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The Clements’ IVF Journey

National health care April 6, 2009

Filed under: General thoughts — Aria @ 10:41 am

I never thought I’d be mad enough to think NHC is a bad idea, but that’s how angry I am after spending some time on a couple forums made up mostly of people in the UK. I’ve been noticing how they are taking for granted the health care they have and complaining if the doctor doesn’t stop everything for them. What set me off though is a woman is incredibly livid that her doctor feels it would only be safe to transfer one embryo into her, and that her doctor is concerned about an elevated risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation (OHSS). This woman thinks her doctor is an idiot for worrying about OHSS when a round of Clomid, a much milder drug than the IVF drugs, didn’t cause it. Since Clomid didn’t cause it, then she thinks there’s no way anything will. (For the record, every time you go through something like this, even if you responded well once, there is still a chance each and every single time you do it.) So her doctor is wrong about being covered about her carrying multiples. Since she has national health care, she feels entitled to tell her doctor exactly what to do and have it done because she thinks her doctor doesn’t know.

I have been biting back from letting loose on some of these people, complaining about it taking a month or two to get an initial consultation. The first two clinics I went to had waits of four months each, and a couple friends have waited I think five months already and are finally almost there. These people are complaining about things taking too long, or not being done exactly how they think it should be done, regardless of how a medical professional feels. Several of them want to formula-feed but not pay for it, so are trying to figure out how to get doctors to write prescriptions for special formulas so the health system will cover it. There are complaints of not getting pregnant naturally, so wanting to jump right to IVF with ICSI (the single most expensive route possible right now) rather than trying other less-invasive, more cost-efficient methods. And they feel entitled to get it without anything out of pocket because they pay taxes (Americans pay taxes for medical care too, only those who pay the taxes are the ones who won’t be getting any medical help from the government – how ironic).

Their medical care is so far superior to most countries, including America, and it’s all taken for granted. If they work but don’t have money left at the end of the day, or they haven’t worked in a week or ten years, they can see doctors and get taken care of. It’s heartbreaking to see news articles in America about cancer patients dying because they don’t qualify for any government help even though they worked until getting sick, but also don’t have the resources to pay for chemo, and so will die. That is what makes my heart cry, but I just can’t shed a tear for people expecting sympathy because a doctor wont write an unneeded prescription for a certain formula just so the parents don’t have to pay.

I want to take them all and shake them and scream at them to look at how lucky they are and hope some of it sinks in! They aren’t going to die from being unable to afford medical care, as so many people in other countries do. They can see doctors without co-pays. Fertility will be covered for them, even if the doctors want to (rightly) try the easiest methods before jumping into the most expensive, hardest methods first.

FFS, we consider ourselves lucky that our insurance covered $15,000, and that was a struggle, but was listed as a benefit of the plan WE pay for. We have more debt right now than I care to think about, closer to six figures than four. If I think about it, I’ll hyperventilate. But we know we’re lucky to have had anything covered, and to have found a clinic that doesn’t demand full payment up front, as most do. We’re glad for what we do have because none of it has been handed to us on a silver platter, even though the gods know we’re paying quite a bit (compared to our own income, but less than some others, we know) for non-workers to have coverage.

I am just so pissed at the insane sense of entitlement I have been witnessing. It seems to me that there should be some gratitude in there, but there’s not, only people bitching about not getting what they want exactly when they want; bitching about not getting a larger allowance from the government for having kids (apparently they actually get cash-money every Friday, versus a tax-write-off); whining about how their house has only three bedrooms, but because there are three kids, they should get a bigger house on government dime; crying about how the food they’re getting isn’t something better (want prime rib instead of that strip steak? give it to me). Certain things are said to be human rights, such as health care, shelter, and food. But seeing this entitlement and the gimme-gimme greed that’s going along with the government paying their way, and so many of them, both the mother and the father, not bothering to work after kids, because the system will pay their way and thinking they’re entitled to not working for paying into the system for a few years, really has me starting to think that anything funded by tax payers for all might actually be a bad idea.

And I hate feeling this way. But I also can’t stand people taking for granted what they get when others are forced to pay for for them.


2 Responses to “National health care”

  1. NHC’s care IS NOT superior to the medical care here.The average wait for life saving treatments can be 8 months or longer.Average wait for a CATscan is over 10 months.If you are unlucky enough to come down with cancr in the UK there is a 30% higher chance that you will die from it than you would the same cancer here.Let’s not even get started on the 65% income tax they also pay for the privilege of having substandard medical care.

  2. Aria Says:

    A well-traveled, non-American friend of mine has confirmed that the wait in countries with NHC is usually shorter than private coverage here. He’s got to wait another three months to be screened for a cancer that runs in his family.

    What is your experience with being uninsured with a chronic disease or cancer in the US without any coverage? In countries with NHC, you CAN pay extra for private coverage, but if you choose not to, you can still see a doctor and get treatment, be that surgery or chemo. In the US, if you don’t have private coverage and don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, you’re shit out of luck. I’ve been there. My mom’s there right now. Waiting even several months is better than knowing you have no chance at all.

    And some friends of mine in England, English citizens their whole lives, do sing the praises of NHC. Even the idiots I was talking about in this post bitching were bitching about having to wait an entire month to get in for a non-deadly problem. The complaints are over absolutely nothing, really. Having to wait a month to get an initial consultation for something that won’t kill them, doctors refusing to jump right to the most invasive and expensive procedure, etc.. In the US, these procedures are RARELY covered, and I’ve waited five months for appointments.

    In the US, some of us pay pretty damned high taxes, and pay into a medical system too that we can’t access exactly for being workers. They have at least some medical coverage and they can pay for private too. They have housing benefits and get allowances for having children. It was dizzying listening to some of the benefits they were talking about that all Brits can get, and they weren’t talking about only people who don’t work. What they pay in taxes they get right back in housing credits and “free” formula and childcare. Too bad for what we pay in the US we get nothing at all unless we decide to not work.

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