Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Seeing The NHS For What It Is

My eye problem has returned. A few days after the last course of treatment ended, the symptoms returned and I was left with a sore eye and a profound sense of feeling sorry for myself. I see the specialist again tomorrow and I suspect I will be back on the familiar cocktail of eyedrops. Being able to get free access to such treatment is just another bonus of the wonderful National Health Service.

By coincidence a letter dropped through my letter-box this morning: part of a new Government initiative to let us know what is happening to the tax we are paying. It informs me of the total direct taxes I paid in 2013-14 and the proportion of my taxes which have gone to various headings. For example, I paid £139 towards reducing the national debt last year and a further £105 (a couple of bolts from the back of a tank) towards the defence of the realm. And towards the budget of the National Health Service I contributed £374 from direct taxation. Given that direct tax constitutes about 45% of the total government budget, it is fair to assume that I probably stumped up a further £410 in indirect tax.  So for a few pence over £15 a week I have got access to a service that, in the last twelve months, has treated my fingers and my eyes, continued to provide me with relief from my deafness, and saved the life of my wife.

Even in the context of Black Friday and Cyber Monday - that is some bargain.

12 comments:

  1. You should convert that to dollars for us weird people! It sounds like a bargain, good luck at the eye Doctor...I hope the drops work this time:)

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    1. A few cents over $23 a week. And that covers primary care, all hospital treatments .... everything.

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  2. Here's hoping everything goes well!

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  3. Fingers crossed that the treatment works!

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  4. Hope the eye problem clears up very soon.

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  5. Sorry to hear of the recurrence of your eye problem - and I totally agree that our NHS is worth every penny. It's saved the life of my daughter twice now.

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  6. I hope that the eye gets back to normal quickly. National health care is a big bonus.

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  7. We are so envious of your NHS. You pay only a small fraction of what we must pay, and you get excellent results. I wish ...

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  8. I am cross that my public sector pension, which I paid into for 30 years, is under 'welfare'.

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  9. As someone said, I don't mind paying my taxes - it's the price I pay for civilisation. And we should spend a higher portion of our GDP on the NHS - several other similarly rich countries spend proportionally more on health than we do.

    Sorry to hear of your eye problems. It's frightening, isn't it? I had an awful year recently dealing with a retinal tear or two, all brought on, I think by changes in the gunge in my eye, changes that happen to us all as we get older, sometimes with alarming effects. I found myself running my fingers over the braille on medication boxes wondering how easy it would be to learn to read it! The NHS were brilliant.

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  10. Sorry for your eye problems...We need national health here, as Obamacare doesn't seem to have improved things...and you are right...A bargain by any name. Best to you and your wife.

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  11. Hi Alan, First I do hope your eye problems will soon be under control. We're living on a fixed income here and so far Obamacare has put up the prices of prescriptions we've been on for years! We need something here but I have no idea what. Not my field.

    This evening I have posted your two photos on my blog giving credit to you. They are both beautiful. I do hope this is OK with you. Please let me know if there is a problem and I will take it down.

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