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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

Even in my city of ‘dreaming spires’ there are many homeless sleeping in shop doorways and begging outside the supermarkets. The traffic is often gridlocked and the road sides are awash with litter. It’s not a pretty sight and I can’t see things getting better any time soon. 

 

(feeling especially sorry for myself after some major dental work this morning! 🤭)

 

Plenty of things not getting any better, seeing all of which you mention in these parts too. I grew up on a council estate in a mining village in the 1950s, and never saw homeless people, in fact the first time that I saw this was in Germany on a work trip many years later. Now, sadly, they are an all too common sight in all of our major towns and cities. Litter is a major problem, my Mrs spends ages clearing it up as part of a keep the place tidy group, while the traffic is abomimable. As a child, when very few people owned a car,  I had the freedom to roam the streets without fear of being involved in an accident, but there has been three children knocked down and killed locally. People drive far too fast and without consideration for others.

 

There are some positives, your trip to the dentist would have been a good deal more painful back then, advances in health care have been dramatic. Despite the traffic, the air and water are both cleaner,  we now have fish, and even otters, in our local, once heavily polluted, river. Corporal punishment has been banished from our schools etc etc.

 

Swings and roundabouts, not sure I would want to return to the 50s as it was, but a mix of the two cultures might be preferable.......

Edited by Bryan

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Posted (edited)

Phil, Michael is right. 30 years ago, when I lived in Oxfordshire, the NHS was a very different deal. The entire staff at the office I go to here in Liverpool are kind, efficient and helpful. Michael is also right about today's NHS shortcomings. When I lived in Texas and worked for American Airlines, I had great healthcare. I get very weary trying to guess what the future holds anywhere. 

 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

There have been a lot of hidden cutbacks in the NHS which you might only become aware of when you need a procedure. For example, the criteria for cataract (lens replacement) surgery have had the bar raised to the point that you would need to be almost blind to qualify. I had this done a few years ago privately at some significant cost because the quality of my vision had deteriorated a lot but I was way off qualifying for NHS surgery. I was told by the consultant that a few years earlier I would have been able to have it done free. I do not regret having it done as it was like being reborn but what if I had not been able to afford it? 

 

Example 2: rIght now I have an ingrown tonail which can be very sore and it looks like I am going to have to fork out privately again. I was told by the doctor that the bar is very high - not sure what exactly this means. 

 

Example 3: In the last two years it has become increasingly difficult to get a GP appointment with my surgery which used to be excellent. It used to be possible to turn up early in the morning and be seen immediately by a doctor or nurse for anything urgent. Now it is a long wait on the phone and I feel lucky if I get a call back from a nurse or doctor. 

 

I do worry about the future of the NHS despite big promises of new funding. Very sad really.

I only understand this by what I saw with my own eyes. And that was UK citizens coming to the U.S. for procedures, especially bringIng their children (Whom they value more than themselves) for surgeries or cancer treatment here. Whether it was because the wait was too long at home or whether they thought medical results were superior here, I don’t know.  Probably a bit of both.  I do know I saw it as long ago as 30 years, because I worked in the medical profession then, having great difficulty understanding the accent!! 😁 I have some trouble understanding New Yorkers!

Betty

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Posted (edited)

Suffice it to say that we're all now strangers in an increasingly strange land. Five minutes of watching today's (or any day's) news will confirm that.

 

Welcome to the 2020's! 😬

Edited by John Mitchell
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There are homeless everywhere, of course. Saw them on the streets in San Miguel, Saville, Galway, and of course in NYC. But there are more here in Liverpool. I don't recall every seeing a single one in Oxford in the '80s. 

 

Another negative thing that I forgot to mention are the numerous betting shops. That's not good. 

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Well Mrs Standfast got a new knee today, courtesy of the NHS and a rather clever Iranian anaestheist and an Indian surgeon.

 

She was intentionally awake through the operation, the three of them were chatting about politics and where to get a good curry. She is recovering well and has spent the evening telling me about listening to the sawing and hammering. Yes, a strange and wonderfull new world we live in.

 

Cheers everyone.

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Another negative thing that I forgot to mention are the numerous betting shops. That's not good. 

Usually in the poorest areas, another betting ad on the radio as I write this, on all the football shirts, Britain's highest earning CEO pays herself £323 million pounds....

 

Still, everyone likes a flutter.

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison

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Posted (edited)
On 09/01/2020 at 23:18, Mr Standfast said:

Well Mrs Standfast got a new knee today, courtesy of the NHS and a rather clever Iranian anaestheist and an Indian surgeon.

 

She was intentionally awake through the operation, the three of them were chatting about politics and where to get a good curry. She is recovering well and has spent the evening telling me about listening to the sawing and hammering. Yes, a strange and wonderfull new world we live in.

 

Cheers everyone.

