Debi Alper has been commenting on aspects of
NHS care as it exists in London today.
As I recall it was crisis management at St Thomas's
hospital nine years ago - but there was still a sense
that the show must go on. I emerged from it's
double doors with perfect double babies, which
although born two months early had been
given the best possible care. I was in
an interesting, fairly grubby ward with a variety of new mothers.
Ranging from traumatised teenage parent (also of twins)
being treated for psychosis, to a woman with learning difficulties
who twice dropped her baby. But I was so chuffed my kids
and myself, were alive. And the staff were very smiley.
Last March I was a little bit ill - and then more ill.
The GP prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection but
when I said I couldn't really breathe - listened and couldn't
hear a 'rattle', so declined to investigate further. He grumpily
signed me off from work for five days.
At home I phoned out of hours service and described
intensifying symptoms - couldn't breathe without feeling as if I'd
been stabbed. Advice: Carry on with antibiotics. Take painkillers.
Several types at once. Couldn't move and had to sleep sitting up.
Too ill to feel sorry for myself, I just hoped I wouldn't stop breathing
completely. Entered strange grey world and wondered how soon
I could leave it. Wondered if lungs were tiny, deflated party balloons
and what sort of salary GP was on.
Looked up Pleurisy on internet.
And yet we do have an NHS.
Apparently Michael Moore said 'the only place you can get
free medical treatment in America is Guantanamo bay'.
What is the reality. How do different systems compare?
Global comments welcome - even from Aberdeen.