insurance company.

      On our trips back to the UK we should have been treated like non-residents and asked to pay the NHS but as you say incompetence got in the way and nobody knew what to do with a British national producing a French EHIC card so they just shrugged their shoulders and ignored it.

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