Thursday, 22 January 2009

if this is the future of commercial healthcare....

... then you can keep it!

Give me the friendly, mildly inefficient but personable NHS GP surgery over this morning's ruthlessly efficient, cold and impersonable conveyor belt Medical Insurance clinic any day!

As one of the 'perks' of my job I was offered a free medical check-up - part of the school's insurance policy, apparently. As it's been ages since a Doctor cast an eye over my anatomy I figured why not. Hence I got up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 in order to ride three different metro lines across town to the clinic clutching my little pot of urine, freshly produced this morning. I didn't know quite what to expect, apart from a blood test and eye exam, but I wasn't expecting such a ruthlessly efficient system. The hospital we'd attended in Luxembourg had been efficient, but without being inhuman. Here you were tagged at the front desk, then led off to change into identifcal blue shirts and blue plastic over-shoes before being called up one by one to be stabbed with a needle. Then we waited, herded together in a corridor while one by one we were called into a side room, before being returned, only to wait again for another summons. Whenever that rare event occurred - one of the 30 odd patients being permitted to change back into civvies and leave - the rest of us gazed at him (they were all men) with what I imagine is that same kind of envious looks inmates give freshly paroled prisoners. The whole experience - a good 2 hours - simply made me feel like so much meat waiting to be prcoessed. If this is what capitalism does to healthcare - strip it down to the bare essentials in order to process as many units as quickly as possible - then we would do well to keep healthcare public, however shambolic the NHS may be at times.

And, while they were all perfectly nice and very patient with my lack of Spanish, not one of the nurses cupped my balls and asked me to cough!!

No comments:

Post a Comment