Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

716 Using Socialized Healthcare


While I was training as a doctor in England, my wife and I were on their fully socialized healthcare system, the National Health Service, or NHS, where everyone's covered essentially for free. It was acceptable and got the job done but it was bare-bones, something many Americans would take some getting used to. An example of my own experience gives a feel: I received a yearly checkup card in the mail telling me when my appointment was, and I was assigned a clinic within walking distance, both extremely convenient. However, the building was a hundred year-old converted warehouse; the Waiting room was folding chairs; and there was no receptionist. When my number came up, I had to find my room through a labyrinth of halls. Once when I knocked on the door, the doctor inside said "come in," and when I opened the door, the previous patient was still getting dressed.

There was no more waiting for service than I'd experienced in the U.S., perhaps less. The rooms had plenty of supplies but expensive technical devices, like an MRI, came to my clinic in a truck on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for scheduled appointments. All-in-all, we found it utilitarian and non-stressful, it was fast, there were definitely no pretensions, and 60% of Britains prefer to use it. The rest of the British population uses American-style private medical care based on insurance, but the costs are kept in check because the alternative is free. For example, my wife needed a small operation on her foot and was scheduled three days later at a private surgeon's office on the second floor of the public swimming pool; she was in and out in an hour, and it was extremely cheap by American standards. I consider the British healthcare system to be the best in the world.


Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash


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