Tuesday, 31 August 2010

....and in rare cases causes death

We all know that as much as we complain about the NHS, in comparison to other developed nations it's not that bad, especially as we don't have to pay for appointments, operations, after care etc.. Yes, we pay for prescriptions but in comparison to the States....we are (I should really write, you are) lucky.

Due to a fear of dentists, I ended up having to visit one here...which led to me having an extraction. Now, my "day to day" dentist referred me next door to another (a peridontist) dentist to have a probable root canal which led him to refer me to an oral surgeon who would remove said tooth.

Throughout all of this I was given a breakdown of the costs i.e. how much I would have to pay once the insurance company paid it's share. Well, what a confusing world that is. The receptionist at the peridontist started to explain..."lets see now, your limit is $2000 for the year and to get a root canal will be eleven hundred; the insurance will pay 50%. So, you'll pay, minus the first fifty which you're liable for, plus this, add that minus the other"...by this time I was confused and just wanted to know - what do I pay woman, just tell me!?!

But this all aside, the care that I have received has been wonderful. They have all been very nice, patient and calmed my nerves (well, just about!). When I thought I was getting a root canal and it turned out it was an extraction (is that any better?), the second dentist didn't actually charge me, which was nice. The next day I ambled off to say goodbye to my tooth and when I got home, I picked up a voicemail saying the it was the nurse Karen; she and the doctor wanted to know how I am as they were worried about me. How sweet is that?

With all the talk of health reforms in the US, I can understand why the current administration want to introduce a similar concept like the NHS here; simply put if you don't have the insurance, you pay the full whack - and if you're on a low income, that's a lot of money. Whilst visiting all these said dentists I had to pop in to see another one because the peridontist wanted a second opinion - he did nothing to me, other than tell me to open my mouth. For that I was charged $53! talk about easy money.

So, it's understandable that there are so many adverts on various medicines. Now, I know there are the same kind of ones in the UK...but trust me, they really aren't the same.

When they advertise something for muscular pain, diabetes or a heart condition (for example), they are fairly dramatic advertisements and then if that isn't bad enough the voice over comes over with "taking said happy pill will not cure said illness but may cause..." and then they list the various side effects which include but not limited to; bloating, nausea, loss of sight, muscle spasms or even death!?!

Me thinks I'm going to have to be very careful whilst living here...unless I'm willing to sell a kidney, or a few cells...but that, is a whole other debate!

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