Imagine going to your nearest doctors’ surgery at 9am on a weekday with your sick six-year-old daughter because you cannot make an appointment over the phone. After your drive to another part of the city, you can’t simply book a time with the receptionist. There isn’t one. Instead, you must swipe your daughter’s national insurance card through a machine, which gives you a number. Then you and your feverish child simply sit and wait. Or rather, you stand, because the room is so crowded that people are sitting on the floor, on steps, or leaning against walls. The numbers come up on a screen every 10 minutes or so, in no particular order so you’ve no idea how long your wait will be as your daughter complains of feeling cold then hot and then cold again.
By 10.45, another patient’s dad exclaims he’s been there since 8.15, he’s had enough, and he’s going to go to a private GP. “You used to just be able to make an appointment with a doctor!” he says angrily.
You see, you are not even waiting to see a GP. You’re waiting to a see a nurse in order to justify to her how quickly your child needs to see a GP or whether she needs to see one at all. At 11.30, you give up and take your daughter to see a private doctor as well, forking out £50 for the privilege.
This isn’t some nightmare vision of the NHS after 10 years of Tory cuts. This happened to me recently in a country I have moved to from Britain that is normally lauded as the shining example of a successful welfare state.
Finland receives such a positive press in Britain. Its schools consistently have the best international student assessment results in the western world; there’s high social equality; all its teachers have master’s degrees. But it has one of the worst health services in Europe.
Finland’s health service has been in a parlous state for decades and it is getting worse.
Suomessa terveyspalvelut ovat Euroopan huonompia, olleet jo vuosikymmeniä, ja yhä huonommaksi menee, kuvataan edellä Guardianin tuoreessa artikkelissa.
Et voi kirjoittaa uusia viestejä tässä foorumissa Et voi vastata viesteihin tässä foorumissa Et voi muokata viestejäsi tässä foorumissa Et voi poistaa viestejäsi tässä foorumissa Et voi äänestää tässä foorumissa