I'll divert a little for my rant.
I don't know a lot about this health bill, I don't know the particulars, but judging by the outrage I should be scared and worried - and I am.
See, I'm in the waiting list (as such) for psych treatment. I went to my GP in April '10. I haven't yet had a date for my appointment. This is due, I believe, to masses of incompetence in my local area. My GP was fine, the receptionists at the surgery were sympathetic towards me, and someone somewhere has utterly fudged it up. I think there was restructuring going on, but two years for an appointment? Really? That's beyond an utter joke. But trust me to start getting oodles of issues when the recession gets worse, eh?
I like the NHS, it's a great idea. It even works for the most part. But there's some degree of incompetence in there, both on the GP level and the others, at least in my own, personal, limited experience. I had an ingrowing toenail issue maybe 7 or 8 years ago (left and right big toes), and I went to my then-GP for help. He told me to cut V shapes in the nail to relieve the pressure. Nothing else. This is despite it being infected and so many other things. When my mum moved, I switched GP with her and on one of my first visits there I mentioned my toenails. Next thing I knew, I was booked in for a hospital visit to have them removed. Problem solved! Years before that, I almost lopped off a finger. I can't remember the exact timings but we were waiting for hours. This is me, as a kid, who'd cut through the tendon (if my memory is correct) on my knuckle with a bread knife. My local GIC (Leeds) is apparently one of the worst in the country, which doesn't fill me with much hope either.
But it has been good more often than not. I almost had my wrist fractured due to a bullying incident at school. My dad took me to the hospital, had an X-Ray, they said nothing was wrong just a bad sprain. They reviewed the X-Rays and contacted us, turned out the bone had been "kinked" by the force of the impact. So yeah, I was glad they recognised their misdiagnosis, called us back and sorted it (i.e. support bandage for longer
). There was the time I ended up with a large shard of glass in my thumb at work, we went to hospital and they x-rayed it, cleaned it, the works. We waited a while, but I was seen to and out within a couple of hours. I still cringe at the memory of the nurse cleaning the wound though. Ugh.
The NHS could be the pinnacle of healthcare in the world. It probably is closer to it than we realise. But there's a long way to go, and the shortages of staff and budget cuts don't help at all. If the majority of those involved in our healthcare are opposing this bill, and the government are insisting on it, then it worries me just how... distanced they are.