The Olympics ceremony and the NHS

Absolutely loving the Olympics ceremony – a wonderfully quirky and eccentric bit of British theatre that will probably leave most foreigners totally baffled – and it was great to see the NHS being rightfully celebrated.

But best of all I liked UK Uncut‘s message above.

For a minute by minute discussion of the ceremony, check out the urban75 discussion thread – 720 posts and counting!

2 Comments on “The Olympics ceremony and the NHS”

  1. I agree totally in principle with the NHS but I had two critical experiences which found it woefully lacking – at least in my case.
    My best experience of Hospitalisation was ironically caused by NHS deficiencies. I was taken into the Maudsley Emergency Clinic (long since closed) for admission in early May 1997 suffering from a stress reaction to election of Tony Blair (and many other things). The Maudsley itself was full up, so they had to send me (unaccompanied in a taxi) to the Charter Nightingale Hospital in Lissom Grove. This was a five star establishment with the most excellent restaurant I have ever eaten in (being a mean bastard I was happy to have two dinners a day absolutely free and put on a stone in consequence). My pleasant interlude was brought to an end when my consultant (who was moonlighting from the Lambeth Hospital in Landor Road incidentally) reviewed my case after about 5 weeks. “I can’t see them paying for you to stay in here any longer!” he said, “I think you’re well enough to go home now!” As ever with the NHS it was internal cost accounting which won the day!
    My second most satisfactory hospitalisation (to which I definitely owe my life) was at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases where I was admitted around January 2nd 1997. This admission was made necessary because I had contracted malaria in Ghana in early December 1995. After I collapsed with symptoms like heat stroke I had partial treatment for malaria by some nuns at a maternity clinic in Wiaga in the far north of Ghana. “We don’t know why you people come here so badly prepared” they said “I causes people in Ghana a lot of trouble, and you won’t get the best treatment here anyway. Go back home and get proper treatment!”
    I cut short my holiday and returned to London. My GP surgery (at that time in Hetherington Road) did not see it that way. “You’ve a bad case of flu – there’ a lot of it around” they said. They did however provide regular nurse visits to change a dressing made necessary by the nuns injecting me with Nivaquin – an now-obsolete ant- malarial which is supposed to be taken by mouth – the nuns had mixed it up and injected my buttock. In Ghana people prefer to take injections rather than oral treatment.
    Desoute the visits from the nurse, no other treatment was given and I deteriorated gradually – getting very ill over Christmas. I was unable to go into work the day after New Year’s Day – in fact I did not even ring in I felt so ill. If my boss had not been concerned enough to visit me at home, and if he himself had not been familiar with malaria (his wife had had it in Zimbabwe a couple of years before) he would not have seen the signs and driven me to hospital himself – in a semi conscious condition. At the Hospital for Tropical Diseases My blood was analyses and I was immediately put on a chlorquine drip. I was in the hospital for three weeks – and at the beginning they sent for my family in case I died.
    The Daily Mail wrote an article about my case – but unfortunately did not publish it. I guess my GP must have prevailed upon them not to do so. In fact if the GP had done her job properly I would have been treated two weeks earlier – and if hospitalised I would have been out in a few days.
    On admission to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases I had a brain scan – but I was never able to have a second one to see what damage had been done – despite having the symptoms of a mild stroke after discharge. “You health authority won’t pay for it” I was told. “And we can’t pay for it either. You come under Kings and we come under Camden.”
    Thanks so much for my life NHS – but if I had been treated properly in the first place my life would not have been in danger – and Urban 75 might been spared some of my more manic ranting. My manic side did not really come out until coming round from the Chloraquin treatment at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
    My message to anyone reading this is as follows: if you are go to a tropical county it is ESSENTIAL to take malaria advice. And if you feel sick on your return INSIST on a malaria blood test – however much flu is about!

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