Private health care or NHS?

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There has been a lot of talk about the NHS over the last few years; how overworked/understaffed hospitals are, cases of neglect and worst of all cases where deaths could have been avoided.

Staff shortages are linked to a series of deaths, including one baby who died because antenatal staff had failed to spot its mother’s blood type. But bad attitudes and a lack of compassion among staff were also cited.

– theguardian.com – For the full article click here.

We thought it would be interesting to share our NHS experiences in the UK compared to our experience with health care in Dubai. Health care can be very costly in Dubai if you’re not insured, so to avoid people getting into debt or unable to pay for health care they have implemented the law that all sponsors and work places are responsible for ensuring all staff/dependants are covered by some form of health insurance. Fines will be issued to any company who has not covered their employees.

Over the last 20 odd years in the UK we have used the NHS time and time again – and it’s easy to notice the care we once received in the UK is no longer the care we experience in this day and age. Let us give you an example – so as you’re aware we sadly lost our baby boy at 19 weeks in Dubai – the care we received in Latifa hospital was overwhelming, we experienced the best ICU care and general ward care possible. Staff were communicating through each step and made sure we were comfortable at all times for example, responding to our requests to move to a quiet ward when someone was violently throwing up preventing me from sleeping – all in all I felt like I was in a 5* hospital when in fact it was a government run hospital – NHS equivalent.

When we returned back to the UK to receive the worst kind of care possible. It took a year of dead end referrals to the wrong clinics before any checks were done – following a late miscarriage there should always be some form of internal scan to ensure everything is as normal as possible. In that time there was a lot that could have gone wrong due to negligence (i.e. retained tissue or infections after birth) – we were kindly informed that as the baby was born in another country, it was a case of us being lost in the UK system. Great hey?!

Fast forward to Dubai this year… a few months into our move we had to take a sudden trip down to Dubai London Clinic for a horrible stomach infection. Guys, we were checked in, checked out (blood/urine tests included with results) and armed with medication within 2 hours.  2 HOURS!!!! The thing with Dubai is that insurance generally covers most emergencies in private healthcare facilities, so when you go in with a bug or something similar the doctor will generally request all tests possible to rule everything out, so you’re not sent home with trial and error style medication. You leave feeling well looked after and trust the care you’ve received for free! If you need blood tests or any other routine tests you can get them done straight away which is a benefit of private health care.

Unfortunately with all the cuts that surround the NHS we feel like the care will only get worse. Reading the new articles around NHS treatment is worrying and we can’t help but feel the way Dubai handle medical care is amazing. Having laws that ensure every individual is covered under some form of health care insurance means that people are able to access private health care for free or close to nothing (some cases you have to pay a certain amount depending on what cover you have).

This post isn’t to slander the NHS but rather to appreciate the situation we are in now. We are thankful for the way Dubai handle their medical insurance/offering private medical care, and of course we are so thankful to the doctors, nurses and staff that helped us cope with losing our baby. We really believe the health care in Dubai is much better because staff get paid more and this reflects in their practice and efficiency.

Here’s some more information about health insurance in Dubai – Mandatory Health Insurance in Dubai.

The health care facilities we have experienced in Dubai are:

Latifa Hospital

Dubai London Clinic and Speciality Hospital

Al Zahra Hospital Dubai

Medcare Hospital

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