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How is your life in the US better than the UK?

How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Old Mar 20th 2015, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Mrs Danvers View Post
Did you see any bears? I lived in Colorado for ten years and never saw any bears. And then boom. Now I seem to see one a year. And I'm not fond of bears.
We have a lot of bears but rarely see them. They eat our blueberries and a couple of years ago wiped out a couple of acres of corn when we had no acorns but very few sightings and only a couple of pictures on the camera.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 2:16 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
..... It was only when I went to the USA for Christmas 4 months later and went and saw a GP there that I was told that I had fractured ribs and sternum due to the procedure used to bring me back when I had the heart attack - apparently this is standard and it's rare when ribs are not broken/fractured etc. I however had no idea as no one explained this to me - and they had several opportunities!! .....
Something very similar happened to my mother (though not related to her kidneys), and she has never been told by the NHS how she came to have cracked ribs. My sister and I both know how/ why (when someone leaves hospital with a pacemaker and cracked ribs you just know what happened, though apparently my mother doesn't), but as my mother seems unaware of how close she came to dying, we have never seen any need to discuss it with her.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 20th 2015 at 2:31 pm.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 2:30 pm
  #318  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Hi Pulaski,

I can understand that for sure. Better to be unaware in some circumstances.

I was actually the same in terms of not really understanding how close I was to dying at the time (although probably completely different reasons than your Mum. It took me quite a bit of time to appreciate it. At the time, I was so focused on getting off the hospital ward as the girl next to me was constantly getting blood transfusions and the woman across from me was crying all the time because she was so embarrassed at going to the loo in the bed and those in our ward could hear everything (she had been on that ward for 5 months as there were no long-term care options available - they were seeking a bed in a nursing home and kept her there as a holding place until one became available) - then there were two old women across from me who kept going on and on that I was so 'lucky' to be there because had the same thing happened in my home country, I would have had to pay a fortune! I did not get any rest there and begged and begged for days on end to go home. I was just so happy to be out of that place and alive that it really was months before everything that happened hit me. I can positively say that I appreciate life more as I learned that it can be taken away in a split second.

My husband and I are finally moving back to the USA in the next couple of months. Yes, I am sure that I will cringe at having to pay our co-pays or whatever extra thing we'll have to pay for with regard to medical care that we don't now...but when I go to the GP or hospital, I won't be afraid that folks are incompetent either. We will have health insurance through our employers, so I know what a blessing that is compared to many others.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:03 pm
  #319  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Incompetence is not restricted to any particular group of medical staff. Unfortunately whoever pays is not going to affect that.

My ex-landlady had a bungled procedure done in a private hospital and the NHS consultant who saw her afterwards told her that private consultants don't know what they are doing! Having said that most NHS consultants work for private hospitals as well as NHS ones. So you get exactly the same doctor in a private hospital if you pay than in an NHS hospital if you don't. You just get a better room, food etc and no waiting for treatment.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by LondonSquirrel View Post
Incompetence is not restricted to any particular group of medical staff. Unfortunately whoever pays is not going to affect that.

My ex-landlady had a bungled procedure done in a private hospital and the NHS consultant who saw her afterwards told her that private consultants don't know what they are doing! Having said that most NHS consultants work for private hospitals as well as NHS ones. So you get exactly the same doctor in a private hospital if you pay than in an NHS hospital if you don't. You just get a better room, food etc and no waiting for treatment.
Oh, yes this is a good point. For example, after the nightmare I went through, I got private insurance as I did not want to risk ever having to stay on a ward like that again. Since then, I've been to see quite a few consultants privately and they all work for the NHS - they moonlight on the side at the private hospital. Some do evenings or just one morning a week - hours like that.

I agree that competence is not dependent on who pays for it. It's just that in the US, I trust that the average medical staff are more competent that the average in the UK. There are of course exceptionally talented people in both countries, but on average, my personal level of confidence in competence is higher with US medical care (acknowledging that it has terrible problems of its own).
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by LondonSquirrel View Post
Incompetence is not restricted to any particular group of medical staff. Unfortunately whoever pays is not going to affect that.

My ex-landlady had a bungled procedure done in a private hospital and the NHS consultant who saw her afterwards told her that private consultants don't know what they are doing! Having said that most NHS consultants work for private hospitals as well as NHS ones. So you get exactly the same doctor in a private hospital if you pay than in an NHS hospital if you don't. You just get a better room, food etc and no waiting for treatment.
Yup...most private consultants are employed by the NHS...they do private work on the side. As one told me...the NHS is the bread and butter...my private work is the jam.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:21 pm
  #322  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
Oh, yes this is a good point. For example, after the nightmare I went through, I got private insurance as I did not want to risk ever having to stay on a ward like that again. Since then, I've been to see quite a few consultants privately and they all work for the NHS - they moonlight on the side at the private hospital. Some do evenings or just one morning a week - hours like that.

