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Marisawright

Why comparisons between British and Australian health systems are distorted

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4 hours ago, CaptainR said:

My family have a history of glaucoma and I have shown some of the risk factors such as high interocular pressure that could mean I would develop glaucoma as well. In the UK other than the possibility of eye drops it is unlikely that any real treatment would take place until there was actual deterioration of the vision and glaucoma was diagnosed. Whereas, here in Australia within a few days of the optician referring me to my doctor I was in with my GP, then straight for an MRI of the optic nerve, results back the following day and on to a specialist. Two weeks later I had Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty surgery and the pressures are down. This was all bulk billed on medicare, none of this was rushed any more than normal.

Yes, this is one of the weaknesses of the NHS, but it also illustrates a difference in attitude between Brits and Australians.

My mother died of bowel cancer and my Australian doctor advised me to get tested.  Sure enough, I had polyps and one of them was on the verge of becoming cancerous. I alerted my three sisters.  

One sister was in Germany, got tested and sure enough, polyps.  Second sister is a very high-powered executive with corporate health cover, got tested, polyps.  We are all checked regularly now.

The remaining sister has never been tested.  Under the NHS, "preventive" testing is not covered.  But here's the thing - she could have decided to pay for private testing, but she hasn't done so.  She's not particularly well-off financially, but for something as important as that, I think I would've saved up  My private health insurance doesn't cover the whole cost here, but being so used to the Australian system, I just accept that if I want to stay healthy, sometimes I have to pay up.   Whereas I notice Brits, even quite well-off ones, tend to grumble about waiting on the NHS but never even consider going private.

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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That’s a very good observation on a key difference - in Australia the process involves partial subsidies that makes private care attainable if you really want it, whereas in the UK it’s all or nothing.

Unfortunately, it then takes you into a political discussion around the privatisation of the NHS, which is what most people are vehemently opposed to (myself included), whilst also espousing the benefits of a system that is exactly (?) that.

 

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9 minutes ago, desreb said:

That’s a very good observation on a key difference - in Australia the process involves partial subsidies that makes private care attainable if you really want it, whereas in the UK it’s all or nothing.

Unfortunately, it then takes you into a political discussion around the privatisation of the NHS, which is what most people are vehemently opposed to (myself included), whilst also espousing the benefits of a system that is exactly (?) that.

 

The NHS is privatised, just done in such a sneaky and underhand way that assigns expensive contracts to big companies through terrible tender processes. At least the privatisation is more open here, the Medicare covers a fixed amount and you go to whoever you want where it’s either bulk billed or you pay the gap. 

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