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On pets, vets and the NHS

June 16th, 2014 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 1 Comment · Politics

We have been at the vets quite a bit over the last week. One of our cats was not very well, in fact was very close to being dead. The vets got to the bottom of it, discovering a kidney problem, and more or less fixing her.

Each time I went there I had the same thoughts on the way back, namely a feeling of gratitude that I have the NHS to fall back on if I have anything wrong with me.

Not that the vets did a bad job or ripped me off or anything. On the contrary, they seem to have worked a miracle, and didn’t over-charge, but still… the cost! Luckily I could pay it, even if it did urt quite a bit.

The big fear when taking an animal to the vets is they will tell you exactly what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it, but you won’t be able to afford it. I am so glad that doesn’t apply if I ever fall ill. Can you imagine having to worry about whether you can afford treatment?

Yes there is pet insurance, but sometimes that has limits. Imagine having a policy that only covers £5000 of vet bills but your pet has something that would cost £10,000 to fix. I can only imagine that human medical insurance would have all sorts of limits, exclusions, excesses, and outright loopholes.

Visits to the vet also give you a new perspective on prescription charges. Yes they can seem high, but not when compared to what drugs cost from a vet. Presumably our medication must cost that much to the NHS but we only get passed on a fixed charge.

I can’t imagine the stress that would be caused by knowing that an illness could totally wipe out your finances and then kill you just because your money runs out. And I can’t believe that we are letting our government move in that direction.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Skuds Sister

    I once had an ‘item’ on prescription (bit of an intimate nature so I won’t go into details you’ll be pleased to hear) which my doctor told me cost nearly £100. Because it was for contraceptive purposes I didn’t even have to pay the prescription charge. The damn thing failed after about a week and nobody batted an eyelid…

    One of the hardest things is the various drugs used in cancer treatments (again I had one series of injections which the nurse informed me cost about £180 a pop). If you want to use a drug which is not approved by NICE, almost always because the cost doesn’t justify its efficacy, you could pay for it yourself. However, if you pay for one part of your cancer treatment I understand that you could be billed for the lot….