Hands off our NHS: I resisted posting this... - AF Association

AF Association
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Hands off our NHS

I resisted posting this earlier, given that AF and stress are unhappy bedfellows - this is a bit of a political post so click off it if it's going to cause you a problem (I don't want to be indirectly contributing to people's AF)

I was a little taken aback and rather irritated at President Trump's suggestion yesterday when he said the NHS would be on the table in any negotiations for trade deals. This, to me, was an alarming prospect that in order for a "very good deal" with the US post-brexit we would have to consider the prospect of farming out some services to US companies.

Granted, today, he has supposedly backtracked and said the NHS wouldn't be included but I can't honestly believe he would take it off the table altogether.

There are a couple of scenarios I'm not sure about with regards to this:

1) He was asked in open forum if the NHS would be part of any deal, it caught him on the hope and he didn't consider the question properly

2) He heard the NHS mentioned, didn't know what it was, but didn't want to look stupid so answered the question anyway

3) He fully intended that the NHS would be on the table as part of the deal, but because of the backlash from public, opposition, trade unions and potential future Prime Ministers, he's gone on record to say he didn't mean it - but still does want it on the table.

It worries me, and disturbs me that the institution could be carved up and given out for profit, particularly as some services deemed "none essential" have already been given stricter guides on if they should be performed or not. Couple this with the fact that a lot of MPs who advocate partial privatisation have interest in some private sector corporations we're already fighting a battle to keep it at the point of use.

Admittedly, improvements to efficiency and education of the general public towards using it is needed to save money and prevent it being a financial black hole.... but I'd imagine the last thing we need is to take away what is a fantastic institution I have dedicated me entire working life to and has saved me from the brink of disaster numerous times.

Any thoughts, both transatlantic and closer to home?

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Absolutely agree that we must not let the NHS be ‘stolen’ from us but it definitely looks as though Trump has designs on it and then wait for it to crumble. The USA health system is exceedingly expensive and drug prices are over inflated, owing to cartels operating amongst Pharma companies. I find it very frightening.

I found a list once, online, of all the businesses in which MPs had a “foot in the trough”. It will only get worse.

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Indeed, when compared to the US we in the UK are very blessed.

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A link to that list would be helpful, please.

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Yes, I agree but I did not print it at the time and cannot remember how I originally found it. I am very annoyed but am wondering now if I can maybe track it back by finding the email I sent to my MP, bringing it to his attention that Earl Howe in the House of Lords had connections with the Pharma company who had inflated T3 prices. Earl Howe is the man who wrote to me and explained (after my query to my MP) that the high price was caused by difficulty of manufacturing and transport costs. Hmm! Funny that it is sold for a few euros in Europe. I will do some digging into old emails...

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Isn't it their noses that should be in the trough ? Or has our Government got it wrong again?

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Snouts or trotters would be more appropriate?

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Yes snouts!

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I think you are right to be very concerned. There is NO way we want trade deals with US on many levels - chlorine washed chicken, meat from antibiotic fed animals & Big Pharma the thin end of the wedge.

The complexities of NHS provision :- decades of underfunding, lack of consideration & abuse by ‘patients’ to NHS staff, lack of political will - because they know basically it is unfundable for a highly technical medical landscape. Poor admin & management, underuse of personal technology, lack of investment in computersing records & booking systems. Lack of joined upness with GP services & Social Welfare. Lack of training, underpaying all staff - from cleaners to consultants - I could go on & on & on.

We are in between a rock & a hard place & unless we can have a really grown up conversation of how you will fund a health service - free at the point of delivery - ie paid through taxes we will see the privatization by stealth of the NHS - we are basically 50% there.

That leaves the NHS very vulnerable to the likes of Trump - who believes all none earning people are - “Losers”.

Big Pharma rule in the US - as you will see from the link I posted as it gives you the history of how US legislation in 1910 led the way & allowed Big Pharma to develop & dominate all medicine. There is a fight back but it will be generations before we come to our senses, literally.

WE MUST NOT TRAVEL THAT ROUTE!

I know we should stay none political on this forum but really, really difficult when we all feel so passionate.

I’ll campaign with you Jed.

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Thanks CD! It wasn't intended to inflame tensions simply to illustrate we are on dangerous ground in losing something we, as AF sufferers rely on.

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I’ve been thinking about this as I am not sure it is a political post, in the strictest sense if we don’t talk about personalities or political parties. You are expressing a concern about an organisation which, we in the UK all not only have a huge financial investment in, if we have paid NI & taxes, but also rely upon for our health and feel passionate about. Isn’t this a health forum?

Surely what we are expressing is that it should NOT be used as a political trading football?

Your warnings were adequate. I am sure some people will take offence but where??? do we talk about it?

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Couldn’t have summarised it better Cdreamer. Spot on analysis

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You are absolutely right. This forum should remain non-political. No exceptions, not even for those that feel righteous. Rules need to apply to all.

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Agree with you.i dont come on this site to read peoples views about polictics

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I'm sorry you feel that way, I did state in my post that if it was going to cause a problem then people should click off it, and people are under no obligation to read it.

Best wishes x

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It doesn't matter that you stated it. You shouldn't post politics here. There are plenty of appropriate places to post it.

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Duly noted. I'm sure moderators will take the required action if it is deemed inappropriate.

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It's fair to defend the non-political nature of the site, but it is also perfectly understandable that those who have benefitted from ( and are possibly only here because of) a system should take every opportunity to defend it.

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Absolutely correct jedi. Asset stripping to the nth degree with areas of the NHS which would generate huge profits handed to the highest bidder.

No longer would the poor and the chronically ill be considered - there is a pervasive belief in many quarters that ‘it is their own fault anyway’. If anyone wants to really raise their BP and heartrate, do some research into right wing utterances about the NHS over the last 30 years or so. Now, finally, there is a chance for extremists to get rid of the socialist ideal of health care ‘from cradle to grave’.

