I’m not one to get involved in politics, at all. But occasionally something does make me stop and think about how lucky we are to have our healthcare system in the UK.
This weekend, Lia has been quite poorly. It started of just as conjunctivitis, but she has ended up with a terribly swollen eye, a temperature and a really heavy cold.
Because she is so young, Lia just doesn’t seem to be coping very well with what could be a cold or the flu. She has been really quite lethargic and just hasn’t been herself at all.
On Friday, I phoned 111 for advice and they said to just keep cleaning her eye with cooled, boiled water but to call back if she got worse.
Yesterday, I got quite worried about how quiet she was and her eye was quite swollen, so I headed to our local minor injury unit with her.
The nurse at the unit was understandably unwilling to treat Lia because of her age and the fact that it was to do with her eye. But at the same community hospital there was an out of hours doctor on duty.
So, within five minutes of arrival we were in with the doctor who gave Lia a thorough check-up. She explained that Lia was just not feeling well because of her temperature and that she needed some antibiotic drops for her eye.
We headed home with the prescription and hubby went to collect her eye drops. Less than an hour after I’d taken her to the hospital, Lia was receiving the treatment she needed.
Lia still doesn’t seem right today, so if she’s not on the mend tomorrow I’ll probably be bothering the out of hours doctor again.
And it just made me think how lucky we are to have our healthcare system. There are few parts of the world where you can see a doctor and receive treatment in under an hour.
Actually, there are probably few parts of the country where you can get treated so quickly. We probably would have waited hours in a large A & E department.
But the real thing that struck me was how worried I was, and how reassuring it was to get Lia to a doctor.
And yet in other parts of the world, people have to trek for days to reach a hospital when their child has a serious disease like malaria. Often the child doesn’t make it, and that’s just not acceptable.
There are numerous charities that work tirelessly to improve access to healthcare. One such example is Malaria No More, who aim to stop people from dying unnecessarily from the disease.
Whether our children live to adulthood or not is such a lottery, dependent to a large part on where they are born. This weekend, we are grateful to our healthcare system, and in particular our local community hospital.
I hope that one day everyone will have such easy access to essential healthcare.