This is certainly not an NHS bashing post. Those on the left often sneer at Tories suggesting how do they know or care about the NHS – as they are sure we never use it. This is a case of wanting to use it, and being refused.
Next month my wife has a birthday with a zero in it. For that reason we are having a holiday of a lifetime – part of which includes time in Kenya. For that we needed two jabs each and some malarial tablets. Before Christmas, in fact over 4 months before travel we ask our local GP if we could book time in to get the treatment. No we expected to have to pay for the vaccines (although in certain places we know you do not) but would have thought our GP or the nurse at the practice could administer them. We were told the practice had ceased to administer vaccines for holidays as they take too much time. Being me, I had an email exchange with the practice manager pointing out that having been in good health, I have actually not seen a doctor for 16 years so I was a tiny bit put out that when I could do with 10 minutes of their time it was somewhat annoying to be told what I requested took too much time.
To no avail – apparently GPs arent compensated for doing this type of work so they can choose not to do it. What should we do we enquired…. oh go to Nottingham and find somewhere there to do it.
So that is what we have done today, and the cost was around £350 in total.
Some would suggest that if you can afford a holiday then you should also pay for your own vaccines. Maybe so. But then shall we use the same argument to say if you can afford cigarettes you should also afford your own nicotine replacement therapy. Has the NHS decided that cheap prevention is not better than expensive cure. What if I didnt have £350 and came back with hepatitis? £200 plus a night for a stay in hospital doesn’t seem to make sense.
Is this kind of thing happening across the country. I would suggest foreign travel has become more common place than ever before, yet does our National Health System wash its hands of protecting people who have paid into the system, from a raft of disease? So, when those on the left sneer and say I bet you use private health care, maybe just maybe I couldn’t get the NHS to treat me the only time I have had to call on its services in 16 years.
I remembered I had the response as to why my local GP practice justified not offering this service:-
“It is not the time taken to give the vaccinations, it is the time taken to carry out a travel risk assessment – looking at where the patient is travelling to, which vaccinations have been given previously, what the risks for the area are, what vaccinations are needed, ordering in the vaccination and then organising an appointment. Other surgeries offer different levels of service. Otherwise there are various travel clinics in Lincoln and Nottingham.”
Hmmm – filling the form in answering what vaccinations had previously been given and where and for how long we were going took 5 minutes and was done in a waiting room prior to our appointment and the vaccines took under 10 minutes. Come on!