President Trump didn’t go into this alone - he is reacting to input from our own people - some of whom will be quite happy to sell out the NHS for a trade deal. The UK in such a situation will be hard pushed to resist - a small nation, alone, desperate to replace the trade with the EU which it has just thrown away.

Thank you so much for posting this, jedi. We are dependent on expensive drugs, procedures such as ablation and pacemakers and we should air these concerns - even though the topic is seen to be political.

May the gods help us all.

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Thanks for your reply Finvola and your support.

The bottom line is, as it turns out, I'm not alone in my concerns and regardless of political affiliation people can still see what is happening and we, like many others with underlying health conditions, are at risk of losing something we need.

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Hear, hear.

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Well said Finvola.

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Absolutely .Well said. You only have to look at American heath stats to see that an ultra privatised system is a disaster for all but the well off. Their infant mortality figures are among the worst in the Western world and they are one of the richest nations. Already many areas of health care in the UK lag behind those in comparable European countries. With more privatisation it will get worse. Part of the problem is goverment kowtowing too much to the food industry and falling short on public health education and preventative measures.

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Is there a forum for discussing various healthcare systems around the world?

Re Nella’s post from a few months ago

healthunlocked.com/afassoci...

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Something I should look into, given the adverse reaction I suppose. It was never my intention to offend people with my concerns.

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Don’t sweat it - your warnings were adequate.

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you have done nothing wrong!

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I think it was number 3 Jed. Nothing more to say to the above comments except 😱

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Just a reminder on the D Day 75th anniversary

They came back and voted in a government that set up:

The NHS

The Welfare State

State Pensions

National Insurance as a progressive way to pay for it

Built Council houses for them to live in

Today we remember them by trying to sell all of them off

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Wrong. The State Pension was introduced by Lloyd George in 1908.

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As political commentators and Government spokesmen have said that in trade negotiations a country may put anything *on the table* but that doesn't mean it will be considered by the UK.

This forum is the place to discuss how we can understand our ailments better. It is no place to discuss party politics or conspiracy theories..

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Interesting discussion, thanks all. I did say in my original post that it was of a political nature and so if it was going to cause people a problem it was best clicked off.

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On a practical level, what benefit would it be for the US to take over the NHS or any part of it?. Netcare, the largest private hospital, ambulance etc. in South Africa, after having a presence in the UK, pulled out in 2018 because it was not a viable situation.

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I really believe politics should be left out of this forum, not least as there is so much false information and spin around. Take the NHS for instance, right now and for many years NHS contracts have been subject to normal commercial processes and right now and for some years there have been USA companies providing services to the NHS. The commercial process is geared to allow the best value bids to win (in practice this is not always the case). So why are we being so motivated by Mr Trump wanting to continue the recognised commercial process, perhaps it's because the way our media presents it? We are all happy at the way this forum works, let's not let politics spoil it like it does to just about everything else.

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I think it only spoils it if people let it, if it promotes discussion and a opens a couple more avenues of clarification for how something is presented and how something actually is then that can only be a good thing?

As I've said to others, I apologise if it's caused offense but I did state in my original post what the nature of the thread would be, and people are under no obligation to read it.

Many thanks for your reply though, I suppose the press conference in which it was mentioned was the catalyst for some... and many of whom are unaware that some processes are already outsourced.

Best wishes x

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Sorry for my first post not to be positive but saying you don’t have to read it doesn’t make it non-political. Very interesting posts but I would agree they don’t belong here.

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I never intended that by warning I would excuse the context of the post.

Glad you've found the thread interesting nonetheless. Welcome to the forum! It's not always like this and I hope it hasn't put you off contributing to the wider (more relevant) discussions and advice.

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I understand why you posted and also want to preserve and improve our NHS but do any of us know how best to do it. Certainly believing things heard without doing factual research can easily make things much much worst (especially sourced from those fine upstanding bastions of misinformation our politicians). People will believe those that proffer what is most closely akin to what preconceived opinions they already hold. There are posts in this thread have a dark side to them and this is probably done sub-consciously and based on nothing more than hearsay. Let me give 2 lighter (and hopefully non controversial) examples:

1. Whilst there is a small "private" ambulance service in the UK the vast majority is of course NHS

2. Procurement for large organisations is often not what it appears, yes as many threads have indicated organisations can appear to pay more for goods and services, however these tend to have staged "bonus" payments from the supplier which, if the company accountants do their work properly will result in a net gain. Unfortunately there are those that miss the point and just blindly continue to pay more.

The point I am trying to make in a very crude way is that politics is many thing to many people and people being people will get distracted or worst. I just want to preserve the friendly and helpful nature to this forum.

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I'm only replying because it would not accept my like ( more conspiracy theories!) Wherever there is money( especially easy money) there is greed and corruption and our NHS is one big cash cow . Thought I may as well have my tuppence worth.

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Totally agree.

As for efficient I'd say it is, because in the NHS you are given time slots for your appointment. So that indicates effective management for staff and patients.

I know the cost of similar tablets in UK is a lot cheaper than the USA. But that is more down to the NHS being a bulk buyer, i.e. supply and demand.

Why the us doesn't group together to form cooperative drug groups to reduce the cost is down to their market place.

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At some times I suppose it is efficient but in other ways it isn't. Procurement is a big issue for example, especially of hardware and maintenance/ancillary contracts. You can go out and buy a microwave (for example) for £30 but to be used in the hospital it has to come from a supplier who will charge 3 times as much because "That's who the contract is with"

A very basic example but can be applied to many things the NHS needs/uses.

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What you're describing about procurement is the same in most companies large and small.

For efficient book keeping a company has a limited number of suppliers. Those suppliers may not be the cheapest but because of the ease of purchase are used.

