Home Self-testing

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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
In Sweden my dad checked me over (BP, prodding and listening) about once a year. Up to age 37 when we moved to UK.
In UK, I had a health check ( BP, cholesterol, prostate) once a year, paid privately, until we moved to Cayman, me age 47..
Since then, one comprehensive health check for Work Permit purpose once a year, the last three years twice a year.
PB, veneral disease tests, chest X-ray, BP.

The last 6 or 7 years, in addition to the above, colonoscopies, other 'scopies'.

Would not surprise me if I get a problem from something rare that is not checked. It is always like that. Aorta aneurism for example!

Touch wood, I and you guys and gals, will be OK for years to come!
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,037
452
Lancashire
Well I'm just waiting for cancer to come along. It's just about the only family medical history that's common. Just wondering whether to bother with the genetic tests. I'm in the high risk category based on family history. Will a genetic test really give me any information?

I did have a referral that I had to go online to firm up the actual appointment. I didn't bother because it's like so many genetic tests in that it doesn't prove much. It shows increased risk but no certainty. My family history gives me that information and I don't have an hour plus drive to a private genetic centre in Manchester.

It's like the Bracca gene with breast cancer. It was originally touted as a certainty you'll get the cancer with it. Kind of an early warning system. Loads of women with the gene had unnecessary surgery because of it.

Now research says those with the Bracca gene had the same or better survival rate as those without it, pretty good too. Latest advice is to take your time and think about double mastectomy because you have time (plus high risk = more regular testing / awareness / detection at an earlier stage). Once detection of Bracca gene = immediate surgery or pressure to have it from medical staff.

My point is really that the medical profession has a tendency to want to intervene and overplay what they can really do for you. There's the best way and whilst they leave it to you to decide they often don't help you to be able to decide. You often have to dig right down into the diagnosis. Ask questions and be confident to decide for yourself having gained the information to do so. Doctors don't often freely offer the needed information. Sometimes genetics gives you the answer you already have.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Maybe just me, but in your case I would not worry about the genetic test.
What I would do is to try to get info which cancers the family had, and have examination for those. Plus (depending on which cancers) live differently.
Intervention and early diagnostics are the best.
Once a cancer is stage 3 or 4 - goodnight.

I have Colon cancer and heart problems on my dad's both sides. Good health on my mother's both sides.
I have a severe case of Diverticulae. Severe. Those babies start already in the first 10 cm from the thick intestine, in the Caecum. I am the first one to be diagnosed with the diverticulae.
Jackpot!


So I have the pleasure of doing regular colonoscopies. Need to book the next one, time.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,037
452
Lancashire
All bowel cancer, same cancer on same side of the family. Still doesn't mean the NHS will give you the camera treatment or even the stool test (£10 or less). Not until you're 50+. That winds me up because age isn't a guaranteed thing. I've forgotten the name but late last year a famous woman died of this cancer and she's 3 or 4 years younger than me. No doubt she's got better medical, private with annual checkups.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Thank Gods we are here outside the tentacles of NHS!

Even when we lived in UK I avoided that system. I am used to the Scandinavian quality.
Myself, I never worked in it either. But as a courtesy to my adult patients I saw their children on the NHS.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,210
797
63
Florida
It doesn't always come down to how good the medical care is or even if you have access to it. Often enough it's just the apathy of the individual not getting tests or exams done. The "It'll never happen to me" syndrome.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,269
1,488
S. Lanarkshire
Thank Gods we are here outside the tentacles of NHS!

Even when we lived in UK I avoided that system. I am used to the Scandinavian quality.
Myself, I never worked in it either. But as a courtesy to my adult patients I saw their children on the NHS.
:rolleyes:

Yet you don't live there, do you ? You don't live here either.

We pay NI, and we don't need to worry about paying for very decent health care when we're ill. We don't have to mortgage the house or take out loans to pay for it, we don't pay 'deductables' or 'co-pay' either.

But then, you work privately, don't you ? so it's in your interest to slate a system that seems 'free' to you.
You praise Scandinavian health care, yet British health care beats it on so many levels.

Two sides to the debate there, the independant research puts the NHS at the top, the paid for by the drugs companies one that pretends to be impartial (overseen by a Scandinavian :rolleyes:) puts the truly National health care European countries of the UK, Italy and Spain, in the middle reaches of the European area of 35, and claim that it's the Beveridge type set up to blame .....that's free at point of care.
Yet countries like the USA spend a hugely disproportionate amount on health care and yet many are actually not able to afford it....about 10% at the last figures, but that's 33 million people....about half of our entire population...of whom no-one is denied health care, and it's good health care.

