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UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

Old Jun 10th 2021, 2:04 am
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Default UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

We've been in Australia for over 10 years and are considering moving back to the UK for retirement.

One concern is the standard of healthcare in the UK, I know the NHS is a wonderful organisation full of great people but it does seem possibly underfunded.

Here in Australia I can see a GP usually same day and have a choice of practices nearby, if I need a scan or X-Ray I can also usually get that immediately. For example last year I broke my finger, saw a GP one hour later, he referred me for an X-Ray which was immediate, saw the GP again, he saw it was a bad fracture and I was able to see an orthopedic surgeon, all in the same day.

Hospitals are huge, modern and clean, although due to being on higher income I'm encouraged to also have Private cover which I do and that system is not perfect, despite having comprehensive cover we got stung with gap fees after a recent procedure, here it may actually be better to go with the very good public system.

Having had to see the GP and visit hospital a few times recently and getting older I must admit I'm a bit concerned if I'll miss the healthcare system here if I leave. We've already switched to BUPA and would plan to have private cover there too, which I can do by switching to BUPA UK.

Has anyone faced the same and could share experiences?
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Old Jun 10th 2021, 2:36 am
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Default Re: UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
We've been in Australia for over 10 years and are considering moving back to the UK for retirement.

One concern is the standard of healthcare in the UK, I know the NHS is a wonderful organisation full of great people but it does seem possibly underfunded.

Here in Australia I can see a GP usually same day and have a choice of practices nearby, if I need a scan or X-Ray I can also usually get that immediately. For example last year I broke my finger, saw a GP one hour later, he referred me for an X-Ray which was immediate, saw the GP again, he saw it was a bad fracture and I was able to see an orthopedic surgeon, all in the same day.

Hospitals are huge, modern and clean, although due to being on higher income I'm encouraged to also have Private cover which I do and that system is not perfect, despite having comprehensive cover we got stung with gap fees after a recent procedure, here it may actually be better to go with the very good public system.

Having had to see the GP and visit hospital a few times recently and getting older I must admit I'm a bit concerned if I'll miss the healthcare system here if I leave. We've already switched to BUPA and would plan to have private cover there too, which I can do by switching to BUPA UK.

Has anyone faced the same and could share experiences?
Husband (Brit) and I (Aussie) moved to the UK in 2015, but returned at the end of 2018 because the Pom missed the sun

I also had some concerns about leaving my comfy health arrangements here, which consisted of Medicare (obviously) and very good if expensive private health cover. This is my experience of the NHS, but do remember that things such as how quickly you get a specialist/consultant appointment can depend on how strapped, or not, your local NHS services are.

GP - this is the only area where my fears were realised. Can't fault the doctors' knowledge, but it was impossible to get an appointment with the same GP two visits running, let alone for the long term. This may not be an issue for everyone, but for me continuity is important.

Most of the GPs I saw were tired. That might seem a weird thing to say, but it wasn't just my observations of them being rushed and sticking to a strict time limit on appointments (10 minutes). A couple of them actually expressed their dissatisfaction with their working conditions (ok, I may have purposely given them the opportunity to comment on this because I'm a sticky beak), with the main issues being required to see too many patients in too short a time, and poor pay.

Having said all that I got the health care I needed from competent doctors, and I never, ever got over the feeling of wonder as I just walked out of the surgery without paying. I kept thinking someone was going to chase me yelling Oi!

Emergencies - absolutely first class. Broke me big toe, went to a walk-in clinic and was done and dusted in 30 minutes, including x-rays and a follow up appointment to a hospital outpatient department in four weeks.

Consultants - Waiting time for an appointment varied from 2 weeks to 2 months (nothing life threatening but the 2 week one was for necessary ongoing treatment of a chronic condition). Excellent consultants.

My husband had two surgeries, one under the NHS and one private (self-paying). The NHS hospital experience was good with caring staff. The private one was shit. After shoulder surgery late afternoon he was left entirely by himself all night in his private room (BUPA hospital), no checks, no monitoring, and not even offered a drink of water.

I don't know if all that helps or hinders, as I said NHS services can be location dependent. My overall impression is that the NHS provides excellent and timely accident/emergency/ care, and although there may not be the level of continuity of primary care such as GPs you're not going to be left without competent medical treatment.

And....I hugged my GP when I returned to Australia, much to her surprise
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Old Jun 10th 2021, 5:00 am
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Default Re: UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

Really helpful thanks, I have an excellent GP here in Australia too, but she's Welsh
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Old Jun 10th 2021, 8:38 am
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Default Re: UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
Really helpful thanks, I have an excellent GP here in Australia too, but she's Welsh
Why BUT Welsh?
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Old Jun 10th 2021, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

Originally Posted by freebo View Post
Really helpful thanks, I have an excellent GP here in Australia too, but she's Welsh
Lots of Welsh and Irish doctors and nurses in Perth too. I swear I feel better just listening to their lovely accents!
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Old Jun 10th 2021, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: UK Healthcare (NHS) concerns

Originally Posted by Pica View Post
Why BUT Welsh?
As opposed to Australian, actually from a town near where my later father in law was brought up.
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