Living in a country where healthcare isn’t free scares me. I’m afraid as I have relied on medical professionals throughout my life, they are needed for me to function in society. Not only me but everyone. There is no stage in life that you can’t be struck down by an ailment and need professional advice. There are moments where you are perfectly healthy and still need to seek professional medical advice such as pregnancy, training for sport and more. The reason I write about this now is that I’m fearful that the NHS (National Health Service) is becoming ever more privatised, services are limited and of course, I can’t write this without mentioning Covid-19. There is so much strain on the global healthcare system because of this pandemic that it does leave me concerned about all of the other issues people have that are pushed to the side. However, this post isn’t about C- 19.
A while back I had another MRI to look at the growth of my fibroids. I last had them removed in October 2016 and I was warned that they would grow again. 6 years on I now have around 20 fibroids of varying sizes around my womb. It would be fine if they didn’t interfere with my life, but sadly they are causing Anemia, back pain, the need to pee more often than ever, prolonged heavy periods that mean the first 3 to 4 days I can’t leave my home and the cherry on top is excessive sweating if I do any exertion. The 20 fibroids represent all of their variants, so I have them on the muscle of my womb (intramural), outside my womb pushing the pelvic (subserosal) and also the muscle layer under my wombs inner lining growing into the cavity (submucosal. There is another type but I’m not sure if I have it- Pedunculated which grow on stalks that are connected to either the inside or outside of the uterus.). Since hospitals are reluctant to schedule heavy-duty surgery if it can be avoided due to the universal plague, they have offered me a make-do solution. They believe that if I have a minor operation, that might resolve the heavy near-constant periods I’m facing and limit my anaemia. This would be a hysteroscopic procedure that won’t address the larger fibroids I have but would address the submucosal fibroids. I suspect it’s a plaster over the larger issue but one that would improve my quality of life for the immediate future. Since the procedure is relatively un-invasive, I’d be done in a day and experience a week or so of discomfort- which is normal in terms of my PMT/PMS. The alternative is to undergo a much heavier surgical procedure that has a much longer recovery time to remove as many of them as they can. The consultant I spoke to was concerned about this because my largest fibroid has started to grow into the wall of my colon and so I might need another surgeon in the process to deal with potential rectal problems should it have grown too large to be extracted without further damage to my body. These fibroids are parasites to me. They sap my energy and make life harder than needs be. If I have them all removed, chances are that in another 5 to 6 years I’ll have to get them removed again or have a hysterectomy. I dare not imagine what the cost would be if I were to pay for it myself.
In my 20’s I lived in Paris for a small stint. Whilst there I worked at a bar, and after 6 months I had to have a mandated medical check. A doctor made sure that I understood the correct way to do my job in the bar such as how to lift heavy objects, they checked my posture, took my blood pressure and other general health checks. In India, on one of the Andaman Islands where I got bitten by a fish and scratched by a dog, I was taken to the hospital and given a tetanus shot to be on the safe side. Both of these took about 30mins to do and were free. I share this because the NHS is amazing, but healthcare should be free. Looking at other nations, they have similar or even better state-funded health programmes.
This is why I wrote this post. I don’t understand why a government would not provide free healthcare if they want their nation to thrive if they can. Healthy peoples are more productive in all aspects of life. To me, the only reason is cruelty and it makes me question why anyone would pay taxes. Taxes are taken from everyone* and as such should be of benefit to everyone to build better infrastructure and help us take care of those in need. There are fundamental aspects of a prosperous society, and I mean prosperous for all. These are to ensure our basic needs are met so we can contribute to further growth. Perhaps I’ve watched too much Star Trek, but why are we not aiming for that?
So whilst I have the luxury of deciding what type of surgery I have to remove my fibroids, I’m frustrated that this isn’t offered to everyone else who might need medical treatment. We all should have, without a doubt the ability for a fulfilled healthy existence. The reality is that people need healthcare throughout their lives and it shouldn’t be a matter of life, death or debt!
I agree that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. I really hope the UK does not go down the same path that we here in the US have to deal with. For many years we’ve had to deal with a privatized healthcare system which leaves many people in debt and not able to get out of it for several years.
The greedy corporations here in the US are bleeding everyone dry and we are left with nothing to live on.
A person should not have to be in debt for the entirety of their lives, and I really hope that your country (unlike mine) makes the right decision about healthcare.