Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

While 16% of Americans are medically uninsured,
should America abandon their awesome medical care
to look more like the UK's National Health Service?

Or should the focus be on getting care to those 16%
instead of changing the entire system?
Are we throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

Very controversially,
President Barack Obama pushed the approval of Universal Healthcare
to look more like the NHS

:: A side note on pronouncing 'Barack' ::
English: BEAR-ick
American: b'ROCK

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Like many American expats here,
we have the option of seeing private doctors through our company's insurance plan
or using the UK's 'free' healthcare system, the NHS

The NHS is one of the world's largest employers,
behind the likes of the Chinese Army

Our family has used private insurance so far
because it is a system I understand

Although I like that our private doctor provides house calls, 
his primary practice is out of his home, which kind of creeps me out

However, I can get an appointment the day I call
and I have been satisfied with the care he has provided thus far

I pay for the visit up front (£60/$100)
and our private insurance company reimburses us with a check in the mail
It is a bit of a hassle, but that's okay

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A few months ago
I decided I should register with the NHS in case of an emergency
or due to some mystery disease (they see so many cases of everything)
plus visits are free (prescriptions too, for kids)

So I went to register at the medical center my neighbor said I HAD to go to,
for they have the BEST doctor

So I walk in and let me just say
'Greyhound Bus Station'

...meaning cement floors, plastic bucket chairs affixed to the floor,
dim lighting, a long row of 'ticket windows' with receptionists,
and even a light up board that displays your last name once it is your turn
I. Kid. You. Not.

I grabbed my kids' hands and walked a speedy u-turn (or should I say 'roundabout'?)
before you could say 'ah-choo',
and off we went to another location that hadn't been recommended,
but at least was another option

We drove up to an old Victorian home, with bedrooms as examining rooms
and the living room served as a waiting room
It seemed much more civilized, maybe even quaint

As I registered, the receptionist asked if I wanted to give 
a urine sample today (uh, no thanks)

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Okay, so now that our registration has been processed
look what came in the mail last week...

the seeds of a blog post...

My first PAP Smear 'Invitation'

You are allotted a 'smear' every three years in the UK,
whereas in the US, women receive one annually

'The Facts' brochure said I could stay dressed from the waist down
if I wore a full skirt
And I would lay down 'on a couch' for the smear test
- so interesting! -

Well, I almost got a chance to test-drive the NHS system
when I called to make an appointment for a rash on one of us

It is a good thing the rash disappeared in a few days and was not contagious
for I called on a Monday and they could not see us until Saturday(!)

Now that we are moving to a semi-rural village,
my catchment area is small and I only will have one NHS GP possibility

This means I won't be able to choose my doctor's office,
so I hope it is a good one

I hesitate to post this, for I know the NHS is something many Brits are very proud of
But I push 'publish' because it is something Americans are very keen to read about as
we march in this direction...

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