Visit to a Hospital in Wales, UK

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 22 ~ Day #135
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Written by Geoff Wells

Current Location: Burry Port, Wales

Today’s Total Expenses: $0.00

Miles Traveled Today:

Ear Infection

I seem to have a tendency to get ear infections and just before leaving the US I started getting the symptoms. To make matters worse, both Vicky and I caught colds on the flight over. Being cramped up with a couple of hundred strangers all night is a wonderful germ-spreading environment.

We have been in the UK for about three weeks now and the colds are a little better but my ear does not want to clear up. Since I don’t have a doctor here the only alternative is the hospital emergency department.

Visit to UK Hospital

Surprisingly all the nurse at the desk wanted to know was my name, date of birth and allergies. She did not need any health insurance or credit card.

After waiting for about 90 minutes a doctor called my name. He examined my ear and prescribed some drops. I had had these drops before in Florida and a tiny bottle was over $80.

No Charge Hospital Visit

The pharmacy in the hospital took the prescription and handed over the medicine. When I asked how much the girl just said, “There’s no charge.”

Bottom line – the doctor and the drugs cost absolutely nothing. Living most of my life in Canada I was used to free health care but we have a photo health card ID and drugs are only free to those over 65.

Health care in the UK is a basic human right. So different from the US where someone’s sickness is just another opportunity to make a profit.

Getting My National Insurance Number in the UK

I left England when I was seventeen and had never been back. After graduating from school I had a couple of jobs to earn the money to move to Canada.

I don’t remember getting a National Insurance Number but I know I had to have had one. Since we are considering the possibility of moving to the UK, I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could get my National Insurance Number.

We walked into the local Job Centre Plus office and I explained to the receptionist what I wanted.

A councillor asked for two pieces of ID and typed my name into her computer.

After 47 years my info popped up along with my address in Edgware.

The councillor wrote down my National Insurance Number on a Post It note and handed it to me.

hat was it! I could now got out and get a job, pay taxes, etc, etc. I was now officially home.

We are still not sure if that is what we want but the process was remarkably easy.

It will be more difficult for Vicky, of course, because she was born in Canada. But, there are still strong ties between Canada and the UK so I don’t expect it will be too difficult.

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