3 December 2008

a positive thought about the NHS

yeah, hard to believe I know. But yesterday, for the first time in my entire life (well entire life that I have lived under the NHS) I have a positive thing to say about it. Here is the story.

I went to the doctor last week when I was in Tulsa, I wasn’t feeling so hot. They said if it got worse, they could call in a prescription and I could pick it up in Boston as that is where I am this week. Well, I held off as long as possible, but yesterday the point came where I thought it best to get the medicine, especially before I went back to the UK. So the doctor called the pharmacy here in Boston and when I called to see if it was ready for pick up, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, someone called in a prescription for Kristina Williams. Is it ready?

Pharmacy Lady: ah, let me see.... oh yes, here it is. Oh wait, I don’t seem to have your insurance information.

Me: oh its ok. I live in the UK, so I don’t have insurance in America. I will just pay for it.

Pharmacy Lady: really? its quite expensive.

me: ok...how much is quite expensive? (i am thinking $80 or $90)

Pharmacy lady: well the total is $509.99.

Me: WHAT?!! $509.99?!? That’s FIVE HUNDRED AND NINE DOLLARS??! Is that what you said?

Pharmacy Lady: Yes, I did say it was quite expensive.

Me: uh yeah....no thanks. I think I will pass on the medicine.

Enter the NHS. On the National Health Service prescriptions are £7. that’s right. they are all SEVEN POUNDS! not $509.99, but £7 If I was in the UK I could have bought that prescription. Granted, they probably would not have actually prescribed it to me because they don’t actually like it when you see a doctor (if you actually get to see one) but all the same. prescriptions are at a fixed rate. and that is nice. that is also the only nice thing i will ever say about the NHS. I was not made for socialism people.

As it turns out, Walgreens has a 'prescription insurance plan' where if you do not have insurance any where else, and are not on any other kinds of benefits, then you can pay $20 a year and get all your prescriptions with them on their insurance. That made my prescription on $55.98. So I did that instead. Now I am covered for a year. nice. I got my medicine and, according to my receipt, I saved $454.01. insane!

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