Then there are the articles in the Swedish press, by Swedes themselves...
https://www.thelocal.se/20150127/swedens-health-care-is-a-shame-to-the-country

It's a funny thing this slating off of someone else's country. There's always another point of view.

Aye. Indeed.

M
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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Florida
A lot of truth in what you say Mary; but for what you pay (each) in taxes I could insure an average family of four with excellent private insurance.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,269
1,488
S. Lanarkshire
Really ? and how much more do you need to pay every time you go to see a doctor, or fill a presciption, or see a specialist, a surgeon? and is that everybody in your country?
We don't pay anything extra. In my country we don't even pay for prescriptions at point of need.

Since I have no experience of individual family expenses across the pond, I had a quick google for USA rates.

"The most recent statistics for the annual cost of healthcare for a family of 4 have not been good. Milliman Medical Index now puts the figure at $24,671."

That's nearly £18,000 pounds.
Most of us don't pay that in taxes. The average income is £22,000.

No wonder 10% of Americans have no healthcare provision, either government covered or private.

The NHS is not perfect, but it's a lot better than the majority of alternatives.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I speak from the professionals side. Junior doctors ( junior in position not age) work up to 100 hours per week. Most GPs see one patient every 10 minutes.
Dentists see between 40 and 60 patients a day.

Britain is losing large numbers of doctors and nurses every year due to inhumane working conditions.

Many employees in US have an option to choose the level of coverage, from very basic to very comprehensive.
More expensive on average - yes. But you can not compare like you do, you need to compare the outlay compared to the income.

Our insurance company ( Cygna) pays for any treatment we need, at any hospital in the world.
I needed to have my knee operated on last year. It was done one week after my decision to go ahead.
I had an aggressive Basal Cell Carcinoma that had invaded my nasal bone and suborbital bone. Operated on within two weeks by one of the highest rated restorative surgeons in the US.
Would the NHS be that quick? In Sweden (Karolinska in Stockholm) they would. I almost went there, but due to flights did not.

The Swedish healthcare is dimensioned for the population 3 years ago, but the country got recently an extra 200 000+ extra people, many of them with psychiatric problrms, chronic viral infections, chronic parasitic infections. Dental problems we do not see in Europe.
And another 100 000 immigrants each year is estimated for the next couple of years.
Those extra patients take up a huge chunk of the health system.
Yes, it is struggling for now.
 
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mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK
For urgent work, yes, the NHS is quick. An acquaintance's wife fell ill, rushed to hospital. Diagnosis of Dilated Cardio Myopathy made and transfer to a specialist unit at another hospital within 12hours of her falling ill. Stabilised in specialist heart unit and operated on as soon as she was strong enough, implanted cardioverter defibrillator. This while there is a massive crisis on caused by staff shortages and bed shortages exacerbated by flu.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,037
452
Lancashire
NHS is good and bad just like any healthcare system. It's got a lot more going for it than it's painted by a lot of ppl in and out of the country. Truth is we're running a world class health service on a smaller budget than a lot of other nations. We don't top up pay for services or anything like that.

It also offer the same service to foreign nationals without asking for up front payment or insurance details (although try to claim it back later). The first question you're likely to be asked by any NHS staff is a medical question not "do you have insurance?" To me that's amazing in this capitalist world.

Just think about what that is saying for a minute. IMHO it's saying "We're more interested in your money than treating you"! No matter how good the service is I don't like that.

BTW I went private within the nhs. Great service and a nice barista style coffee. I can see both sides of the story! :)
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,037
452
Lancashire
PS last word was an accidentally good choice of word. The whole narrative of the NHS is a story. Depending on your views or the argument you're making the story makes the NHS out to be great or a disaster that's killing ppl.

It's all just a story!

Reality is it is saving lives, treating ppl and serving our nation (plus other nationals). It's sending doctors and healthcare professionals out to the ends of the earth to treat the desperate and ignored. That's UK trained doctors too. That's just like any other developed nation. It's not bad but it's not perfect neither.

BTW stories come from foreign nationals who have never used it, foreign governments in hock to their private system HMOs, internal politicians with an axe to find against those in power. It's a political potato being kicked around for political arguments.

Still I went to the gp for a wheezing issue and was in and out of x-ray with an all clear in the time it took me to drive into town from the gp, park up and go into the x-ray department. I literally walked in gave my name and got xrayed. It's been a good as that before but it's been worse. So far nobody in our family have had a bad service. Truly bad that is.
 
