As a former UK-ian, I have only ever known the 'wonders' of the NHS. For all the complaints, waits and occasional need to 'beg' for certain treatments that your care provider isn't yet convinced you need, there's still a whole lot to be thankful for. The notion over here that medications in the UK, whether prescribed to treat angina, diabetes or the common cold are all one, set, standard price which you can budget for and come to mostly rely upon, tends to confuse some. And the free health clinics that are scattered around city centers, just begging for folks to come inside and take advantage of free medical testing, advice and preventative teachings, well, I sure do miss them when I'm under the weather and facing the costs of feeling less than awesome.
Each time I (or any member of my family) attend a doctor's appointment, that's $25 straight out the window, before we've even crossed the treatment room threshold or explained our symptoms. You can imagine how financially (and in other ways) aggravating this becomes when you're tackling more than one health problem at a time (as I often do with Chronic Fatigue/Post Viral Syndrome) and the time within which you may disclose, discuss and form a plan around your issues, is still as limited as it is in the UK and their free appointments. Oh, how I remember being SO put out by being told to make another appointment at a different time for a separate issue. How inconvenient right? I'd appreciate that protocol now, let me tell you.
The point that remains though, it that even with the gift of health insurance over here, it's still more than emotionally and physically demanding to become sick. Financially it can be just as crippling and I can only imagine the excess stress that must place upon those who are fighting for good health. Phew, it's enough to make you sick just thinking about it!