Sunday, 22 May 2016

Not a good argument Mr Gove






First Ukip puts out a party political broadcast telling all that watched  (hopefully very few) how horrible we Turks are and now Michael Gove is using the highly unlikely possibility that Turkey will join the EU and thus flood the NHS as a reason to support Brexit.
As one mired in all things medical I can only say to Mr Gove that no sound minded Turk would exchange the Turkish health system for the NHS. His argument would have held water before the present government, when only the well off could afford good medical care in Turkey and the seriously wealthy and prime ministers would head off to the USA for their treatments and those without funds would sell all they had to pay for care. But now we have our own state supported health system which is available to any one who pays national insurance contributions or registers as too poor to be able to pay.  (This system falls down when unscrupulous employers don't pay up, but everyone can check their status on line so at least be aware of their employers' misconduct)
We have always chosen to use and pay for private health care in Turkey and did so for my husband's first operation, but once the extent of his cancer became apparent we realised that we wouldn't be able to afford to carry on with private care and would have to continue with state funded care. At 2pm on Tuesday we were told that the tumour on my husband's lung was cancerous and we needed a pet scan to see if the cancer had spread, This was arranged for 9am the next morning in the private hospital in Istanbul and, as his cancer had been confirmed, the SGK state system would pick up the 3000 TL + bill.  The next day after lunch, the consultant reviewed the scan and told us that chemo was the only option. I rang the Acıbadem Oncology Centre in Bodrum there and then, and was given an appointment for 11:30 the next day.  We flew back to Bodrum and from then on have been patients in the SGK system but see no difference from privately paid care.   This would have been unimaginable 12 years ago. The hospital building resembles a 5 star hotel. We have the mobile phone numbers of the head consultant, the assistant doctor and the head of nursing who encourage us to ring any time we have a qualm or questions.  I suggest to Mr Gove that the NHS would not be able to match this speed in arranging treatment or the comfort of personal contact from caring professionals who do not hide in the system but are happy to communicate with their patients.   We have not had to pay for any drugs, blood transfusions, consultant fees, tests, scans, prescriptions or even the vitamin drinks and food supplements and the peace of mind in knowing that everything is covered can not be overstressed.
Looking from the outside, commentators struggle to understand why the majority of voters support the present government, but I understand it completely.  Only those with deep pockets would risk going back to the days when only the wealthy had access to good health care.



Guardian article

18 comments:

  1. Annie, You know, every day, we thank our lucky stars that we are in the SGK system. At the time when the law changed and foreigners from countries that had no reciprocal public health systems, like the U.S., were permitted to sign up, we didn't walk, we ran to get signed up. Shortly after we and a close friend of ours got signed up, she was diagnosed with MS. Her care has been superb from her wonderful doctor to free access to some of the most expensive drugs on the planet. Now we hear from you that the Turkish system beats that of the UK, an advanced country supposedly with a public health system. It made us very gratified to read your account and to know that Teo is getting the best of care.

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    1. I did check the price of some drugs the other day. Unfortunately the one that costs $150,000 to start and $17.000 a month from there on is not availalbe through SGK.

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  2. . . with you all the way with this Annie, when my back 'imploded' I was dealt with that day and operated on successfully the next. We too are so pleased to be part of this excellent health system. Meanwhile, hugs to you and Theo as you fight your battle.

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    1. I'd still go private or half and half for small procedures but for cancer and heart disease the SGK is the only option.

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  3. I knew from your blog and Ayak's that health care in Turkey is now excellent and in any case wouldn't trust anything said by anyone on the Brexit side even as far as I could throw them. I do hope Teo is coping well with the chemo.

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    1. Thanks P, it has totally knocked him out, hoping for a better reaction as time passes.

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  4. Absolutely agree Annie and have been so irritated by the comments from Mıchael Gove and the way that the gullible British masses seem to believe anything churned out by the gutter press. We can't fault the health system here and I would hate to be relying on the NHS these days.

    So glad Teo is getting the best possible care and hope he is doing well xx

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    1. If Gove had ever used public transport, NHS dentists or his local hospital on a Friday night he might realise that there is little to tempt anyone to the UK.

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  5. In Ireland you would be dead waiting for the tests that your doctor recommends. Mum had to have a ECG. She was referred last July, had the scan in November and got the results in April. Luckily her problem is not too serious but still it was 9 months from referral to receiving the results, that she has a leaky heart valve.

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    1. My mother has been waiting to get an ear infection treated for 3 months.

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  6. Absolutely agree with you dear Annie and so glad SGK keeps on delivering for you - and hats off to Acibadem Bodrum too, it must be such a comfort - no comparison with NHS. My thoughts with you, such a comfort to know you're in good hands. Please do count on us anything we can be of help, big hugs to you and Teo, cok sevgilerimle Ozlem xxx

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    1. Thanks Ozlem. See you in the summer

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  7. Erdogan might be a Bad Thing but the Turkish health service sounds wonderful.

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    1. Not wonderful but so much better than we were used to.

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  8. Sending much love and best wishes for Teo.
    There's so much rubbish being spouted at the moment that it's just ridiculous. Depressing but ridiculous. Take care. Axxx

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    1. It's difficult to sort the rubbish from the misquotations.

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  9. With the polls indicating the result might be very close, both sides are resorting to increasingly extreme arguments. Sensible people see through the noise. Sounds like Teo's care has been brilliant. Quite right too! xx

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    1. If leaving is going to be so terrible according to the prime minister, why is he risking it happening?

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