GOING into hospital is stressful at the best of times, so what will it be like when America has bought the NHS? Here’s a practical guide.
What to take. Pack essentials like pyjamas, a toothbrush and a credit card. If you’re skint, take valuables such as jewellery and your phone that you can trade for surgery and – importantly – anaesthetic.
What should I do when I get there? Arrive on time and check in at the loans department. Anything more serious than a sprained finger is going to cost, so make sure you have a complete set of bank statements going back three years.
Treatment options. Your consultant will outline your treatment based on your savings. You could be offered a hip replacement or a manky old chair to sit in for the rest of your life.
Be prepared for dramatic events. When US health providers take over the NHS it will become more like the TV series ER. Expect your consultant to be addicted to morphine or a helicopter to crash into your ward.
Meals. You’ll be offered a choice of healthy, nutritious meals, so it will simply be a matter of deciding whether you prefer McDonald’s or Burger King.
Emergencies. If you’re in an accident, make sure you have plenty of cash on you. The ambulance will be on the meter and may not take debit cards, and if your legs are broken you won’t be able to hop out at a cashpoint.
Aftercare. Whilst recuperating at home, an NHS staff member will visit you with application forms for a second job to pay for your care and to take away your car and telly.