The Real NHS

Old Sep 19th 2012, 11:57 am
  #76  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by MissBetty View Post
Anyone who receives hospital care but fails to pay the money back, as required, could be kicked out of the country if they try to return. Currently £10m a year is lost to foreign nationals who fail to pay back the cost of their treatment.
You say in 15 years you personally saw two cases of people getting care who did not qualify for free at point of service treatment. That seems like a small number. But you also say you know of more.

The 10M pounds lost annually on this problem sounds like a lot of money, but the NHS budget is 106 Billion pounds. So as a percentage that's 0.01%. I leave it up to you to decide if your outrage is warranted.

IMHO there are "problems" that should be addressed well before the use of the NHS by foreigners who are not qualified for it.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:00 pm
  #77  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by chris955 View Post
MissBetty, you mentioned that in Queensland ambulances are free. This was because Anna Bligh removed the $110 levy we all paid, do you think Campbell Newman will reinstate that levy given the financial mess the State is in ?
Nothing would surprise me with that man Chris, not so far but I wouldn't rule it out! Mind you when I first came here people would call me out for minor things and say "Well I pay the levy in my electric bill so I am entitled to call an ambulance whenever I want!" Now they don't pay for the ambulance if they are a Qld resident and still they call us out for minor things - no amount of reasoning with them or tv ads help - they want an ambulance and that is that.

I am currently on duty for a 178 hour stint, I got a call out at 0400 hrs this morning to a lady who had cut her finger on a knife after drinking all night. Severe blood loss? No. Finger hanging off? No. She wanted me to look at it, clean it and put a plaster on it for her - so I did She was 54 years old and should have known better but no, she wanted an ambulance to attend to her in front of all her mates so she called up and got one sent for free
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:01 pm
  #78  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by MissBetty View Post
That's good to know - glad to hear they are cracking down on health tourism - finally! It just makes me mad that people who have not paid a penny can come to the UK and abuse the system yet my poor old Dad who worked and paid taxes all his life had to wait 8 months for a hernia operation. Ok it wasn't life threatening but he was in a lot of pain and, as a normally fit healthy 72 year old who still cycles everywhere, it seriously impacted on his quality of life during that time. He now back to full fitness though and helping out all the 'old' people in the village where he lives lol!
Of course what you've paid in taxes has nothing to do with access to NHS, the only criterion is UK residency. I suggest that the 0.01% of the NHS budget lost to the treatment of foreign visitors was not the cause of the wait your father had to endure.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You say in 15 years you personally saw two cases of people getting care who did not qualify for free at point of service treatment. That seems like a small number. But you also say you know of more.

The 10M pounds lost annually on this problem sounds like a lot of money, but the NHS budget is 106 Billion pounds. So as a percentage that's 0.01%. I leave it up to you to decide if your outrage is warranted.

IMHO there are "problems" that should be addressed well before the use of the NHS by foreigners who are not qualified for it.
Mate I have been on duty for nearly 158 hours so far and I still have another 20 to go. I don't have the time or energy to write an essay with regard to every single person I have been out to who is abusing the NHS, I was just giving you a couple of examples off the top of my head. I don't agree with health tourism and the strain it puts on the system so yes, I DO think my outrage is warranted.

I believe I did also mention that I believe that the NHS does need serious reforms, clamping down on people abusing the system would be a drop in the ocean as you have pointed out but hey, it would be a start!

Last edited by MissBetty; Sep 19th 2012 at 12:45 pm.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You say in 15 years you personally saw two cases of people getting care who did not qualify for free at point of service treatment. That seems like a small number. But you also say you know of more.

The 10M pounds lost annually on this problem sounds like a lot of money, but the NHS budget is 106 Billion pounds. So as a percentage that's 0.01%. I leave it up to you to decide if your outrage is warranted.

IMHO there are "problems" that should be addressed well before the use of the NHS by foreigners who are not qualified for it.

The reason the problem is being addressed now is so it doesn't escalate. Yes it's only 0.01% of the budget now but if this continues it will become a greater percentage and even more of a strain on the NHS. With other countries catching wind of free medical treatment in the UK we will probably see an influx of foreign people coming in just to get treatment. And like MissBetty said - why should Brits who pay their taxes shoot to the bottom of the list because foreigners comes in and needs treatment? Damn right they should be proving whether or not they are a UK citizen or not before they get treatment.

Whilst a large problem of NHS tourism is down to money I also believe it needs to stop out of principle. How dare foreign people come to the UK and use services paid for by the tax payer, non of which they ever intend on paying back! Bloody cheek of it I say!

