"Although I live in the US now, ..."

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital

(as a relative),

Anything else?

Although I live in the US now, I am an ex resident of Penkhull and I am very familiar with the hospital. I felt so sad reading the horrible comments people were making despite knowing that they were true. When we feel so cross and upset with the system maybe sometimes we have to remember how lucky we are to have the NHS - DESPITE all the inefficiency and frustrations.

My husband has just had an operation for Prostate Cancer and the bill for this is close to $150,000, with more to pay every time he goes for a check up or test. Additionally there is no sick pay when he had to take time off work. We are very fortunate to have military health care but so many of our friends and neighbours are paying up to $1200 a month for health insurance and then have a 20% co-pay - up to a limit. Once you reach the limit then you pay it all.

In the UK we cannot imagine what it is like to know you have a tumor (like a friend of mine) but cannot afford to get anything done about it. Everywhere we go here we see people sick and dying for want of medical attention that in England we would consider the basic minimum. This is the United States......... hmmmm, home of the brave etc etc but despite having more millionaires than the entire population of Staffordshire there is no free public health care. Most of the world envies our system and yes it is flawed, and yes it is inefficient and yes it frustrates the heck out of us, but the alternative options are nightmare. Taxpayers pay for the system and so you and I know it is not free, but when I received a call a few days ago to say my 82 year old mum was sick and had been taken to the hospital I knew that all I had to worry about was her health. Imagine having that overridden by worry about how we would pay the bill.

I do not belittle any of the comments made - I know they are right, its just that I have seen the alternative and it is a nightmare.

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