Regarding Dr. Iain Corness consultant’s article in Pattaya Mail on 7th April. I believe that I need to redress the balance as I am constantly hearing Brit ex pats and others putting down the NHS.
Last November I had chest pains. I assumed it to be acid re-flux, however, I emailed the surgery on Sunday evening. At 8.50 on Monday morning the GP rang and I saw him 2 hours later. He asked more questions, I mentioned my bowel movements were erratic. He gave me a prescription, a container for a stool sample, a letter for the hospital and the nurse took a blood sample. Immediately after I went to the hospital, in less than 5 minutes I was attached to an ECG, about 15 minutes later I was given and told the test results and a copy for my doctor. I collected the prescription (acid re-flux) which resolved my problem. On Wednesday the surgery told me that there was no problem with the blood tests or stool samples. The same the hospital rang to give me a specialist appointment on Saturday. The following Wednesday I had a colonoscopy and was given the all clear.
In January, I had an STI routine check all clear except blood in my urine (microscopic haematuria) – back to the GP (next day) – 2 more blood tests. Within 2 days I had a call for 2 appointments – one for an endoscope and one for an MRI scan from different hospitals. These were both completed a week later. In less than 2 weeks after having been told I needed further checks, I’d had them and the results immediately.
For the record, one appointment was on time, the rest were before time and I was actually out of the hospital before the allocated appointment time for most of them. 2 family members in Devon had similar experiences.
The NHS is not be up to that high level everywhere, but a lot seems to depend on who you talk to, where they live and crucially whether it’s first hand experience or more commonly Chinese whispers.