Escaping the Death Panel at Harrogate Hospital!

That title will only make sense if you know who Sarah Palin is.

So today we went out to drop off some family videos for conversion to digital and then we went shopping for yummy M&S food, and the whole day was going well but when we arrived home, Phil managed to hit his head on the edge of the car door, and there was blood everywhere. After we got it to stop bleeding, I tried to persuade him to go to the hospital but he didn’t want to, but then we went to the chemists to get some antiseptic lotion and they also thought he should go to the hospital for stitches, so he finally agreed.

I only have one picture for today, which I took while I was waiting for him.

IMG_3228


There were going to be more pictures but honestly he was in and out so fast that I didn’t have time to look around for things to snap. They examined him, asked him some questions, closed the wound with tissue adhesive, and we were free to go all within 20 minutes of arriving.

It was a sharp contrast to my experience of emergency rooms in America. One day my arm went numb and after dithering for a while, I figured that they always warn you about strokes and heart attacks and tell you to go get checked out, so I went to the emergency room. They triaged me quickly, and had me fill out multiple forms, and made sure they got my insurance information, but then I sat and sat and sat. Eventually someone took me into an exam room and left me there. And I waited and waited and waited. All alone, in a gown, with nothing to read or listen to or watch and with a numb arm. Every now and then the door would open and every time it was the billing lady, who wanted to know if I had been treated and would I like to make my payment now. NO I HAVE NOT! AND LUCKILY I HAVEN’T HAD A STROKE YET!

3 hours later, I finally saw a doctor. By then my arm wasn’t numb anymore and the EKG she did was fine, so I went home (after I stopped and gave my credit card to the billing lady).

If you’ve been living in America, the most shocking thing about healthcare in this country is the fact there is never a billing lady. The second most shocking thing is that there is never a form. Not one. They ask your name and address, they type it in the system, find you in the central database, and then they tell you to sit down and then a doctor or nurse comes and you get taken care of and that’s that.

So no death panels. Who knew?

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10 thoughts on “Escaping the Death Panel at Harrogate Hospital!

  1. Hope Phil is ok. Don’t forget that while waiting in emergency room in US, you can easily get an anxiety attacked from worrying how much the bill will cost and if it will bankrupt you and your family.

    • Yes true, I was one of the fortunate ones who didn’t have that particular worry as I always had good coverage, but I never felt happy knowing that other people were suffering in that way. It just never seemed right to me.

      And yes, Phil is fine – thanks for asking 🙂

  2. Yes, , I hope Phil is ok.. I agree completely with the previous post. Anxiety about the bill prevents a lot of us, especially the uninsured from even stepping foot into the emergency room. I ended up in A+E in Scotland. Was treated promptly and with kindness and compared to over here well that’s a different story.. Unless someone from the UK has LIVED over here in the US for a number of years, maybe lost their job or fallen or hard times, it’s difficult to explain just how cruel and harsh this country can be.

    • Linda, it’s very true. I was lucky to have excellent healthcare coverage (at great cost every month), but until Obamacare passed, I was always afraid of losing it if I got really sick, because as a small business owner, it would have been easy to throw me off my plan. That will change in 2014 and I was very relieved when that law passed, although as it turned out, I didn’t need the protection in the end.

  3. I’m Lucky enough to be half American (Dad) and half British (Mum) I’ve also been lucky enough to live in both countries in which they both have outstanding qualities. I’ve enjoyed many of your posts, the pictures & stories. However, I for one am a conservative and actually like Sarah Palin and do not care for the current occupant of the White House. We in the US are starting to understand the concept of “free health care” because our taxes & cost of living are on the incline. If only we lived in a perfect world eh’ :-}
    Lauren

    • Hi Lauren welcome. It would be a boring old world if we all agreed!

      But I wasn’t trying to make a political point and so have edited my silly joke. I just wanted to share a real experience of the NHS rather than the false impressions that are so often given (death panels etc).

  4. Never a billing lady? Never a form? ALL of your medical info is in ONE easy-to-access file? What a novel idea, how positively .. charming and quaint. *damn, that sounds good*

    • I think the forms got to me the most. It just never made any sense to me that every time they sent me to a different place, I had to give all the same information again. They say it’s to protect privacy but that makes no sense. Because of those forms, my personal information is all over the damn place and hundreds of different people have access to it!

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