Monday 11 June 2018

Do We Appreciate How Lucky We Are?

Living in the United Kingdom, one of the richest economies in the world, is something that many of us completely take for granted. While nothing is perfect and there is still far too many people living in poverty in the country (just one is too many), by and large we enjoy a much better way of life than many who are surviving day by day in developing countries.

Our most important national treasure is certainly the National Health Service - aka the NHS - something that is admired the world over. When you think that even in countries such as the United States of America, or as nearby as Ireland, citizens are expected to pay for medical cover, whereas a small portion of our taxes funds the NHS, it is enough to make you stop and think.

Medical Fees

We have all heard horror stories of medical fees accumulated in other countries for what we consider to be standard treatments. For example, without medical insurance in the USA, the cost of removing an appendix could cost as much as $180,000 in the most severe cases. That kind of bill could financially cripple a family’s finances. Here in the UK, however, we know that no matter when we are in need of medical assistance it is there for us. There is no need to wait for the patient to okay the price before action is taken as the fees are already taken care of. Nowhere else in the world do you have that privilege. We even have a C-section - I have had 2 - without considering that it costs the NHS more than £10k just for one (look at how many people are in the room). In Ireland people pay upwards of 50 Euros just to SEE their GP and that doesn't even include the medicine that may be prescribed.

Developing Nations

While Americans can be forced to pay astronomical prices for medical care, millions of people do not have the option at all. In developing countries where poverty is rife it is not uncommon for men, women and children to go without even the most basic of care. Vaccinations are not widely available with the majority that are supplied by charitable causes that rely on the donations of people in different countries. Through this giving, procedures such as cataract surgery, dental treatment and preventative measures can be administered.

Never Take the NHS for Granted

It can be easy to take the NHS for granted, but we really shouldn’t. Not just because what the service as a whole offers, but also for what every doctor and nurse sacrifices and gives over and above in the course of their day to day duties. Regularly working long and unsociable hours, NHS staff do what they do because they care and that should never be overlooked. For them the job is a vocation. There is an argument that NHS staff are grossly underpaid and, while we certainly won’t dispute that claim, we will leave that for another day. The fact of the matter is that there is a workforce that works tirelessly day and night for one reason only – keep you and me healthy. No nasty hidden charges, no ulterior motive and certainly no one that is driven by ego.

Think Before You Complain

Is the NHS perfect? No, but again we will leave that discussion for another day. It isn’t perfect but would you trade our health service for anything else on offer around the world? I certainly wouldn’t. We should feel thankful that we have the NHS and appreciate how lucky we are that we have such a service to depend on in times of need; a service that is there to look after us and our loved ones in the darkest of moments, barely expecting a thank you for doing so. Never forget that.

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