A personal tale of health care US vs. UK


–Lauren M. Ruhland, 2008 MCPP intern & Science Editor

Brinley Bruton describe her own very different experiences with two bouts of pyelonephritis (advanced kidney infection), each taking place on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  Though it seems obvious that she preferred the care she received in the U.S., she’s still willing to see its faults for what they are and offers praise for the compassion and professionalism of her health care providers in the U.K.  The piece is a long two pages and doesn’t wade particularly far into the policy debate surrounding health care, but it does raise some important questions about the consequences of health care reforms.

[W]hile I recovered fully in both cases, the care I received felt quite different. In New York, I never feared that I would be overlooked. At my doctor’s office in upscale Gramercy Park, he and his nurses took their time seeing me, and were always at pains to reassure me. On my first visit, the receptionist let me sit in an empty consulting room so that I wouldn’t have to weep in the waiting room. She checked in on me and brought me water.

But unlike the personal care I received in the U.S., in London, I felt like I was on a vast and often creaking conveyor belt, and there was a big risk of falling through the cracks. British care is socialized — and feels that way.

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One thought on “A personal tale of health care US vs. UK

  1. It cannot be overstated that the comfort that this journalist received at her “doctor’s office in upscale Gramercy Park” is not representative of the health care that many Americans receive. How would she have felt if she was left on a gurney in the middle of a hallway in an overcrowded ER because she didn’t have insurance?

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