US and UK Health System

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/5/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hiya to everyone!
I've been reading alot about everyone's experiences with Crohn's and I've been really upset (tears, in fact) by some people's difficulties in seeing doctors, getting medicines and disability payments.  I live in England and I don't know what I would do if it wasn't for our care system.  I would have died if I'd had to have health insurance, and most certainly I would be homeless and broke.
When my Crohn's started to become very bad at 24, I still struggled for 2 years until at 26 I became so ill, I had to give up work entirely.  It was a real struggle at first (I nearly lost my home too), but after a few months all my benefits kicked in.  I've now been on them for almost 9 years.  Since having my ileostomy 5 years ago, all my prescriptions are free - delivered to my door by the pharmacist and a lady brings all my ileostomy supplies.  I order everything including medicines and dressings - and they're delivered free to my home, which is a godsend.   It's not all been a walk in the park of course - but mainly due to doctors not really understanding enough about Crohn's disease and being just a general gastroenterologist or down to me not going for the right benefits because I felt embarrassed and ashamed (I'd always worked beforehand).
I was wondering how you get health insurance in the US if you've had to give up work - and wont the payments be really high if you're already ill?  I know things seem to differ state to state, but can you live on disability and other benefits?  I suppose this is quite a topical issue in light of the health care reforms in the US at the moment, but it's not based on any political questions.  It was Buddha's upsetting post that has prompted me to ask how everyone manages in the US - I don't think I must understand it - but if I'm right about the need for health insurance, premiums and deductibles, prescription costs etc - seriously, how do you all manage - it so, so worries me.
(And Buddha - my heart goes out to you.  My tears can't help I know, but I hope my very best of wishes and love give a little ounce of comfort.  Let us know how you're going on.  Lots of Love)
And to all - the best of health and hugs

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 765
   Posted 11/5/2009 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Well your lucky sweet corn, i have had some real troubles over hear in london. I first was denied a referal to the hospital. the gp said i just had hemmroids and perscribed me hemroid medication. this did not work and i kept bleeding for about 7 months. i decided it was not hemmroids and had to pay private over here. they then refered me to the NHS. and finaly i was dignosed. I hated that GP really really Hated, i can now understand why people sue the nhs,

i was so week in april with colitis but i was also told by a doctor they could not help me and that if i needed to reduce my hours at work then i could but i would have to pay them for a letter.

I have had crap care and if it was not for the raw diet i would be in hospital. bloody gps, i pay more than alot of people for the nhs and although i do support it it makes me mad how this country gives money to people just to have kids and they dont even want them, and sometimes they deny the sick treatment.

agian i am thankful for the nhs but sometimes i feel i have been really treated unfairly.
Female 32 years old
Diganosed ulcerative colitis November 2007
Present medication-  2 X 500mg pentasa( these are slow realease tablets)
Diet- raw food diet.
Other medical problems- Born with asthma- no medication taken for this.
dyslexia- found out that many people with learning difficulties also have food sensitivity

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 11/5/2009 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
we (usa) is very far behind on paying of medicaid for example, that the concept of actual healthcare never arrives. The states are in serious debt, simply broke. Thats a $ issue. spending what is not there. state govt says that more unemployed people should be employed. We are all in different circumstances and the question cannot be answered by 1 answer that would describe everyones situation. I realize we are a worldwide community but if you live in europe why does it worry you?

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/5/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Eek!  I think I've hit a raw nerve with my question, and that certainly wasn't my intention.
Medchrt, I'd just read Buddha's post, amongst others, and felt a genuine concern for people, who like me, suffer with a horrible disease - regardless of where they live.  My question isn't aimed at why the US doesn't have the same health care system as countries in Europe or even whether it should - I don't wish to get political AT ALL, I just know how hard it was and still is for me and was wondering how other people cope within their own healthcare and support options.  That includes others who live in the UK too, because as people over here will tell you, experiences can vary greatly.  I feel concern for anybody who's having a really difficult time, especially when I automatically feel, rightly or wrongly and no matter how tenuously, an affinity with them because I share their disease and no doubt similar issues.
Hellokitty, you're experience was, quite frankly, appalling.  I've spoken to others who've found their doctors - well, useless.  My first doctors were like that too.  My Gastro told me it was IBS - despite having a diagnosis of Crohn's disease some 12 years earlier and intermittent treatment for it.  It was only when I was taken into hospital half-dead, 70lbs lighter, seriously anaemic and with numerous perianal abscesses - that he 're-evaluated' the diagnosis!  Even good doctors with a modicum of sympathy aren't particularly useful in treating Colitis or Crohn's, you need a doctor who deals with these diseases either exclusively or certainly predominantly - my general gastro (mentioned above) - was verging on dangerous! I hope you've found the right help now and wish you good health for the future.
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