 

Sounds good, Mr. S. I hope she recovers soon and is playing with The Reds next season. 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

True. One must be able to afford a secondary insurance that pays what Medicare doesn’t. But there is Medicaid, and depending on which state you live in, can be free according to income/poverty level. What’s available is dependent on each state as far as I know. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it!

 

Any assets you have belong to Medicaid.  Nicaragua has free very basic care and paid private care that's not that more than co-pays in the US.   I had a writer friend in the US iwho had to declare medical bankruptcy  and had to sign over his copyrights.




 

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5 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I only understand this by what I saw with my own eyes. And that was UK citizens coming to the U.S. for procedures, especially bringIng their children (Whom they value more than themselves) for surgeries or cancer treatment here. Whether it was because the wait was too long at home or whether they thought medical results were superior here, I don’t know.  Probably a bit of both.  I do know I saw it as long ago as 30 years, because I worked in the medical profession then, having great difficulty understanding the accent!! 😁 I have some trouble understanding New Yorkers!

Betty

That works both ways Betty, I was talking with a lady just before Christmas whose husband was receiving cancer treatment in the UK that wasn't available in the USA. She said it was working well. Interestingly life expectancy is higher in the UK than the USA but that might be because so many Americans have no health insurance and only go to a doctor when its too late.

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Right now the USA is ranked 46th in the world for life expectancy.  Right behind Cuba.  Well behind all of Western Europe.  I suspect this mostly due to the fact that so many people do not have health insurance (27 million people according to Wikipedia), so too many people only get health care in the event of an emergency.  The number one reason for personal bankruptcy, in the U.S., is health care debt.  

 

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My husband, for one, never went to the doctor for yearly well-being checkups. It wasn’t because he didn’t have insurance. He acted like he was afraid if he went, the doctor might find something wrong, so better to stick his head in the sand. I could never convince him to go.

Of course, his last 8 years, he went a lot, because his health declined. 
There are parts of the U.S. where that kind of thinking, especially by men, is rampant. And also those areas have a lot more poverty. Poor eating, smoking, meth and drinking. The poverty drives them to the vices that make them feel better, but the money they spend on vices would allow them to eat healthier. Then if you add in no health care...

That said, I believe if anyone goes to the emergency room at any hospital, they legally can’t be turned away. Insured or not. That’s why hospital charges are sky high here, to cover the indigents. 
 

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11 hours ago, Bryan said:

Despite the traffic, the air and water are both cleaner,  we now have fish, and even otters, in our local, once heavily polluted, river.

 

Otters definitely, we had one that made its way uphill from the river into our garden pond this year.

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3 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

Right now the USA is ranked 46th in the world for life expectancy.  Right behind Cuba.  Well behind all of Western Europe.  I suspect this mostly due to the fact that so many people do not have health insurance (27 million people according to Wikipedia), so too many people only get health care in the event of an emergency.  The number one reason for personal bankruptcy, in the U.S., is health care debt.  

 

 

Canada ranks 16th according to this list, just above Norway.

 

There's little doubt that countries with some kind of socialized medicine -- as imperfect as it might be -- tend do better than those that don't. There are a lot of other factors, though, that factor into life expectancy -- e.g. diet, poverty, homicide rates, etc.

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8 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

There are homeless everywhere, of course. Saw them on the streets in San Miguel, Saville, Galway, and of course in NYC. But there are more here in Liverpool. I don't recall every seeing a single one in Oxford in the '80s. 

 

Another negative thing that I forgot to mention are the numerous betting shops. That's not good. 

 

Oxford appears have a high number of homeless now, even with the support of charities. There are simply not enough beds, and often opposition to planning permission for homeless hostels. I will often chat to homeless people, and if as is common they are sitting outside a supermarket, ask if there's any food that would help. I see betting shops, on line betting and payday loan services as parasites we would do far better without. Their growth shows there is something seriously wrong with society in my country.

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2 hours ago, sb photos said:

 

. I see betting shops, on line betting and payday loan services as parasites we would do far better without. Their growth shows there is something seriously wrong with society in my country.

 

While I don't like the betting shops and online alternatives, some people will gamble whatever the circumstances. In the past it was not uncommon for miners to gamble their wages on the flip of a coin. I once walked into a large group of them standing on a pit heap, with sentries posted looking out for the police. As a youngster I was ignored.

 

Re homelessness I guess there are many factors, but included amongst them is the relative demise of social housing, following the right to buy legislation. In the longer term this has placed much of the state owned housing stock into the hands of private landlords, who vary from dire to excellent, but whose motivation is normally income, rather than the provision of low cost accommodation.

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

Re homelessness I guess there are many factors, but included amongst them is the relative demise of social housing, following the right to buy legislation. In the longer term this has placed much of the state owned housing stock into the hands of private landlords, who vary from dire to excellent, but whose motivation is normally income, rather than the provision of low cost accommodation.

