I am a health tourist, but not in the conventional meaning of that ever increasingly popular phrase. I’m not travelling to England with the intention of stealing free drugs or healthcare from the state. Quite the contrary! After needing some genuine help over the last few months, I have entirely lost my faith in the NHS after I finally needed to use their services over the last year or so. Suffering what I would describe as gross neglect I had no choice but to give up, waiting for referrals that simply never came about, despite many many phone calls and constant chasing. Infact, I am still waiting for a two and a half month old referral to get my toe fixed!
My toe is messed up, this is a completely unrelated complaint dating back to me kicking a stool a good few months ago. I let some old granny have ago at fixing it who had a podiatrist sign on her front door in Brigg after failing to get an appointment through the normal channels. I would have thought they would be a bit more keen to get me seen to given that during my appointment the Dr told me that “he lost one of his patients” on the drug I am taking from a simple infection and that I must be careful! An infection is exactly what I have in my toe after so many weeks of it going untreated. Nether the less, no appointment was made.
Fast forward a month or so and despite the old ladies friendly banter, £15 of my finest sterling and her best efforts at chopping my toe, she failed to cure the issue and it is back with a vengeance!
I thought it was healing, but given my low white blood cell count (Thanks to those pills the doctor gave me) I can’t take any chances.
So rather than waiting endlessly for my appointment to materialise, I will be seeing one of Poland’s surgeons, letting him cause me a reasonable amount of discomfort and all for the princely sum of £70. It’s not going to be the most pleasant money I ever spend but it could just save me from death by NHS overcapacityitis.
I love the NHS, in principle, its a wonderful idea! Rich or poor, they will fix you up and send you on your way, but throw a few 100,000 thousand immigrants and some budget cuts into the mix and you have a system that is struggling to cope. I hope they work things out but it’s no looking good so I am hedging my bets! Going to take out an insurance policy to cover these little private jollies to the exotic eastern European butcher cum surgeon. Wish me luck!