I was just about to give up on my surgery where we have been patients for 46 years and have seen many changes in the NHS. Some were for the better some not.
We have had a number of doctor changes over the years and not always for the better.
When we first joined the protocol seemed to be for the doctor to reach for his prescription pad the minute you walked in and before you'd finished trying to explain what was wrong you were out the door with a prescription in your hand. When doctors first started doing minor treatments we had a doctor who was very keen to give injections, it seemed for anything.
Certainly I had my share from him at the time as he insisted that my leg pain was varicose veins. I did eventually have to have both legs stripped but it also turned out (eventually) that my leg pain was referred from my back.
The good old days eh? Like nowadays, the surgery was always packed and when the appointment system came in it felt like manna from heaven.
A couple of months back it seemed to have reverted to the old days,only now the prescription is online so he doesn't physically reach for it but the feeling for the patient is the same. I didn't get anything resolved but again came out with three prescriptions that I didn't ask for or want.
What I wanted was somebody to listen, but there's no time, the next patient is always waiting outside.
I'd reached the stage where I was prepared to pay a private GP just for somebody to listen and tell me I'm not a whiner or going mad.
Yesterday I had my faith restored in the good old NHS by a long serving doctor that I hadn't seen for years. In a 10 minute slot he had examined me thoroughly, put my mind at rest in one area but said straight off what he thought the rest of it was. I've been waiting over 20 years for somebody to agree with me (I didn't even need to prompt him).
Upshot, I have a blood test form for 13 blood tests. How much would I have had to pay if we didn't have the NHS, even in its current form. I paid my "dues" since I started work at 15 so I don't feel I'm taking more than I should be allowed to have.
Having said that, we have more people in this country than ever before, with babies being born all the time, so that strain on the NHS is massive.
I'll follow Brian's lead and won't get involved in a discussion about immigration and foreigners and who's entitled to what, BUT the practicalities of asking anyone to pay, even if it worked in theory, is unlikely to benefit the NHS as a whole very much, because there would need to be more administrative staff employed to service the extra work.
That would involve tiers of employees with those at the top making vast amounts of money as usual.
It seems, again, that those working and paying in,will have to foot the extra bill. We'll all moan about it until we need it.
What I do feel strongly about is waste in the NHS and if they looked at that they could probably save millions.
Just my thoughts. Don't mean to offend or upset anyone