 

A lot of young people are unable to raise the deposit on a house. Incomes, in most lines of work, have not risen as fast as house prices. Renting, too, is expensive. A bigger percentage of income is going towards keeping a roof over their heads. And one missed mortgage payment, or job loss, or marriage break-up, is all that's required to begin a downward spiral that may end with them living on the streets...

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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

That said, I believe if anyone goes to the emergency room at any hospital, they legally can’t be turned away. Insured or not. That’s why hospital charges are sky high here, to cover the indigents. 
 

There you have it in the proverbial nutshell.

In our system there are no "indigents". The only qualification is residence.

Compared to the US it also costs half the percentage of GDP and the health outcomes are better.

Ed mentioned picking up his first lot of free medication a while back. I'm pleased to have chipped in.

Edited by spacecadet
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12 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Another negative thing that I forgot to mention are the numerous betting shops. That's not good. 

 

Ignore them. You don't have to use them.😎

 

Allan

 

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Ignore them. You don't have to use them.😎

 

Allan

 

 

Living in Liverpool is the only gamble I plan to make, Allan. Even in Los Vegas, I didn't gamble . . .  didn't even play the slots. 

 

I opened a UK bank account this morning. It's done. Barclay's it is. HSBC danced me around for two weeks and never came through. Now I will focus on my cellphone plan and then get back to dealing with my efforts in stock photography. Poco a poco.

 

 

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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

There you have it in the proverbial nutshell.

In our system there are no "indigents". The only qualification is residence.

Compared to the US it also costs half the percentage of GDP and the health outcomes are better.

Ed mentioned picking up his first lot of free medication a while back. I'm pleased to have chipped in.

When I lived in the UK I had private health insurance and I thought it was great. Back here in the states I paid a small fortune out for health insurance for my family and I remember all to well sitting in a hospital  emergency room in Orange county California (hardly an area of poverty) with my 5yr old daughter who had had an accident for 6hrs thinking to myself this is worse than the NHS and Im paying for it. They had one emergency doctor on in a large city center hospital on a Saturday  night.

Edited by Shergar

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Living in Liverpool is the only gamble I plan to make, Allan. Even in Los Vegas, I didn't gamble . . .  didn't even play the slots. 

 

I opened a UK bank account this morning. It's done. Barclay's it is. HSBC danced me around for two weeks and never came through. Now I will focus on my cellphone plan and then get back to dealing with my efforts in stock photography. Poco a poco.

 

 

 

Pleased you got your banking sorted. Hope your cellphone plan materialises quickly too. It all helps to efforts with stock photography.

 

Me! I'm going the other way having started the house buying process in Lincolnshire in December I am becoming more embroiled in the process and looking at what to take when I move, what I will have to get when I have the keys, plus all the utilities transfers etc, etc. My photography and stock supply is beginning to suffer.☹️

 

Allan

 

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5 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Living in Liverpool is the only gamble I plan to make, Allan. Even in Los Vegas, I didn't gamble . . .  didn't even play the slots. 

 

I opened a UK bank account this morning. It's done. Barclay's it is. HSBC danced me around for two weeks and never came through. Now I will focus on my cellphone plan and then get back to dealing with my efforts in stock photography. Poco a poco.

 

You are slaying your dragons one at a time.

3 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Pleased you got your banking sorted. Hope your cellphone plan materialises quickly too. It all helps to efforts with stock photography.

 

Me! I'm going the other way having started the house buying process in Lincolnshire in December I am becoming more embroiled in the process and looking at what to take when I move, what I will have to get when I have the keys, plus all the utilities transfers etc, etc. My photography and stock supply is beginning to suffer.☹️

 

Allan

 

You are just now approaching the dragons with a spear in your hand! 😬

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Things are looking up for this out-of-townerwas able to activate a Barclays Bank account and their Visa Debit Card today. It lets me pay up to 30 pounds with a tap. Very mod. I will get them to walk me through doing transfers. 

 

As you know, I have free healthcare with the NHS. At my age, this includes free Rx meds. 

 

I paid my mobile phone bill today and they finally explained how I can change my plan so I’ll be able to phone the States.

 

And I paid part of my City Council Tax yesterday. But I want to talk with them about the 25% discount for single occupancy before paying the rest. 

 

The rental agency will be helping to fix the bathroom door and lights. A dark bathroom is not fun. Thank God I don't shave anymore.

 

I want to find a way to watch videos: Hulu? Amazon Prime? What? I'm not planning to buy a TV. And I'll get a library card and maybe a DVD player to borrow their DVDs and ebooks. I want to buy a couple of 1-kilo hand weights.  

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Glad to hear you're making sense of the British way of doing things. Sort out your 'single occupancy' asap, re council tax, at your local council office, so you get the 25% discount.

 

I don't have a TV - hurled it down the cellar steps 20 years ago - but Amazon Prime offers me the occasional film and TV series. I can watch - and re-watch - Seinfeld and Parks & recreation...

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