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Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
573
Just out of range
Thank Gods we are here outside the tentacles of NHS!

Even when we lived in UK I avoided that system. I am used to the Scandinavian quality.
Myself, I never worked in it either. But as a courtesy to my adult patients I saw their children on the NHS.
Janne, a while back on a different thread, you got quite “emotional” when I suggested that the thriving Caymans financial services industry, might have something to do with the narco-barons, dodgy oligarchs etc. etc. or just tax shy corporations and ultra rich looking for somewhere discrete to keep their money. If you are unhappy at discussion of the way in which tax havens siphon off tax revenue which would help funding a world class public health service, perhaps you should avoid denigrating the NHS which many of us in the UK regard as (for all its imperfections) sacred and for the vast majority of UK citizens, is the only option for healthcare.

Sadly the legacy of those who served and suffered in the two World Wars and vowed to create a “land fit for heroes” is now in the hands of those inspired by the “greed is good” 1980s.

Political discussions on the interweb invariably generate more heat than light and are (very sensibly) discouraged on this forum so perhaps it’s best if we leave discussions on the merits of public vs private healthcare and the loss of tax revenue to other forums.

FWIW, in those halcyon days before the “tentacles of NHS”, my great grandfather provided dental services in his village in rural Cornwall. He was the village blacksmith and people came to him to get teeth taken out because had the best pliers - his dentists chair was his anvil.

People forget how things were before 1948 - this might help.

 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I do not think you can credit NHS with the improvement in Dental technology and treatment.....

Dentistry is a newish discipline, the blacksmiths all around the World did dental extractions in the good Old Days. NHS has nothing to do with it.

I wonder if anybody has wondered why Britain has been hit so severely by the latest Influenza viruses?
There is a good article in The Telegraph....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/17/nhs-attempts-save-3-per-flu-jab-have-fuelled-winter-crisis-japanese/

Nomad, flogging the old Engels horse again, are we?
Remember, it is Britain that created Off Shore areas and legislations...... and can easily remove them if they want.
Jersey, Isle of Man, Bermuda.......
:)


If I may go back to Self Testing, a Dental Mirror is quite useful for laymen.
I hope everybody here goes for pro checkups and treatments, but it is not a bad idea to have a peek into your own mouth sometimes. Learn to recognize inflammations, specially of the gum, tonsils.
Learn how the healthy soft tissues look like, and check for changes.

Changes in volume, colour.
 
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Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,295
62
52
Central Scotland
I'm in about 5 minds when it comes to the NHS... But overall, I am happy to pay for it and am very very glad it's there!

Daughter is a "cast iron" coeliac. Took her to give blood some time ago (I make them go a couple of times to qualify them for receiving any!) and the blood people just about called an ambulance, she was so anaemic. They took bloods and told us to get to the GP Went to GP on the Monday and he basically told her to eat more meat (she eats everything we put in front of her) He couldn't believe she was so low so sent her bloods away. Both sets of results came back confirming it. GP stuck her on iron supplements and when asked what was the cause just shrugged... Iron for 6 months, bloods ok, came off iron for 6 months, got anaemic again. repeat for 2.5 years... Eventually got concerned about lack of progress and ante'd up and went private. Doc did some tests and said, that looks like you are coeliac but if you want we can do a 'scopy and make sure. She said yes and they took a biopsy which confirmed a lot of inflammation and that the little wavey fingers in her gut (villi) were pretty much stumps. This lead to lack of nutrient uptake especially iron. She now has the option to get GF food on prescription but we only get a couple of loaves a month as we can't get the nice tasting stuff in the supermarket. GP should have thought about it a bit more rather than just dish out iron tablets for the next 80 years....

Father in law got nailed by Vasulitis, Wegener's flavour that went into his lungs. Rushed to hospital straight into ICU, induced coma the lot, oxygen sat levels dropping by the hour. Not responding to antibiotics so docs consulted and thought it might be vasculitis. Treatment is massive amounts of steroids to nuke the immune system, it's an auto-immune disease, If they nuked the immune system and it was an infection then he would die... If they didn't, the way the O2 was going he would die. The Doc had a serious discussion with wife and sis-in-law and talked through the options. They had a couple of things to try but didn't have the time. Doc was pretty sure it was auto-immune but they had to make the call. He was right. That was 6 years ago, the old bugger is happily still driving us crazy. He was in ICU with 1 to 1 nursing for about 2 months then into High Depandancy. Outstanding job!