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Yeah and I suppose with ease of purchase comes an associated cost! ;)

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It seems obvious but I raised this procurement issue with the finance team of my former big employer regarding the purchase of tyres for a van. Whilst it appears a lot cheaper, and it may be for you, you have to factor in the admin costs of small scale individual purchases, staff time, transport costs as well as safety of product and protection. Sometimes it's not quite as obvious as it seems.

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The law forbids the US government from negotiating drug prices. Guess how that happened. It was during Bush 2’s tenure.

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I think that’s what we, well I do, in the UK fear most if US pharmacy companies get trade deals in the UK as the NHS is such a huge client.

The price of same drug in UK is about a half to third the price if that in US.

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Yes, it works both ways. Because the nhs have no time to shop around they don't care where it comes from as long as they get it faster the better. I know because as an engineer i have to purchase parts asap never mind the cost because time cost money to a company.

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I’m glad you posted this Jedi, though I’d say your post is less about politics, and more about addressing a concern that could adversely affect all of us in the UK.

I’m very worried indeed at the way things are going, am terrified we’ll lose our NHS, which is the envy of the world. Too many decision-makers who don’t care and too many people not realising how lucky we’ve been ... nuf said, my heart is breaking 😢

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If anything Hilly, the forum has made me realise that there are many many passionate advocates of the NHS which will hopefully redress the balance of those who seek to damage it. Take care!

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I disagree that the NHS is the envy of the world. Having used both the NHS and the French health care system I would say that the latter is better. It is not free at the point of delivery except for the very poorest people as a complementary insurance is needed for those who are better off. Having paid your insurance it then is more or less. But the insurance is not like that for private health companies - very expensive and excluding prior conditions. I have been given a major operation here for diverticulitis that has meant I don't have to worry about dying of peritonitis. In Uk this is no longer done on an elective basis. They wait till you perforate . If you don't die of peritonitis first the operation to clean you up and repair the bowel is far more difficult for the surgeon, has to be done open and not keyhole and there is a far higher chance of ending up with a colostomy which then has to be reversed with a further op. Most European countries have health systems that are insurance based without the ultra privatisation of the American system. The amount you pay is based on your income.

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Maybe that is what we will ultimately become, once the NHS in its current form is deemed "unsustainable" by those in charge and a fully privatised healthcare system is fiercely resisted.

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I agree with you. At one time the NHS was the envy of the world but we're sticking out heads in the sand if we still think it is. I think the French system is superior. There needs to be a greater incentive for people to look after their own health.

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The French system sounds good, especially in that the more you earn the more you pay and the poor get special dispensation. Unfortunately the populist movement in the UK has ditched our once tolerant and compassionate society and convinced everybody that the rich (mainly because their leaders are!) should pay the same tax as everybody else and anybody who can't is a "sponger". Sad times.

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There are still inequalities. The more you pay for your complementary insurance the more choice you have. For instance we pay a complementary insurance that allows us to go to a private clinic for ops if we want and to choose the clinic and the surgeon. If you pay less and have to go to the public hospital you have a longer wait but there is a perhaps better selection of doctors especially in the teaching hospitals You are more likely to get to see a Professor if you have a rare condition or are a tricky case. The patronne at our favourite local restaurant travelled all the way to Paris ( 450-km) to get her knee replacements done at the best knee hospital! The French complain like hell about the system going down the tubes but when I tell them my sister had to wait 10 months to have a tumour removed from her parathyroid their mouths fall open.

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That’s interesting Auriculaire. I must say the French system sounds very good and I like the fact that the insurance premium doesn’t go up every time there’s a claim ... or more importantly no conditions are discluded. Seems the topic could be subject to a long debate. But I still love the NHS and will do everything I can to protect it 😊

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And I agree, that is the type of system which I would like to see in the UK simply because I think we would value it more if we had to pay something toward our costs as long as we earned over a certain income.

We used to have an enviable NHS 50 years go but those days are long gone as anyone receiving care in other European countries will testify.

I now think we have more of an emergency ill health system which desperately needs CPR itself! It is also dependant upon where you live as to the level of care you receive.

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Last year while on holiday in Majorca blackout in reception and ended in hospital . I didn't know much about it l was still coming round when the private hospital said to my wife my insurance was not good enough so off again to their NHS type hospital for a operation due to diverticulitis I was given the best of care but they could not wait for me to sign the forms so they could claim back the cost from our NHS. No wonder I was given every procedure under the sun including one of those fancy scans all within 3 days I was just a cash cow. I had to pay 150 euros for the ambulance . My wife had asked for a taxi ( cost about 20 euros as I used it for my return)for the local hospital but the hotel reception insisted on an ambulance.

When I queried it all with my consultant at the NHS he said it happens all the time it's a racket they go for max cost as they know they can make a packet on it. He was annoyed that I had an unnecessary operation and it could have been done with medication and had complained to the health body.

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I think you highlighted a danger of what can happen, however, how lucky for you that we have had a European reciprocal arrangement. I would rather have an MRI (?) scan and be on the safe side, than wait until I am dangerously ill. Obviously we can’t comment on the clinical advice/decision making other than to say that may well also vary within the UK.

I’ve lived in Spain and used their health service and like ours or any other system it is very different from ours but in my experience it was excellent, as you say yourself, the err was on the side of caution rather than complaisance but I don’t see that as a cash cow.

I received fantastic, prompt care for very little personal spend. But the Spanish system is different, it’s not free, you do have to pay for some things which we don’t and what most people don’t realise is that European Holiday Insurance doesn’t cover Spain - you need a top up policy which includes Spain - why? - because so many Brits visiting Spain claimed for an illness as a scam in order to cover the cost of their holiday.

And I received a bill from the NW Ambulance Service after I was knocked down by a bus and taken to hospital - I was perfectly OK and didn’t want to go. Mind you that was in 1971 and it was for £15 - still a lot when I was only paid £5/week!

After (if) we leave Europe the NHS won’t be paying so it won’t be an issue.

