BIG C’S A PATIENT VIEW OF NHS TRUSTS
IS THE PRIVATE HEALTH SYSTEM BETTER THAN NHS?
NHS TRUSTS are the business centre of each hospital, providing funds to care for their patients. They are allocated and given a budget each year to run their business by the Government. Trust must implement an efficient and smooth health care system which means saving the lives of their patients by looking after their personnel, maintenance of hospitals, and applying the recent technology, equipment and medication for quick treatments of patients. Time is the essence. Cost is reduced by the patient's short stay at hospitals in return will increase the turnover of numbers looked after and discharged. In simple terms, treating ill people is all about statistics. Fewer death rates, a large number of admissions and the quality of their services will put them in a good hospitalisation league. They need more money to achieve their goals. They need ‘Private Health’ finance to supplement government grants. The extra capital needed is supplied by the Health Insurance Companies. Hospital facilities provided to private patients are somehow different from ordinary folks. The services provided are immaculate, expensive drugs are used for the best result and doctors are more responsive, and attentive to the need of the patients. It is a two-tier health system.
Taxpayers pay National Insurance premiums through their earnings to the government. She passes these as grants to the Trusts to run the hospitals. Grants are provided with some limitations by the Government to guide trusts on how they can be spent. Some drugs ( medications) and illnesses are not permitted for the treatment of patients being so expensive. These rules are not known by the public. Should the Trust have a shortage of capital, patients are going to experience negligence.
Health insurance premiums are charged by private companies covering clients' future illnesses to get the best possible medical treatment. I was a private patient when I had oesophagus cancer. I insured myself for cataract treatment, instead, the cover I had was used for cancer treatment. The health policy I had apparently included cancer. I was lucky, I did not know that. I had chemotherapy that lasted five years. The cost included, monthly IV drips of nine different liquids (medications) pumped into my blood plus daily taking of twenty-four tablets, monthly MRI or CT usage, and blood tests. During that period my health insurance premiums increased ten folds. It started at £90 per month and at the end of five years was up at £800 per month. In the end, I had to cancel the policy. Informed the oncology consultant regarding my situation “ I am sorry, can’t afford the premiums anymore, will cancel the insurance facility,” to my surprise, “I am glad to inform you your cancer is in remission,” He said. My private treatment had finished after that meeting. I became an ordinary citizen treated by the NHS. Was it a coincidence or a lack of private funds?
I did not have any side effects during my chemo. Occasional nausea and some morning sickness which I had tablets to deal with them otherwise my body did not react. My monthly regular check-up visits to the hospital included MRI and blood tests. But I was never told about the progress I was making. The coincidence of my cancelling private insurance with the end of my treatment created a question in my mind “ If I did not cancel the health insurance policy would they stop the treatment?” it is possible the answer might be ‘No’. Simply they had extended my treatment to increase funding to the hospital purse. This is a personal experience (1)with the health system in the UK.
My son had a brain tumour starting it was at the back of his head. He was an NHS patient at the same oncology hospital I had treatment. He had a good and friendly consultant but the procedures were more basic but reliable. Long hours are spent in the waiting room seeing the consultant each month's visit. Results of the progress recorded by the MRI and blood tests were explained to us in detail. This procedure never took place in my private care. When the second tumour appeared on the front of his head situation changed, was entirely different. This was a killer type, very aggressive tumour called (glioblastoma). He had an emergency operation. It was supposed to be completed in twenty minutes and an overnight stay instead things went wrong it took more than two hours and he had to spend two weeks in hospital. When he left the hospital, his left arm was paralysed, and his left leg would not function properly he had to pull it along while walking. It was an operation that took place under local anaesthetic. He could hear everything the surgeon was saying to her assistants “ We have to try plan B, sorry! did not work let’s try plan C etc.,). The trauma caused to my son was inexplicable. Nobody explain what went wrong in that surgery. This was the NHS at its worst. After that my son's treatment, his health diminished slowly. For nearly six months, we were all fighting for his life. He had a very positive view of life. His faith and hope were top as we were planning to improve his state of health with other sources in addition to chemo. One day we were called for a meeting with the consultant after he stayed three days in a local oncology hospital, famous for his cancer treatment. We are all told “ Sorry, we did all we can, can’t offer any more treatments best luck to him,” was a bare reality spat on our faces. We were all shocked and did not believe what we heard from him. My son was referred to our local medical centre for future complaints. This was a death sentence, for my son. I hated the consultant who happened to be an American just arrived at the hospital. We had never met him before. The way his state of health was presented to us was cruel and horrible. My son passed away three months after that meeting. His death is not registered in the cancer hospital first he was signed to ACU ( Acute Care Unit) to a normal hospital and then moved to our home for palliative care, no registration of his existence in both hospitals. This was a stain on their record of treatment as long as the number of deaths was kept minimal they will attract more private patients. If he was a member of a private patient club, treatments would have been paid for by a well-known insurance company I doubt it treatment might have been short. This is a second personal experience with the health system in the UK.
Recently my article about BigC with 3 Bowelbabes is another very recent personal experience on this subject. My brother-in-law's wife was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, as a result of the test in her local hospital she had been told “ Sorry, it is too late, bowel cancer is in stage 4 it’s spread to ovaries and the liver, we can’t treat you,”. She had a prescription of pain killers (morphine) to deal with the pain attacks. At the same time when we read the newspapers, the original Bowelbabe and another Bowelbabe3 had the same stage 4 cancer with the same spread in their body, one lived five years other one told us she is cleared of it. They were both private patients. It is the mentality of the present NHS, to save funds for futuristic patients who have a chance of beating cancer otherwise can’t waste money on difficult cases. This is my third personal experience with the health system in the UK.
The CONCLUSION of this study is three separate incidents raise the question about the state of NHS today.
NHS in general functions very good to save people's lives such as in the recent pandemic. Medical staff had worked day and night to save the covid patients' lives in the hospital but they were financially supported generously by the government. Certain departments of the medical profession can’t deal with the diseases such as cancer, neurological illnesses and blood-related disorders. My personal experiences in these areas will be documented in other stories. One thing is clear if NHS can’t treat some diagnosed cancer illnesses because of a lacking of funds, unfortunately, the percentage of staying alive will be minimal. Hospital statistics do not show or include patients who died at their homes. Most patients in palliative care had been sent home to avoid public knowledge of their shortcomings.
On the other hand, the hospital Trust which deals with private finance will require from their hospital departments the highest efficiency to make them happy. In their case, rather than a quick short stay and turnover for a cost-effective solution (like in NHS), keep them longer at the hospital, and use more expensive medication and equipment to increase the cash flow.
‘Injustice’ is the definition of the finance created. NHS gets its payments from taxpayers to provide them with good health services when needed. Health Insurance company receives their premium from people who not only pay NI to the government but also to them to take care of their health. It is this double standard that works against the working-class people.
THE WAY THE NHS SYSTEM WORKS AT THE MOMENT WILL NOT BE A SURPRISE IN FUTURE IF WE ARE ASKED ABOUT OUR PRIVATE INSURANCE NO AT ADMISSION TO THE HOSPITALS. GOOD LUCK.
NOTE: Thanks to Klause Nielsen at Pixel for the picture.