Posted by: anglopole | April 26, 2009

NHS – The National Health Sham

I work for social services a lot, assisting clients with interpreting in various situations. Last week I assisted a client as her ‘Aaron’ at a health centre where she is a registered patient. She has got quite a few health problems and so communicating with her doctor is essential. So, off we went to the surgery and waited quite a long time (30 mins past the appointment time is long for me, there!) before finally being called by the doc to enter his medical shrine. I, then, brought the list of all the issues  the social worker helping the family had asked me to pinpoint to the doctor. If looks could kill I would be dead, really – this is the way the doctor penetrated me with his scientific look! He then announced, he could only help the client with one problem and the problem was a skin condition as this was what she had booked the appointment for. Nevermind the fact that the poor woman was suffering from a serious stomach upset and a fever. He just plain refused to deal with anything other than the small growth on her eyelid! I won’t write here the words that came to my mind when we were being treated like that! We had no choice but leave the surgery after the 4 minutes visit, out of which 3 minutes were devoted to the doctor telling us off for expecting him to help the woman sort out more than one medical problem (sic!).  I took the client back home and helped her find some medication for diarrhoea in a pharmacy. I didn’t have to do it, as my job is to do interpreting only. Had I had the NHS kind of attitude towards my clients, I would have left the woman there and then to walk 3 miles back home in pain… after all, I am not paid for taxi or medical services, am I?

The NHS is an institution that is supposed to be helping people, right? Therefore, well-being of patients should be the utmost priority, shouldn’t it? Mind you, the services are not exactly for free, as we do pay national insurance and taxes. How many times did I myself go to see a doctor about a health issue, only to hear I should buy paracetamol, which seems to be the magic cure for all kinds of ailments here. Having kids means one is constantly put to test when dealing with NHS! 😦 Yes, I am in a whinging mood today! God forbid you need to see a consultant, eg. an eye doctor, or obstertrician! If you do, gird yourself for a loooong wait… I mean LONG! We have been honoured lately with a much needed appointment with a speech therapist for one of our kids. We have been waiting since September last year = 8 months, which is like an eternity in a life of a young child. Sad!

The media are loud about the importance of diagnosing medical problems at their early stages as that only can help to deal with them more effectively. How is that to happen when the medical care services provided by NHS are the way they are?

The latest news about the swine flu make me wonder, really, about how such a pandemic would be controlled here? Yes, there’s plenty of pills containing paracetamol around so it should help, right? 😉

I really think NHS is more of a National Health Sham than service. I could write books about this topic, for sure. Suffice it to say, the UK is not only a country unfriendly for hypochondriacs (which is good), it is also far from being patient friendly. More and more Brits seek medical care in other countries in EU. I honestly don’t blame them! I also understand why this society has been described as fearful lately.

Rounding up these musings of mine, remember, when in the UK try to suffer from one medical condition at a time and if you do end up in a hospital, follow the example of Lady Macbeth and wash your hands everywhere and at ALL times never allowing anyone to touch who hasn’t washed theirs too!


  1. […] Original post by anglopole […]


  2. Thanks for this article


  3. Hi, good post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for sharing. I will certainly be coming back to your blog.


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