Saturday, June 05, 2004

You have to admire the English National Health Service. It is truly miraculous. And staffed by doctors with enormous talents.

Where else in the world can you get a diagnosis in just six minutes? That is how long they allow for each appointment, apparently. Imagine. Six patients in one hour! It makes you wonder why doctors in private practice can waste up to half an hour examining a patient, even an hour for a first visit.

Examination really just gets in the way of finding the heart of the problem, I suppose. Why listen to the breathing of someone complaining of painful lungs when getting the patient to breathe into a bag will immediately tell you it's asthma? It's amazing to think you can be fifty years old with no prior symptoms, and never know that you're asthmatic.

Just the like the man who was diagnosed at Whipps Cross Hospital with a migraine, even though he'd never knowingly had a migraine before. Pity he nearly died of a brain aneurysm. Probably caused by the migraine, if you ask me. Comes from a lifetime of not knowing what's really wrong with you.

And there's no need to rush anyone to hospital either. Given time, the body can heal itself. My neighbour wasn't really in danger of dying from heart failure in the seven months he waited for surgery for a defective heart valve. People don't do that sort of thing anymore, it just annoys the surgeons.

The important thing, of course, with free medical care, is to make it available to as many people as possible.

Unlike private care, where they seem more concerned about actually making people better.