Best wishes CD

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Yes I have had scans in this country but it's only ever been the one with jelly ( ultrasound? ) which as you might guess is far cheaper.

Spain have already said no matter in or out the EU whatever happens they will still continue with this arrangement .It's obviously a nice 'little' earner but they still want Gibraltar . A few of the 'lads' (we are all the wrong side of 60) ex squaddies said we've got a couple of nukes going to waste they can have them .....right over Madrid.

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The envy of the world...? I understand you personally believe it is a good system but I think you are reaching a bit with that statement. And please remember this forum has many Americans on it so when you make statements like, “adversely affect us all” you are not actually accurate in that statement. And I’m fairly certain not all from your world are as sold on your system as you are.

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Please, please don't worry, our politician are many things but dumb they are not, our NHS is safe. Remember the Cardiologists and EPs who work on us also work privately and they have done this for a long time, private money does help the NHS though the morality if it is not perfect. Unfortunately nothing is as it should be but our NHS is fit for purpose and as good as the next, all have advantages and disadvantages, I believe ours is the best at most things but others are best at some also.

Politics is the art of scaremongering to get people to support what the self serving politicians want.

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Thank you 😊

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We in New Zealand have a very similar health system to you UKers. I was in our local hospital a couple of weeks ago getting looked after and scanned for no cost. The US system came up for mention with the American doctor looking after me commenting that with my numerous health problems and my daughters and my genetic cancer we would be either bankrupt or dead if we lived in the state she came from. Fight for the NHS. Don't let it get stolen from you.

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Oh Glenn I totally agree. Thanks for highlighting that!

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without the NHS I would be dead ...Open heart surgery 15 years ago .

despite my current condition I went to 10 downing street on Tuesday to voice my opinion

As he does not listen to his advisers or read his briefs, then the truth does slip out .

He is friends with people who want to sell off large chunks of the NHS and have already done so .My eye tests took me an extra 18 months as I refused to be seen by the outsourced screening company

Rant over ..im off to ring the Pre-Diabetes company who have not replied for 5 weeks

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I think that maybe Mr Trump was referring to the Nice Ham Sandwich which somebody had actually just put on the table in front of him, as he has never heard of the National Health Service...

However, I'm less concerned about what's ON the table, as we can then make sure it's taken off. I'm more bothered about what's going on UNDER it...

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A disappointing post on what should be an apolitical board.

We all have medical issues in common but something like this can

be very divisive. I am not anti politics at all, my maiden name was

Pankhurst. But there is a time and place and it does not belong on here.

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And yet the consensus seems to be that maybe we should be defending our health services, simply because we do have medical issues in common.

OK, maybe it’s not the place to get personal about it but what it does seems to have highlighted is that we who benefit from the NHS maybe need to be a little more vocal about supporting it.

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I agree with you and would definitely be prepared to carry a placard with the right message for the right party regarding the NHS.

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Normally I would wholeheartedly agree with you Patsy - I come from an place where politics is an extremely filthy, dirty word but

We AF'ers suffer from a chronic condition and the vast majority of us are pensioners or nearly so. Private health insurance quotes at our age with a chronic condition will probably be off the scale for most of us. We depend on our NHS - flaws and all - for our wellbeing and, in some cases, for our very lives.

We need to be aware of any proposed dilution of care so that at some time in the future this forum is not trying to deal with worried posts from AF patients who cannot afford to pay for Apixaban or who have reached the end of drug treatment and would benefit from ablation but cannot afford the 5-figure sum for it.

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I am also a pensioner and believe wholeheartedly in the NHS. However, this thread has become so political it takes away from the issues that it is supposed to deal with. It becomes very obvious who 'leans' to the left and that can colour opinions of people we do not know but whose advise we have read with interest.

But if has to be political, then we should all consider why the NHS is in the state it is in!

Assuming that most on here are not youngsters and have contributed over the years to the money in the 'pot' who is it being used for???????????

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I remember working in Holland, Germany & France in the 1970’s. Then their health system didn’t cover maternity or dental and both employer & emplyee paid around 20-30% of wages for NI deductions whilst UK paid I think it was around 10-15%?

It not who uses it but decades of not putting enough in - all of us. I think it was known when spectacles were eligible for NHS prescription that even then -1949-? the NHS would be financially unsustainable, long term, given the very small compulsory contributions. Doesn’t matter politically who holds power - it’s just the simple economics. 2+1 cannot make 5.

Something has to give but find me a politician who would realistically & truthfully tell you & me how much would we need to pay to make it sustainable.

My very last word 🤭

Best wishes

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Everything is political. Without the NHS I would have died 5 years ago . The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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That made me smile, primarily because I remember that line being used in an Episode of The Simpons!

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Having worked in the US and the UK i have had experience of both health systems.

The US is dang expensive, $1500 an ambulance trip. Here a trip "costs" about $200.

However because of the privatisation of the services the staff are top of their game as the expectations are higher.

Our beloved NHS has issues too.

Really it is slowly being privatised already and y'all should be banner marching.

Lets take the fact that the NHS carparks our NI money built and the NHS is "free at point of delivery" The carparks have been privatised and you have to pay and in fact the staff have to pay too!

The ambulance service that picks you up in emergency and transport....more than likely a private company is running that service- the medics get paid double what an NHS medic would get.

Finally look at Disability benefit(probably not strictly NHS) has been run by a german company ATOS for years.

Trump or anyone for that matter may have bright ideas to streamline the NHS, to make it more effective, to drag it into the 21st century as it is a grumpy camel that likes where it is.It is very wary of other medical training and resistant to any one not trained in the UK and worked in the NHS before. The research based evidence is great in some quarters than you see the Resuscitation Council of UK still promotes raising legs in unconscious people(this has long ago been proven at best to be inaffective at worse cause more damage)

Whomsoever has to deal with the NHS i hope they cut hours for the nurses and docs and treat them better. I hope they cut the managers which sometimes far out way the medics.

