15 May 2007

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait...

You know these days where you absolutely don't know what is going to happen when you get up in the morning and then once you leave the house, you believe this is one of these days and then the whole day unfolds before your eyes as if in slow motion and it turns out to be not one of these days but one those days instead?

I got up in the morning, late of course, for an appointment with the doctor. I don my stuff, run out into the bloody cliché British rain that has been haunting this country for the last weeks. An emergency car rushes by at top speed with that ear-splitting sirene on full volume and literally hurting your ears. I wait for the 73 and once in the bus, discover I had a baby bus again (that is a baby screaming in pure spite of its parents and the parents neglecting it for the most part of my journey). An Ötzi kind of guy gets in later, old and long greyish beard. The bus spits me out at Gower Street and after a short walk I arrive in the practice.

The receptionist was really nice and said he would put me in even if the walk-in-clinic hours had already been over ten minutes ago. In naive gratefulness, I take a seat in the waiting room. After some time, my name is called up and I am asked to "please go to room four in the basement, room four in the basement" (it is a joined practice and all doctors seem to have their rooms in the basement whereas the nurse occupies the whole ground floor). Room 4 didn't bode well. Last time I went there, it was the incompetent Indian doctor who sent me home with the advice of changing my lifestyle after 45 minutes in the waiting room and a horrible time because I was sleeping more hours a day than I was actually awake. My fears were confirmed once I came in. She uttered her robot-like "How can I help" without even so much as looking at me. I told her while she seemed not to be really listening. She was not being helpful at all. She would have sent me off without so much as moving a finger. I told her I wanted her to weigh me before I go and see the specialist. She really asked me why even though she should have known herself. It was as if she tried to tick as many names off her daily list as possible while at the same time breaking the record for laziness. The best thing was, when she suddenly groped for her bag, took out her mobile phone and started typing. I thought she was writing a text message before my very eyes! Only when she saw my weird look did she admit that she didn't have a calculator. I suggested she could use the one on her PC. She said, she didn't know how to use that. Finally, I was sent home being just as clueless as before.

It doesn't surprise me that the UK health system has so many private charities and clinics that offer their services to the public when obviously NHS is useless. I haven't really had any benefits from the NHS so far. If I only courd afford it, I would go to a private GP anytime I needed one.

I mean, believe it or not, there is a quiz on the NHS website which asks you about your symptoms and tells you if you really need a doctor or can solve the problem on your own!

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