Health Care?!

A little while ago, Molly developed a couple of verrucas on her feet. After going from little black dots, they quickly shifted to angry red lumps. Not good.

After fighting to get a doctors appointment, the nurse looked at the lumps on her feet and said "That one is a corn, and that one is... er..." and she trailed off.  Obviously, she didn't know what it was, and umm'd and arr'd a bit and then said finally, it was a verruca. Or a wart. Or a callous.  So, expecting some cream, some drops, some, er... something, she said "It should go away in about an year. Or even better, go to a chiropodist."

Excuse me?

"Just go to one of the local chiropodist clinics, and pay them to have a look and to sort it out."

Needless to say, I was a little surprised, as was Kellie... Molly is nine, and by rights, all her health care - medical, optical, dental, emergency etc - all covered by the NHS. But not, apparently, feet.

So we head around to our chemist on Timberlog Lane. Absolutely the greatest chemist that has ever lived, I've known him since everything with Bethy, and he is a great bloke, happy to offer advice and generally, more clued up than a lot of medical "professionals"

He has a look, and says the "corn" is actually a verruca, and the other "thing" looked like a deep rooted or even infected verruca. "No point buying any of the tubes or stuff as they are all hit and miss, and the doctors don't bother with them any more, so get it checked at a chiropodist is your best bet."

So, nursey nurse was right with having to get it looked at elsewhere, but shockingly, her diagnosis was incorrect.

I have a quick poke around online and find a local chiropodist, call them up and a lovely lady answers.  I tell her what's happening and she offers advice and books an appointment for forty minutes time.  Result. Get it sorted and done with...

We head into town and up to the foot clinic, where the nurse examines Mo's feet, says that they are both verrucas, and that they can sort it easily. Result again. The actual Chiropodist comes out and has a look too, takes Mo into the room with us, and sets to work, chatting away as he does so.

He is brilliant, and I don't just mean medically, but also, his manner, his down-to-earth-ness, everything. He spoke to Molly, not us, as she was the patient. He made sure she was comfy, that she knew what was happening, and set to work.

He scraped away a LOT of gross stuff off her foot, and he and the nurse kept asking if she was OK, as he went DEEP into her sole. They were both well impressed at her pain tolerance, and scraped out loads of crap from both verrucas. Froze them, silver nitrate which DID sting, wrapped it up, job done. Got some stuff to do here every few days, some home remedies that HE suggested instead of paying him every week as well. Like I said, really nice bloke, and the nurse was very friendly as well.

Mo's foot is a bit sore this evening, but she's hobbling around and taking it in her stride (!!) but this post isn't about her foot - not per se... It's about the NHS.

For those of you abroad that DON'T have free health care, you won't understand, and will probably mutter about taxes and rubbish. Not interested. The point is, everyone over here is entitled to free health care. If you work, you pay prescription costs, if you don't, you don't. Same with opticians and dentists - low income, free; high income, not free.

ALL kids, however, are entitled to free health care regardless. New problems, existing problems, major, minor, whatever. They might have a splinter in their head, they might have a car in their anus - both are treated for free

However, today we have learned that this is only true from the ankles up. Apparently, you either leave it a year and it might go away (or spread to the rest of the family as it IS a virus!), or you buy the special lotions & potions (which don't often work, especially in the deep ones) or you pay to have it taken away.

The part that really really hacks me off? I could be a junkie of some description, but because it's against my "Human Rights" to be left to suffer getting off the drugs I myself hooked myself on, I am entitled to free replacement drugs to help me out. I might be an alcoholic and have knackered my liver from years of abuse but because my quality of life is slipping through my own self-inflicted neglect, I am entitled to a transplant.

OK OK, I am not comparing a skin based virus with drug addiction or transplants - far from it - but it hardly seems right that someone on a low income would have to pay out a lot of money for something... If all four kids had it, we'd have had to spend over £100 this afternoon getting rid of their verrucas. How about a single parent struggling on a daily or weekly basis that has two or three kids all sprouting foot nasties? How do they cope?

I love the NHS, I really do. I've been an active user for most of my life and have been present when it has outshone the sun itself... It's just the other crap that it seems to get tangled in, like failing to diagnose things, or just outright not covering other things that pisses me off.

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One Response to “Health Care?!”

Cassandra C. said...

I still owe the hospital $35,000 for an emergency surgery where they removed my highly infected gallbladder.