I can't whinge about the NHS anymore as I've migrated to
. The health system in NZ is modelled on the New Zealand and consequently, suffers the same strengths and the same demerits as the good old NHS. My wife suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and is a frequent user of the service. In May she had surgery on her cervical spine and last week she had an emergency op on her lumbar spine. In this regard, I can find no fault. The acute service here is amazing. If you really need prompt medical attention you will get it and the quality is second to none. UK
If you want your bunion clipped or a hernia operation then proceed to the bottom of the waiting list. Waiting times are a problem unless you have the gelt to go private. Then, of course, everything happens in a bright flash. I rarely burden the health service, but last year I required investigation for a 'bad back'- the bane of the ageing bipedal human. I chose the private route, without medical insurance. A week later after receiving excellent diagnostic testing I was relieved of $1000 and told I had arthritis of the spine; old age is finally taking its toll. I'm not complaining about that. It was my choice and I had the quick reassurance that I was not suffering from something more sinister, such as an autoimmune condition. However, if you are ever unfortunate to visit the Emergency Department, except when the 'All Blacks' are playing, expect a long wait; generally a very long wait. And if you turn up on Friday or Saturday nights, well don't.
In my experience, the NZ doctors and nurses in the public system are well trained, dedicated and overworked. My wife's neurosurgeon is highly qualified, highly skilled and has a genuine concern for patient care. He could bugger off to the States and earn huge amounts- he's a brain surgeon, after all.
My gripe concerns the administrators and especially senior administrators. The people want shorter waiting times and the government responds not by allocating more resources, which requires more money, but by placing pressure on the senior administrators who run the various district health hubs. I understand that resources are limited, tis all about money after all and hence tax money and there is only so much shearing of the sheep that is permissible. For that I'm thankful. So what do administrators do? Well, one thing they can do is ensure that patients/clients/stakeholders/consumers: read as to current buzz-word, spend the absolute minimum time in hospital. Once stabilised post-op, you are out. It matters not that the patient, in the best interests of medical care, should have received a few extra days of medical supervision. The inpatient turn round times look good on a graph at board meetings and the CEO gets his/her $200,000 annual bonus. The incumbent government can gloat verily about current statistics and everyone involved in the healthcare business, including senior administrators, knows its all, absolute, complete, bollocks.