Wife is a Dentist in the NHS, she trains student dentists and then does community work when they are not there. She used to have her own practice but sold it due, to shall we say 'musical differences' with her biz partner. She was doing between 20 and 30 patients a day as a NHS dentist but cared more about quality of care than the cash, hence the 'musical differences.' It was not making a loss!!

There are people in the NHS service who are fantastic, care focused, dedicated individuals who are just trying to do a good job and help people, these people are the NHS. There are others who are a disgrace and unfortunately they are not an insignificant proportion. Individuals who are too large/incapacitated to get to the canteen at lunchtime and call a porter to wheel them up in a chair and sleep at other times.... Individuals who have bullied others to the extent that it may have contributed to them taking their own lives. Individuals who don't want to treat patients but are paid for a clinical role, they would rather do management tasks but rather like the money. Individuals who feel the need to discipline others for making two trips out to see a child rather than one. Despite the fact that it was after hours and they had been called by the parents as the kid was having problems with their line, eventually was told they couldn't claim expenses on that trip.... Managers who can't manage so have staff bring in their cars (and claim expenses) to fill in gaps due to lack of planning. People off on the long term sick for physical issues and having vacations in New York and Disney Florida...

The problem I have with the NHS is it's inefficiency and its inability to discipline/fire people for persistent abuse, it's deemed a job for life and usually it is.

As for the US healthcare system. Overtreatment and overcharging is the issue there. Cousin stood on a toothpick in his bare feet. Not too serious, between the toes. Tried to pull it out and a bit got left in.... Went to hospital, not the ER. Nurse went in with a pair of forceps and removed it. Cousin declined a local as it would hurt as much as them going in with forceps. $1600.. I think he may have paid for antibiotics on top of that.

Yup NHS, IMO overall a splendid thing superb for acute care, not so good for chronic care, it's simply too expensive

Back to the OPs post, I think you have heard the answer a few times, the kits might be a good indicator but follow up with your GP. We have found the BP things pretty good (comparing them to NHS instruments)

Cheers
Alan
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Generally I think that all health care systems in the Western World are excellent.
We get treated, we live long, productive lives.
What makes me angry is the way the funds are used.
Bureaucracy, not at the front line.

As I did about 15% of my work within the NHS system, I did get, and still do get, all the info from them.

Of course we complain about Big Pharma, but where would we be without them?
My dad almost died from a very simple infection in a skin burn he received during WW2.

No antibiotics available or existing. The infection ate away part of his muscle, and the skin.
He lived the rest of his life with a huge scar.
Today a simple prescription free cream would have easily fixed it.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,210
797
63
Florida
Really ? and how much more do you need to pay every time you go to see a doctor, or fill a presciption, or see a specialist, a surgeon? and is that everybody in your country?
We don't pay anything extra. In my country we don't even pay for prescriptions at point of need.

Since I have no experience of individual family expenses across the pond, I had a quick google for USA rates.

"The most recent statistics for the annual cost of healthcare for a family of 4 have not been good. Milliman Medical Index now puts the figure at $24,671."

That's nearly £18,000 pounds.
Most of us don't pay that in taxes. The average income is £22,000.

No wonder 10% of Americans have no healthcare provision, either government covered or private.

The NHS is not perfect, but it's a lot better than the majority of alternatives.
How much do I pay? $67.50 a month for a supplemental policy (they pay the copayments and deductibles you spoke of; not me) If I didn't have a supplemental policy my copays and deductibles would total a few hundred per year (I get my meds free on base anyway) I paid more taxes than that myself in VAT and gasoline taxes when I was there. The primary policy (the basis for that enormous figure your research turned up) is paid by my previous employer. It was also paid by them when I was still employed. That's normal (or it WAS normal before Obamacare began socializing our medicine)

The 10% "slipping through the net" are the part time employees (no employer provided cover) who make above the poverty level (too much income to qualify for medicaid) My daughter usually falls in this category and yet, she still gets treated albeit not as good a care as fully employed people would (mind that her kids still get complete care regardless at the expense of medicaid) Do I love her and feel for her plight? Of course. Do I also realize that it's her on doing for being an unreliable employee who squandered multiple opportunities? Of course. DO I also realize that the majority of that 10% you spoke of are in the situation for the exact same reason? Absolutely.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,210
797
63
Florida
....BTW stories come from foreign nationals who have never used it, foreign governments in hock to their private system HMOs..... .
HMOs are essentially the same model as socialized systems, including the NHS. If you use doctors and facilities within the system they're free (apart from the monthly payments for HMO cover or taxes for socialized cover) It's only when you go outside the system (HMO or NHS) that you trigger copays