Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Kind of Society Do You Want To Be Associated With?

Stephen Amidon: Why I love Britain's socialized healthcare system - As I learned when my newborn daughter was very sick, in U.K. hospitals, people take care of each other

...I was initially skeptical about the NHS. I’d grown up comfortably in suburban New Jersey; good private healthcare was always immediately available through my father’s insurance. When my English wife became pregnant soon after we settled in London, I was alarmed by the idea of having our first child born in a system I had been told was underfunded, overstressed and inefficient. After all, healthcare in the UK was free. How good could it be? Friends and relatives back in the States were spending thousands to have children. If you get what you pay for, I was about to get a whole lot of nothing.

...This, I learned, is what the NHS is about -- common decency. It is about the shared belief that all the people who live in the United Kingdom constitute a society, and a decent society provides certain necessities for its members. Freedom from hunger is one. Police protection is another. Free healthcare from the cradle to the grave is simply one more item on this list.


Anonymous said...

I like the hospitality of Indians..... they treat the people like their own brothers and sisters....


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Fraulein said...

Yep -- when I lived in England as a student in the early 1990s, I remember going to NHS doctors and being shocked when I was treated for free, with no questions asked about what kind of health insurance I had. It was a very eye-opening experience.