What we here on the forum could benefit from the imminent invasion of the NHS by the Trumpster is: in the USA you could end up in ER(A&E) and have your typical MD(Medical Doctor) or you may be especially lucky as an Afibber and end up with an ND(Naturopathic Doctor) whom will treat you and your condition in an holistic/lifestyle way and biochemical way using as natural things as possible such as Magnesium before slamming an amiodarone drip in.

You walk in with a broken arm the ND will do exactly as an MD would and not sprinkle Thyme and Saffron on the break :)

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A transatlantic view is very much appreciated thank you for taking the time to reply :)

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As a scientist with an open mind I have never found any of these "natural "remedies to work when I've tried them. I wish they did. Life would be much easier.

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Lets talk "natural" vs drugs.

Firstly prescribed drugs kill over 100 000 people a year in USA.

Drugs are small amounts to make changes where natural are large amounts to make changes.

Before we get into quackery arguments lets remember where medicine/science looks too.

Aspirin---from bark of a White Willow tree.

Morphine/opiates-----Poppy flower

ACE inhibitors --------comes from Pit Vipers(use it too inject into their prey until such low BP makes the prey pass out.)

Digitoxin------

Atropine-----belladonna

Chemotherapy-----perwnkle and yew

Most people don't go large enough with natural....or long enough for that matter.

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Without the NHS I would be long dead. We need to preserve and in some cases restore the fundamental principle of universal healthcare freely available at the point of need. The NHS is riddled with major problems and needs a thorough overhaul. Like the majority of people on here a switch to private health insurance would wipe out my monthly salary. Jedimaster this might be political but it needed to be said

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Thank you and I appreciate your viewpoint.

NHS reform is often kicked about, but the worry is that this will mean no longer being for all and no longer being free at the point of use. Having worked in the system for 15 years and seen both the side of treating and being treated I would agree. The trouble is no one ever seems to listen to the people on the ground, not just in acute care but in primary care and social care.

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Thanks Jedimaster

I worked in the NHS for 28 years and now work in social care. I've had my fair share of time as patient since 2007 including a cardiac arrest in 2014 and very major Cardiothoracic surgery last year. I had some minor issues but in the main my care was exemplary

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This is an absolutely relevant and legitimate post. For people suffering a medical condition which may be adversely affected by developments within the NHS this is a justified concern. People are posting other concerns they have on here and frankly everything we do or say concerned with our health has a direct or indirect political connection. I think think the NHS has the faults CDreamer highlighted but is still a wonderful organisation. It would be difficult privatise it because we have paid so much NI contributions towards it and would be entitled to a share of any profits as stakeholders. It would also be a sure way of a Political Party losing an election so I wouldn't worry too much!

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Yes I think one of the key messages that was put forward in the subsequent hours following the press conference was "Not for sale not on my watch" from at least a couple of potential future leaders of this country. Part of me thinks that to say otherwise would be political suicide but a small part of me also has massive respect and a glimmer of hope that no matter which party they run for they all said the same.

Maybe all is not lost!

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Unfortunately, the deal won't say "...and US companies will be able to buy the NHS". It'll all be wrapped up in impenetrable language about "provision for an Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism".

What could possibly be wrong with that? (BTW this is an extract from an NHS Confederation commentary on TTIP) except that it is "a highly contentious arbitration settlement system that would allow corporations who consider their interests have been unfairly damaged to take governments before arbitration panels to settle disputes, instead of filing claims before regular courts. The panel’s decisions are usually binding and cannot be challenged in court, and can result in millions of pounds’ worth of compensation for businesses who successfully claim that national or local laws damage their profits." - and, hence, leads to the dismemberment of the NHS in the name of fairness.

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Exactly. Fairness to major businesses not necessarily to patients.

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The only danger is if populist leaders take power. They are good at convincing the public that what they say is in the public's best interest when the reality is it is what is in theirs!

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Nigel FARAGE wants to look at the NHS being replaced by an "insurance based system" . Coincidentally his financial backer to £540K LAST YEAR, Multimillioaire Aaron Banks has an insurance company. I think i read Phillip May as connections with some USA medical or Pharma company ( was on the BBC can't remember the details) . No doubt the rest of the Cons party have fingers in pies! It all seems corrupt to me. Trump has just let the cat out of the bag owing to his big mouth. I suspect the plan is come out of the EU, ditch the health rules, beg a trade deal with the USA, include the NHS, privatise it , people involved make a fortune, we and millions of others are stuffed.

Best thing for this, and another hundred reasons, is stay in the EU then we don't get eaten in a US trade deal. Note i am not anti American, i have quite a few past and present work colleagues over there but I am happy with what we have now.

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I am intrigued by Jedimaster's suggestion that Trump didn't actually know what the NHS was!!

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Maybe he really did think NHS = Nice Ham Sandwich 😉

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Oh goodness, I would bet on him not knowing!!! An American here, with years now of dealing with him.

He is frightfully stupid, only focused on himself, with an MO that gets others stirred up with fear so they’ll be distracted as he grabs more power.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the witty trolling of him on this visit, especially the baby balloon.😹

(By the way, general comment, not wanting to really dive into the fray, our imperfect health care system is actually not a disaster for all but the rich. Needs fixing, for sure, but plenty of us manage to get decent care in spite of the problems. And progress is quietly being made, in my experience.)

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I am in the US and I think that comment was spot on!! He didn't know.

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It could also be that he’ll do what’s been documented in the past.....he may know, but will then forget about it

. Or if there are any decent aides left, they’ll distract him, disobey him, or pull whatever the relevant document is off his desk before he has a chance to make matters worse. For real, it’s happened.

I think he’s just trying to rile people up over there to distract from the fact that he’s so unpopular there. It’s just what he does.

Bad for the heart to get riled up by him!💕💕🤓

I just called all my reps in Congress yesterday to tell them what I think they should do about him. That’s the action I can take, while we still have democracy, so I do it frequently, then go about my business.

