"NHS: An Americans perspective."

About: The Royal London Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Hello. I just thought I would share a blog concerning my recent experience at Mile End Hospital. Thanks for taking care of me in an hour of need.

Been there done that. I was in a similar situation. I was on a 6 month work assignment from the USA and took up residence in The Docklands. A few weeks after being settled in and enjoying what London has to offer I sustained a running injury to my ankle. After a few phone calls and not getting any satisfactory answers this proverbial fish out of water ended up at The Mile End Hospital Emergency Ward. I did hear about the notoriously wait times to seek treatment at an NHS clinic. My total time spent at the hospital was about 3. 5 hours (Unheard of in London according the folks at the pub I frequented).

Due to the nature of my injury-stress fracture compounded with previous athletic injuries I was informed that some extensive care would be needed in the form of corrective surgery and physical therapy. Fortunately I had the luxury of some time to explore options. The hospital staff were quite helpful and professional The level of care received was on par with I would expect back in the states, wait time not withstanding. The doctor informed me that obtaining the treatment in The UK might be an option at a private clinic should my American HMO would approve it. Between my own initiatives and working with my employer and my HMO I was able to make it happen with a deductible.

I was treated about 8 weeks later at The Harley Street Clinic which is owned/operated by HCA. What is surprising about the entire situation is that the NHS Emergency treatment was done at no cost to me. I am not a UK resident. They did not take insurance info for billing etc. Absurd. I do pay some taxes as a resident (GST etc) and the cost of living in The UK is higher than I was accustomed to but If I were a citizen of The UK I would not be too happy with the fact that foreign nationals (especially us insured Americans) get off scott free when it comes to emergency treatment.

Update: I am now back in the states and have fully recovered. Back to my running (although at a far less intense pace for the moment).

My only gripe is NHS policy regarding emergency treatment of foreign nationals. What is done is done but I still think it is unfair to the UK taxpayer. I am an American. I have health insurance. Not billing my insurance provided is insane. Those comments regarding policy have nothing to do with the excellent level of care I obtained at Mile End Hospital. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

PS: Perhaps we can work a deal. I will give you 50.00 USD (about 30 GBP) towards the cost of my care if you are willing to take Piers Morgan back.

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