Friday, June 7, 2013

NHS: Scotland vs. England

I will admit I have no brain, if you already know this. If you don't know this, then I do have a brain...

When I hear the letters N-H-S, I think of the United Kingdom as a whole. Who knew that certain things within the NHS were different between the different countries? Well, apparently, each country in the United Kingdom has their own National Health system. Yep, all four countries have their own system and their own rules with regards to healthcare.

So, how did I figure this out? Lets take a stroll down memory lane...
Walk into pharmacy. Hand prescription to chemist. Chemist tells me to sign it. Chemist tells me it will be a moment. Two minutes goes by. Chemist hands me drugs and says "here you go, have a nice day." I say, "that's it? Do I owe anything." Chemist says "nope, all prescriptions are free." I say, "oh okay. great! Thanks!" Walk away in a confused yet happy state that I did not have to pay.
Walk into pharmacy with confidence that I know how this works. Sign prescription, hand prescription to chemist. Two minutes goes by. Chemist hands me drugs and says "your prescription is ready. That will be £7.85." Say what???!!! What do you mean I have to PAY for this?? "Oh, I have never had to pay for this before." Chemist points to a sign that reads 'All NHS prescriptions are £7.85.' I say "oh. okay?" I give him money. I leave to go home and look this up.

Apparently, England is the only country in the United Kingdom that charges for prescriptions (although certain people are exempt from paying). And apparently, people that live along the border, try to take their prescription outside of England to avoid payment. Take that England!

So, let's see. My life has gone from paying a boo-coo amount of money for a prescription, to paying zero money for a prescription, to paying money for a prescription again. Its a lot of confusion in one year! JK, but I really was so confused the other day, but I am over it now. I just wanted to share my story with you. It had been a while since I had done a "differences blog", so it seemed like a good fit for today. Have a great weekend!

Those of you that live internationally, what surprised you the most about the healthcare in the different countries?

According to a survey in 2004, people expressed very high levels of satisfaction with their experiences of the medical system.


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