Millions of us have made calls & spoken up & stopped the dastardly politicians from taking away health care gains from Obama. I’ve shared my tale many times. Lots of those folks got voted out. Ha!

So I am actually hopeful and have seen progress in my own little health care world. Going to see a highly-regarded EP who didn’t accept my insurance 2yrs ago, but now does. Better access is slowly happening, at least in California.

More generally in response to this thread..,,

I’m grateful that in this imperfect system, I have a whole bunch of EPs & world class medical facilities to choose from to consult with if I want to see about another ablation. If a doc’s a jerk, I can keep looking.

I’m not rich & our system isn’t perfect, I’ve had challenges with it, but I’m grateful for the options I have now. I wouldn’t call it a “disaster.”

It sure woke me up! Got me to become my own best advocate for my health. That’s a good thing.

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Your NHS should be scrapped, because socialized medicine is HORRIBLE (compared to free market care).

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😂😂😂

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I have 59 years experience of the NHS and 12 years of the American system, and some experience of the German and French systems. If you are comparatively rich like me then the American system can be excellent, but of you aren't, then it's very different story. As Neil Kinnock once said, "Don't get old, dont get sick, dont get poor"... After a conscience ablation and the death of rich relative, most people would conclude the US system is best..

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Actually OPPOSITE! If you are poor or nearly poor, ObamaCare is FREE or nearly free.

I just got a statement for my prostate cancer treatment (NO waiting list at all, BTW), and the TOTAL bill was over $51,000. My portion of the co-payment: $31.68!!!

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That's wonderful.... Well done !.....but plenty of people like me, $400k house, live in fear of being made bankrupt and homeless if Obama care is killed off as is the current effort in the courts by the AG...... Millions used to have that happen.. My neighbor's wife just gave up her job in order to get under the bar for cheap healthcare.. Her husband is badly disabled with a stroke at age 42, and he is strongly against all forms of government anything, including social security and medicare and Obamacare or a ban on belt-fed machine guns over the counter for children... I have met many Americans who subscribe to that thinking..not rare at all...

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Most people in the US now would like some form of Medicare for all. Trump has eaten away at Obamacare any way he can and it is not what it was first supposed to be. I am on Medicare and it is great! You do need a supplement to cover the 20% that Medicare doesn't. Because my husband was a career Marine our Tricare for Life covers the 20%. I think most people would like it. Lots of democratic candidates are advocating for it...a few like Senator Bennet want Medicare for all to be an option or you can choose the private insurers. I know of no one in my circle of friends and acquaintances that want SS or Medicare to be done away with.

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Indeed ..as a naturalized immigrant who has never worked in the US and who is over 65, I get the option to buy into medicare for $550 a month. Even that cost disappears when my young chick big red hair Yankee bride gets to 62.

This is the same as the 'public option'... the $550 is 'cost' (no profit) as decided by the public actuary.. For people under 65, the cost would be far less...

The only reason for not allowing them to join is to protect the private insurance companies as there would be zero cost to the taxpayer/medicare.. It's wrong that I should be offered the public option and not other Americans...

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Thank you for that explanation...that you can buy into it. Wow!

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I would gladly have our old private insurance over Medicare. At least all the doctors in our area accepted the Aetna insurance provided by my husband's employer at no cost to us, and with no deductible if we stayed within the PPO network. More than 55% of the doctors in our area do not accept a Medicare assignment, especially the really good doctors. If we got to a doctor that does not accept the Medicare assignment we can file a claim with Medicare, but then the supplement does not cover the 20% that is not covered by Medicare.

At least in the US we can go to the doctor in the morning and get scheduled for immediate surgery if necessary. No waiting for a hip replacement, cataract operation, hernia, quadruple bypass, pacemaker or ablation like in the UK or Canada. I do not want the government between me and my healthcare.

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Not so with the short waiting... my flutter was early April and the soonest I can see an EP in Wisconsin is July 17th.... If we agree ablation, the procedure is about 6 weeks..

In Europe, many people retire around 55 because healthcare is free. I retired at 54 in England coz I had made my wad.. My wife retired in the US at 58, and its costing her $20,000 a year in premium plus deductible , and that continues from age 58 to 65.... = $140,000

So yes we were fine while she worked and we were both covered by her work insurance...but like they say "Don't get old, dont get sick, dont lose your job", and the politics are all about whether you care about people who do, and whether you see the possibility that you might be next... The world is split into two types: "I am alright Jack, pull up the ladder and stuff you", and the rest... But we are ALL going to get old, get sick, and not have a job, so creating a decent society benefits us all in the end, and our decency instinct (where it exists), is ultimately selfish...

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What you share is exactly why it’s crucial to speak up to members of Congress.

I’ve been in the situation of owing $147,000 in med bills pre-Obamacare, facing bankruptcy & homelessness.

I fought & won.

People don’t realize how much is negotiable in health care. Fighting mistakes alone can save thousands. I’ve done it. Mistakes are rampant throughout the system and there are mechanisms to fix them.

Too many people are afraid to take any action at all, but it’s quite important. I’ve lived it, so I speak from experience.

And that speaking up DOES make a difference. It’s needed in the times we’re living in.

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When they made they made the mistake of double dosing me last month and stopping my heart...5 seconds flat line and 5 times over, I got to thinking they make mistakes on more than just billing.... But I bet the bill scared the bejayzus out of you... they sure did with me..

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It was rather hellish dealing with it all, along with dreadful AF symptoms.

But now it’s one of those things I look back on with amazement that I managed to get through it (with the help of an amazing Health Care Advocate) and gratitude for the wisdom, skills, & fierceness gained. They have served me well ever since, including sharing the tale with Republican Congress staffers to advocate for change.

“Sir, would you like your wife/daughter/mother, etc, to have this type of experience?”😊

Many others did the same.

