The Union Recorder


April 9, 2014

SINCLAIR: Local discusses international health care experience

MILLEDGEVILLE — The very best of health care  

My wife CC and I were recently down under in Australia visiting family and friends. We arrived in Brisbane on Jan. 4 after spending time in London and then Hong Kong. I decided to take a quick trip down to Melbourne to meet up with a few of my old friends. I lived and worked as a young engineer in Melbourne for four years and I truly enjoyed the experience. I was in Melbourne for two days having reunion time with my friends before I made the return trip back to Brisbane. On my way to Melbourne airport I felt unwell with severe stomach pain, the two hour flight to Brisbane was torture, the pain was unbearable and if I could have, I would have gladly sky dived out of the aircraft without a parachute. On my arrival back in Brisbane, CC decided to call an emergency doctor who within a few minutes of examining me recommended I should go without delay to the emergency room of the Royal Brisbane Hospital. Fortunately the hospital was located only 10 minutes from the city hotel where we were staying.

The Royal Brisbane Hospital is a modern all bells and whistles hospital and I was processed through the highly efficient emergency procedure in no time at all. The doctors informed me I was being admitted and I would more than likely require surgery. I subsequently had the CT scan and sure enough I had to have surgery to remove my ruptured and gangrenous appendix. In a matter of hours I had the operation and by the following day I was housed in Ward 9 in a comfortable bed where I remained being administered antibiotics by IV drip for six days. On day seven I was out of hospital and although feeling a wee bit tender, I experienced no pain what so ever.

Why is David Sinclair telling us this story, I hear you all ask. Well what if I tell you that my entire experience of emergency treatment, CT scan, surgery, medication both at the time in hospital and post, the staff, nurses and doctors, everything, did not cost me one cent. Why? As a British passport holder, Australia has a reciprocating agreement with the United Kingdom National Health System where health care is fully subsidized or if you like I will call it what it really is, socialized health care, a system that takes care of all U.K., citizens.

Even all of you U.S. citizens, if say during a visit to the U.K., you required hospital emergency health care, you will all receive treatment at a National Health hospital and right now under the present rules, the treatment you receive will not cost you a penny.

This as far as I am concerned is one of the finest examples of “Mans Humanity To Man.” It is the Bible story of the good Samaritan, being told virtually hundreds of times every day in dozens of hospitals as people in need are attended to.

Does the health care system in countries like the U.K., Denmark, Norway, Australia who adopt a “Duty To Care” policy, cost money? Sure it does, and is it difficult to maintain? Of course it is, however responsible and caring politicians in countries where subsidized health care exists, will work hard, come hell or high water to maintain health care systems.

I, as a humanitarian, am in favor of all countries in the world having a comprehensive subsidized health care system.

David Sinclair

Baldwin County


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