The NHS in England is subjected to much criticism from the UK media if not the population at large, at present.
Interesting that these criticisms are taking place while there is a coalition government which has made plain that the NHS is exempt from the financial cuts being made to bring the UK budget deficit under control.
When I was diagnosed as having AF following fainting during mass a year or two back, the ambulance paramedic told me that by far the majority of their call outs were for people who had drunk too much alcohol and as a result had become ill. Assuming that such comment was and is still true, then charging say £50 each time and for each individual involved, for treating drunks in an emergency might be one way of relieving the financial pressure on the NHS. After all one probably has to spend a fair sum to become drunk so spending a reasonable amount following the involvement of the NHS with the inebriation, is obviously a reasonable way for the overall costs of that service to be contained. There are other apparent self induced ailments which for those who do not suffer from them, logically seem reasonable for those who do to contribute towards the NHS costs of treating them. However I can see that issues would arise as to whether the afflicted individuals in fact caused their own hurts or whether some other forces are at work such as heavy advertising eg as regards obesity so maybe the question of payment should only be relevant for issues which are clearly self induced.
Back to positive aspects of the NHS: A few months back after carefully discussing AF treatment with a professor at St Georges NHS Hospital I decided to opt for the surgery rather than continue with medication. Having then been admitted to the hospital and the surgery successfully performed within two weeks,the excellence of the NHS system at least locally, was confirmed and all that was free of payment.
Potentially far more significant was the fact that a few days ago when returning with HCPT Group 729 from Lourdes I was informed over the telephone, that maytrees mi had lust learned from a medical consultant that he had a huge tumour in his spine and the medical advice was that if this was not operated on death would be likely.
Other HCPT helpers were really supportive and the HCPT HQ even had a candle lit for him at 11pm at the grotto coincidentally on the night of his surgery.
The consultant was not concerned that there was no insurance for private surgery but ensured that maytrees mi was admitted again to St Georges NHS hospital earlier this week. He then performed the operation successfully. The Intensive care ward where we visited him shortly afterwards seemed to my amateur eyes to be first class and the nursing staff really caring. The next day he was transferred to a room of his own in the same wing of the hospital and appears to be progressing speedily back to good health.
Almost next to his hospital room there is a roof garden with seating, for patients - again in my humble opinion a first class NHS facility though I accept that other experiences and hospitals may be different.