I feel quite strongly that we all, to the best of our abilities, need to hold the players accountable.

I will never sit back, unquestioning, & be poisoned by meds,for instance, given by a doc who doesn’t take my concerns seriously.

Best to be wily & awake in navigating the system! That’s just life, though, isn’t it?

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7 weeks ago I told my doc that the beta blocker had turned me into a zombie-cabbage and I was halving it to 25mg.. He gave up and agreed...Feel great now...no flutter. Yes WE must take the lead. We must ask and query every tablet and its effect and the cost and how to get off it etc etc etc..BEFORE we go on it... WE must become experts otherwise we are like religious mountain climbers who go up Everest in our underpants and hand over our well being to god...

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Do you have any examples, including free at point of delivery examples in a "free" market?

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I find this post to be many things so far...interesting, not entirely factual, very narrow minded in some instances, informative in others and yes, even a little divisive. A few things to remember - not everyone on here is from the UK, most of what is being shared is opinion/anecdotal and it is best not to presume you speak for anyone but yourself.

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Stories from one's own experience can be very valuable... I have my parent's stories from before the NHS in 1948, plus my stories from the UK/Germany/France/US... Any US Opinions about the NHS from people who dont have passports and have never lived in the UK, and who draw their opinions from lurid accounts on Conservative Radio/Fox News etc , are simply propaganda hearsay and are not valid...

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I would add that the same is true of the US system.

Like any enormous, complicated system, there are messes & flaws...AND it is possible to get decent care in spite of it.

There is still a great deal of choice, in my experience, which I’d be reluctant to give up.

I’m actually grateful now for the challenges I went through when first diagnosed with AF 6 yrs ago because I learned so much. It sure woke me up and as a result I have no qualms about advocating for myself (and others). (My insurer at the time wouldn’t pay $147,000 in bills. I fought & won.)

It was millions of us making calls to Congress that stopped the idiot politicians from dismantling the progress made by Obama. Many were voted out.

There’s always more to the story!

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And let the divisiveness begin... Let me guess, you are a fan of CNN - a failing communications company due to the very thing you accuse Fox News of. Not saying Fox News is balanced either... The bottom line is you have no idea where people draw their information from - experience, Fox, CNN, a friend, etc. Why is your first inclination to attack?

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Hmmm....not sure if this comment is in response to mine??

A head-scratcher if it is.

It did make me laugh, though!😂😂

Since I avoid both networks.

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Not in response to you. If you look right beside my name it says in response to allserene. I used to watch both...now I do not watch either - can't stomach the divisiveness. It gets old quick when you know you are just getting opinion and bias and not the actual news.

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I don't watch CNN or Fox news... I am just quoting the right, and far right media in general who are against the NHS and spread the horror stories that you can find in any system anywhere. The US system stopped my heart 5 times in error in April but that can happen anywhere. I am not attacking, just stating a plain fact that the right wing are against socialized medicine, and Americans, who are famous for not having passports and no knowledge of other countries, use that biased information to pronounce on the NHS etc... Am I right in saying that ? ps I have been asked (in the US); "What language do they speak in England", and "Is Norway in the North of England like Yorkshire"..

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No idea if you are right in saying that. I would say that there are moderates on both sides that do not wish to see America's system go to socialized medicine. I am one of them. I do not vote or judge based on Democrat, Republican or otherwise - I do so based on what makes sense, what is logical and what history has taught us. I personally do not believe we have found the best system yet - it isn't America's and it isn't socialized medicine either. My guess is that it is somewhere in between - a system that is not built on treating symptoms but rather treating the disease itself and a system that still motivates physicians and clinics to be the very best they can be and use the latest technology and equipment. That's the goal!

I would suggest that if you wish to have constructive discussions with people you refrain from offensive speech like "right wingers". I'm sure you wouldn't like it if someone called you a left wing snowflake, right? Nella423 may want to heed the same advice. It is likely the "idiot" politicians she refers to represent individuals on this forum and are doing exactly what they had hoped. It should come as no surprise that not everyone is on board with what Obama did either.

Calm, well thought conversations are excellent if we can just stay away from the emotion, name calling and general divisiveness while keeping an open mind and respecting people. All people deserve a level of respect that should preclude the negative treatment I see so often when these things are brought up. If in the end you do not agree then just walk away.

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Saying someone is a right winger isn't calling names or being offensive because it simply notes that right wingers are never ever in favor of socialized medicine... That's just stating a fact and is not making a slur against any person or the group ... Right winger is not an offensive term because almost all Republicans (some of whom I admire), would describe their politics as right wing... However far right wing implies white supremacism and Nazism etc and that is something completely different..It's necessary always to define terms. US Medicare is Socialist and was fought against as being communist when it was born....

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I disagree. See, wasn't that easy! :-) You have a great day allserene. I wish you good health and Sinus Rhythm!

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Your disagree that " US Medicare is Socialist and was fought against as being communist when it was born" ok you disagree with cold hard factual history ... There is no law against that ... Quote Regan opposing Medicare: “From [Medicare] it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school where he will go or what he will do for a living.”

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No, I simply disagree when you say "Right Winger" is not offensive to some. It absolutely is and is used in a negative way by liberal leaning individuals all the time. Take a deep breath and make a choice to discuss...not attack.

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Yes, some left wingers say 'right winger' with a sour taste, but I am an atheist and people spit out 'atheist' with an even stronger dislike.. These are just facts like 'royalist' or 'cat lover'..... I think there is nothing dishonorable about being a left winger or a socialist or a right winger or an atheist or a conservative..... However name calling is stuff like 'liar' or 'vagina grabber' or 'pedophile' which are dishonorable attributes...... So, for the record, many right wingers are great people ok... eg Eisenhower...

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I hear you.