Also, you say that MissBetty has only given you two examples and I have only given you a couple. I'm pretty sure MissBetty could give you a huge list of examples with NHS tourism. I could go on for days with examples but frankly I wont bore you all to death!
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:11 pm
  #81  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Of course what you've paid in taxes has nothing to do with access to NHS, the only criterion is UK residency. I suggest that the 0.01% of the NHS budget lost to the treatment of foreign visitors was not the cause of the wait your father had to endure.
I don't believe I was naive enough to suggest that the sole cause of my father's wait for treatment was the treatment of foreign visitors, just saying.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:19 pm
  #82  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by MissBetty View Post
I don't believe I was naive enough to suggest that the sole cause of my father's wait for treatment was the treatment of foreign visitors, just saying.
It was the only one you mentioned in your reply and you were not very explicit in separating the issues. I don't think it had any influence at all on your father's problem, but I can understand the annoyance it causes many. It's not a problem that worries me.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:21 pm
  #83  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by nun View Post
It was the only one you mentioned in your reply and you were not very explicit in separating the issues. I don't think it had any influence at all on your father's problem, but I can understand the annoyance it causes many. It's not a problem that worries me.
Well that's ok then

Last edited by MissBetty; Sep 19th 2012 at 12:40 pm.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:23 pm
  #84  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch View Post
The reason the problem is being addressed now is so it doesn't escalate. Yes it's only 0.01% of the budget now but if this continues it will become a greater percentage and even more of a strain on the NHS. With other countries catching wind of free medical treatment in the UK we will probably see an influx of foreign people coming in just to get treatment. And like MissBetty said - why should Brits who pay their taxes shoot to the bottom of the list because foreigners comes in and needs treatment? Damn right they should be proving whether or not they are a UK citizen or not before they get treatment.

Whilst a large problem of NHS tourism is down to money I also believe it needs to stop out of principle. How dare foreign people come to the UK and use services paid for by the tax payer, non of which they ever intend on paying back! Bloody cheek of it I say!

Also, you say that MissBetty has only given you two examples and I have only given you a couple. I'm pretty sure MissBetty could give you a huge list of examples with NHS tourism. I could go on for days with examples but frankly I wont bore you all to death!
Do you know the rate of increase in "NHS tourism". I don't, but a high positive number might support your argument.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Do you know the rate of increase in "NHS tourism". I don't, but a high positive number might support your argument.
Nope, no specific figures. I was approaching this in a more common sense way. If foreigners find out they can get free medical treatment from the UK without living here it's only natural that more would try and do this, hence the increase in NHS tourism. From both my mother and I working in the NHS I can tell you from experience that it is currently on the increase. When my mother started nursing about 30 years ago it was unheard of. Now 30 years on my mother is seeing it more and more (we actually had this discussion over the weekend!) That was my justification for saying it is increasing, it wasn't based on figures or stats.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch View Post
Nope, no specific figures. I was approaching this in a more common sense way. If foreigners find out they can get free medical treatment from the UK without living here it's only natural that more would try and do this, hence the increase in NHS tourism. From both my mother and I working in the NHS I can tell you from experience that it is currently on the increase. When my mother started nursing about 30 years ago it was unheard of. Now 30 years on my mother is seeing it more and more (we actually had this discussion over the weekend!) That was my justification for saying it is increasing, it wasn't based on figures or stats.
Yep, totally see where you are coming from. When you work for the NHS long term as we do/have you certainly do notice things like that
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by chris955 View Post
The thing is that any service is only as good as the individuals unfortunately. I agree about the waiting times, when our eldest broke his arm in Australia we would be given an 'appointment' time which was actually just a clinic time, you could arrive at say 9 in the morning and not leave until after lunch.
Same here (in the UK). Any specialist appointment I have had was actually more of an arrival time, and I have waited the best part of a day before being seen for my "appointment".
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 12:57 pm
  #88  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by MissBetty View Post
Yep, totally see where you are coming from. When you work for the NHS long term as we do/have you certainly do notice things like that
So it seems that the more rigorous enforcement of residency rules will reduce the 0.01% NHS tourism issue to an even smaller number. I assume it is now a non-issue for everyone. Is that correct? Emergency treatment will continue to be free at point of service for everyone, that's not a problem for anyone I assume? So I'm interested to know the other problems you see with the NHS and what you would do to solve them.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 1:03 pm
  #89  
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Default Re: The Real NHS

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch View Post
And like MissBetty said - why should Brits who pay their taxes shoot to the bottom of the list because foreigners comes in and needs treatment?
As I argued before the treatment of foreign visitors has no impact whatsoever on the overall performance of the NHS. Taxation is not a criterion for access to the NHS and people are at the bottom of waiting lists for other reasons than NHS tourism.

But with residency being enforced more stringently I expect this 0.01% problem to be falling to an even more insignificant level and I hope that it will not be a problem for you any longer.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: The Real NHS

nun you're missing my point. I'm saying that NHS tourism is on the increase and will prove more of a problem in the future. Yes it's 0.01% now but if foreigners continue to abuse the system that figure will increase and become an even bigger burden for the NHS.

Again, no I don't have figures or stats but check out these articles. I know the tabloids aren't have a particularly accurate reporting style but the underlying point still remains - NHS tourism is a problem and will continue to be a problem if we don't nip it in the bud. If nun can sit there and tell me that she has more experience working in the NHS than my mother and I combined then I will eat my hat! It's easy to look in from the outside and say my point isn't valid because I have no figures but until you work for the place in question you wont understand the full extent of NHS tourism. Thanks for backing me up there MissBetty, I'm sure many other NHS workers will do the same!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...e-the-NHS.html

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ne...-16151735.html

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/...busing-our-NHS

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...treatment.html

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/...lion-1-2486609

And one last thing is that I'm not going into any more details regarding other problems facing the NHS and what I will do to solve them! That is a can of worms that I will not be opening, especially not on a forum.
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