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Kim Visits a British Hospital

Updated: Apr 1



Ah well, we couldn't get through the year without a mishap, could we? I mentioned in my last post that I slipped in the mud while hiking in Wales and sprained my left wrist. Two weeks later, still in pain, it seemed time for an x-ray. As the wife of a British citizen and holding an official spouse visa, I'm covered by the National Health Service (NHS). I filled out an online form requesting an appointment with my GP, but they quickly wrote back, "we don't deal with injuries, call 111."


Calling 111 gets you a triage nurse who asks your symptoms and tells you what to do next. They referred me to the ER (or A&E, "Accidents and Emergencies") here. OK then!


The next morning we appeared at the hospital in nearby Banbury, and within the hour I was x-rayed and in front of a disapproving doctor who announced a fracture of my major wrist bone, and scowled at me for waiting two weeks to seek treatment. However he was very professional and in no time the nurses had applied a temporary cast, and I had an appointment the next morning (on a Saturday) at the hospital's "Fracture Clinic."


Here I got another x-ray and saw an orthopedic specialist. He said "5-6 weeks in cast." A new, longer-term cast was then applied by some friendly and experienced nurses, and a one-week follow-up visit scheduled.



I could not have expected any better care back home. I note some minor differences: 1.) the hospital seemed a bit worn and dated, not sleek and modern like Boston hospitals (thought it didn't seem to detract from the quality of care); 2.) there's no online portal where I can see my records, test results, etc.; but 3.) the treatment didn't cost me a cent. No co-pays, no deductibles, no premiums.


I'm very grateful to have this good medical care.


We also had an interesting comparison to make recently with veterinary care. Both our dogs were sick for most of February with GI trouble (sparing you the details). During one of our trips to the vet in Bicester, they noted Gingersnap's heart murmur and suggested an EKG. She's had one before, but they thought it might be getting worse. So we went ahead with the procedure and like many older dogs her size, they found her heart is weakening. The vet prescribed the heart drug Vetmedin, which could add several years to her life.



But unlike the NHS, we have found veterinary care in Oxfordshire to be at least as expensive as in Boston, if not more so. It's not a complaint - we accept the expense in return for our dogs' wonderful companionship. And we are happy they are healthy and eager to join all our adventures.


Meanwhile, spring is putting out feelers in England. It continues to rain daily, and I'm not sure when that mud is ever going to dry up enough to walk in the fields and hills again. Maybe there is a miraculous week of drying-out coming? For now, I will adjust to living "one-armed" and enjoy any signs of better days to come, including our landlords' glorious cherry tree, now in full bloom.



The next few weeks may be mundane as we work, heal, and wait for spring. But I will be back, hopefully, with reports of our continued adventures. Stay well, Dear Readers.

🫖 🇬🇧 💂‍♀️







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30 Comments


Guest
Mar 24

Wishing you a speedy recovery

Glad you got good care

Hope Gingersnap will do well

The tree is so beautiful!

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haricot
Mar 20

As a Canadian, we sometimes feel behind our American glossy medical care, but knowing that everyone gets a pretty good level of help for no cost, seems to make up for it. No way is perfect but knowledgeable support is what matters the most! Sort of like bridge teachers I suppose.

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Guest
Mar 19

The adventures continue! Hope the healing goes smoothly (do you have a card shuffler)? Sending my best-Sally

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michele
Mar 19

Hope you and the dogs are mended quickly without much inconvenience. While not totally free, healthcare here in the UAE is excellent with minimal ($10-15) copays. It is eye opening to see the difference in costs without a difference in quality. Most of my doctors went to med school and worked in the US, Canada or Western Europe but there are med schools open here now as well

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kgilman11
Mar 19
Replying to

Interesting comparison, didn't know that about UAE medical system. The US really is such an outlier with for-profit health care.

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Guest
Mar 19

Hope you heal quickly and well, Kim! Still a lot of sightseeing to do:) And all the best for Gingersnap as well!

Gilda

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kgilman11
Mar 19
Replying to

Thank you Gilda!

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