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Lovely to read this post written in English-English. I have US/UK passports and had 59 years with the NHS, and have been full time in the US for 12 years and dealt with various health issues including malignant prostate cancer and atrial flutter. I therefore reckon I am qualified to speak on the subject. The US system has all the resources and because it's a business, they automatically sell more than you need.... Its like a 'free' brake or battery check...they get you in there so they can sell you more stuff... In 2008 I signed up for a new Doctor and was told I had to meet him first. I called in; he asked me if I was Australian, (no), shook hands and went. 15 seconds start to finish. I was billed $185 or £150 for that. my wife had two hours in OUTPATIENTS two years ago...Billed at $36,000..say £27,000. By contrast, my 92 year old mother in England , had a full hysterectomy in Leeds at a two day wait...super job and 100% free and no insurance card to show...

The ethos of the two systems is different. The US is all about the profit and they dont give damn about you in reality, whereas the UK has no other motive apart from helping patients. The US is all about avoiding liability claims, not because they are sorry for crippling you, but because it affects profit.. Having said that, I am well off, and I get treatments like Cyberknife that I couldn't get in the UK. It may be that the US system has saved my life as an indirect consequence of wanting to get huge money out if me...

Most Britons are like most Americans (50% can't find $500), and they are NOT well off like me.

If I was an average Briton I would fight and scream and do anything avoid being under a US system in the UK... I pay $550 a month to be in Medicare (that is at 'cost' to the Government), and the the average American is fighting to get that right, but big money denies them the 'public option'. Americans are very un-free in that they cant join Medicare at 'cost', or go to Cuba, or buy foreign medical drugs like the rest of the 1st world.. Medicare is prohibited by law to seek discounts from suppliers ! Americans are 'owned' by the government in so many ways that 1st worlders are not.

Trump really put the cat among the pigeons and Farage /Bojo will backpedal it in panic because the UK will NOT give up their NHS or hand it to the American medical industry banditry...

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Thank you, so enjoyed reading your take on both systems.

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So my vote goes for a French type system utilising the existing NI contribution (or part of it ) + whatever other graduated earnings tax it takes, with a safety net for the less well off and options for enhancements at a cost. Plus whatever it takes to pay nurses what they deserve, so they all care and not just some, and hours that are sensible for doctors. Now which party is going to advocate that - come on you Greens!

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The French have 4 times the number of doctors per head of population as the UK..they really invest in it...

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Jed, this has turned out to be a very enlightening, informative and interesting post, so thank you. I for one have learned a lot. And luckily discussion has been generally friendly and non-aggressive. Good on you.

Maybe I was a bit behind the times when I talked about the NHS being the envy of the world (some might argue that it still is) but I believe that with a large injection of capital and TLC it could be again. Personally I would uncomplainingly pay more tax if it means I didn’t have to fork out for health insurance.

I’ll happily apologise for many things but I will never apologise for being passionate about preserving the NHS. Love to all no matter what your opinion is.

That’s my last word ... unless I change my mind 😂

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Yes, a decent and friendly discussion and I will also leave it now. It's nice these days to be able to do so before somebody spoils it and thanks for the understanding of the admin for allowing what the less informed might say is off topic.

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So Dave, for those that have expressed their opinion that this is off topic and should not be posted here - you are outright calling them "less informed"? You do not want it to be spoiled but added a little jab on your way out? SMH

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I think it's bang on topic... All of us who receive medical attention have to have this dilemma at the forefront of our thinking. I think people who are scared of this thread and want it closed down, have something to be ashamed of in an important area of their own politics... Maybe the US system is far better than the NHS, but exposing the facts is the way to prove it...

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I agree it is a good topic and the US system is certainly not the Bell of the Ball!

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US system suites me just now coz I am well off and United gives me a $5,900 (£4,500) annual max and no deductible so I can claim from the 1st dollar....... Wife is not on medicare coz she is a young chick, and she pays $1,000 a month premium plus first $7,000 per annum deductible before she can claim anything... so most years we pay my 6k premium plus 6k annual max...plus her 12k premium plus 7 k deductible = Total $31,000 or £24,000 every year..... After 59 years in the UK paying zero, that is quite a shock..... Doesn't rain as much though...

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WOW!!! That would be a HUGE shock!

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Hiya,

For all it's faults the NHS is a godsend to us in the UK. My online friend from the USA (whom I met on the America thyroid cancer website when we were diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the same time) had private health care insurance for her treatment. She wasn't covered for everything in her policy and had to drive over 200 miles to a hospital for her radioactive iodine treatment post surgery, then following this treatment had to live in solitary confinement in a derelict house near the hospital without any medical staff to look after before being checked over and sent home. She was on her own for 3 days and couldn't have family with her because of the risk of contaminating her family with radiation. Her treatment wasn't good and she was left with a bill of £30,000 in addition to what the insurance company paid out. This meant she had to sell her home to pay off the debt. Fortunately, her mum had a holiday home that she could live in for 2 years whilst she and her husband saved up enough money to be able to buy a new house. All this stress didn't help her recovery and she was always toing and froing to medical appointments. She was too ill to work and this impacted on the family finances too. When profits are involved in healthcare the people that suffer are the patients!!!

TT x.

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It is mind boggling that Trump would be trying to get his hands on the NHS as part of a trade agreement, when the entire US system set up under Obamacare has been nearly ruined by Trump since he took office and started dismantling the program on his own by Executive Order, after being unable to get Congress to make the changes he wanted -- like eliminating pre-existing conditions! Our drug prices in America are the highest in the world as is medical care in general. Millions of Americans do not have access to health care at all and insurance because they can't afford to pay $1000 a month or more! My ablation cost about $200,000 in Texas. Can you imagine if the NHS didn't cover the multiple ablations so many people in the UK have? I think that's why medication is a first line approach to afib in the US, because of the huge cost of surgeries. If the US had a fully functional health care system that served all and provided quality medical care to everyone, then that would be a different story!

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Your beloved NHS is off the table. bbc.com/news/uk-politics-48...

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Excellent discussion. Thank you for posting this.

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