I was watching Pat Robertson on the 700 Club the other night. They were discussing Obama’s health care reforms, and I heard from Mr Robertson that same sneer that I’ve sometimes heard from other Americans about “socialized medicine”. The comment went something like (I’m paraphrasing from memory) ‘Forcing people to stand in line - it’s terrible!’ And then he added, as if this would make any further comment impossible, ‘Socialism’.
At about 3:00, Wonderful Husband rings from work to say that he’s seeing ‘flashing lights and black spots’ and he’s booked a check-up at the Optometrist after work. Immediately, I’m thinking ‘detached retina’. … I told him I’d be happier if he went straight to A&E. Which he did. … Anyway, they found that he had a tear in his retina and they have performed laser surgery and sent him home. He can see; his eye isn’t bandaged and there is no worry about driving or travelling.
Modern medical technology is amazing, and it must have been a huge relief to ‘Mr Pam’ to have his eye attended to so swiftly.
And I can’t help pointing out that in this instance, there was no ’standing in line’. Medical emergency, you see. If he’d been the other side of the Atlantic his treatment would have depended upon proof of an ability to pay. And that, as I’m sure I’ve said before, can’t be right.
I’d never claim that NHS is perfect. There’s always going to be things that could be done better. But there’s no doubt in my mind that it beats the alternatives hands down.