I agree that competence is not dependent on who pays for it. It's just that in the US, I trust that the average medical staff are more competent that the average in the UK. There are of course exceptionally talented people in both countries, but on average, my personal level of confidence in competence is higher with US medical care (acknowledging that it has terrible problems of its own).
Well I don't blame you feeling that way after your experience. Personally I have found the NHS to be excellent (I've had lots of experience of it) and my American husband, who thought little of 'socialised medicine' before living here, actually really rates the NHS as good now.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by LondonSquirrel View Post
Well I don't blame you feeling that way after your experience. Personally I have found the NHS to be excellent (I've had lots of experience of it) and my American husband, who thought little of 'socialised medicine' before living here, actually really rates the NHS as good now.
I have also had some good experiences - and there are some great people working for the NHS (so I don't mean to in any way detract from them or the wonderful work that they do). For example, when I was in the hospital, one night I was sick all over the floor and many other places as I could not get to the toilet quickly enough. This angel, and I mean angel, came over to help me and gave me a hug as I cried so embarrassed. She then proceeded to mop everything up and change my bed covers. She did so with the sweetest attitude and smile on her face at 3 AM in the morning. I'll never forget her or the warmth that she had.

On the whole however, and looking at it from a macro perspective rather than a personal experience one, my trust is still greater in a system that is revenue generation focused rather than cost management focused. From the practitioner perspective, they are trained to look at things differently - from the revenue generation perspective, it is a test and treat until there is nothing to treat any more. From a cost management perspective, it is a test and treat only at certain stages based on a myriad of factors (or sometimes not at all). Given that both systems are seriously flawed, and only having the two to choose from, I tend to trust the revenue generation one more.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:44 pm
  #324  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

The French system is considered one of the best in the world, and it is a combination. The government pay about 2/3 of the cost and people have private insurance for the rest, though some things are covered 100% by government (diabetes, maternity care for example). It's also more protected from abuse than the NHS in that you have to pay into the system to get your Card Vitesse for access to the state system.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 3:49 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by LondonSquirrel View Post
The French system is considered one of the best in the world, and it is a combination. The government pay about 2/3 of the cost and people have private insurance for the rest, though some things are covered 100% by government (diabetes, maternity care for example). It's also more protected from abuse than the NHS in that you have to pay into the system to get your Card Vitesse for access to the state system.
I've heard great things about the French system too
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
I've heard great things about the French system too
Seems to work well in several European countries, though not living there I can't be sure of the cost, though I know taxes are very high in France and Italy. Someone I was traveling with had an abrasion injury in the Netherlands from nearly having his foot driven over by a car. He had an X-ray, examination by a doctor and dressing, and then several more daily dressing over several days, and a final check-up by a doctor and IIRC the billed cost (about 20 years ago) was about £100-£120.

I had a blocked ear that I needed to have syringed and walked in to the A&E unit of a small Italian hospital and was seen almost immediately by two doctors, one a consultant, who both spoke excellent English (which is just as well as my Italian was very limited ); one of them had previously worked in the US. They checked my ear, found a syringe and kidney bowl and syringed my ear. IIRC I was charged about £15, or it might have been £25, but in any case it was so small an amount that I couldn't be bothered to claim on my travel insurance.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Seems to work well in several European countries, though not living there I can't be sure of the cost, though I know taxes are very high in France and Italy. Someone I was traveling with had an abrasion injury in the Netherlands from nearly having his foot driven over by a car. He had an X-ray, examination by a doctor and dressing, and then several more daily dressing over several days, and a final check-up by a doctor and IIRC the billed cost (about 20 years ago) was about £100-£120.

I had a blocked ear that I needed to have syringed and walked in to the A&E unit of a small Italian hospital and was seen almost immediately by two doctors, one a consultant, who both spoke excellent English (which is just as well as my Italian was very limited ); one of them had previously worked in the US. They checked my ear, found a syringe and kidney bowl and syringed my ear. IIRC I was charged about £15, or it might have been £25, but in any case it was so small an amount that I couldn't be bothered to claim on my travel insurance.
Probably the excess on the travel insurance would be £50 anyway so no point to claim.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 4:56 pm
  #328  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by jenninedinburgh View Post
The NHS was great at saving my life - but they also had a hand in putting it in grave danger by not sending me to the hospital in the first place with such a high fever and the other symptoms. They also had horrific follow up care after I was in the hospital.
That's not really the NHS though, that's just down to the doctors you interacted with.

That could very well have happened in the US or any other country, where you either get a incompetent doctor or someone with a poor bedside manner.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I had a blocked ear that I needed to have syringed and walked in to the A&E unit of a small Italian hospital and was seen almost immediately by two doctors, one a consultant, who both spoke excellent English (which is just as well as my Italian was very limited ); one of them had previously worked in the US. They checked my ear, found a syringe and kidney bowl and syringed my ear. IIRC I was charged about £15, or it might have been £25, but in any case it was so small an amount that I couldn't be bothered to claim on my travel insurance.
My experience with the Italian medical profession was not great back in the early 1970s. I was on vacation in Italy and walked through a restaurant window and when the glass broke, it cut a tendon in my hand. We then rushed to the hospital and discovered it was closed for lunch and waited on the doorstep for 45 minutes until the medical staff returned.

When they saw that my hand was badly cut, they were quick to see me but they didn't change the sheet on the table which had blood on it from a previous patient and while lying on the table, they stitched the tendon together. When I got back to Switzerland, I immediately went to see my doctor since I was worried about infection but everything was ok but it didn't exactly give me a warm feeling.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That's not really the NHS though, that's just down to the doctors you interacted with.

That could very well have happened in the US or any other country, where you either get a incompetent doctor or someone with a poor bedside manner.
I somewhat agree, but the US system seems to lean much more towards "over testing" rather than telling people to "take an aspirin and come back if you're no better in the morning".
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