Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Screwing the system

I've got to admit it, I kind of admire this guy:

A man who desperately needed a heart operation wrote a cheque so he could go private knowing it would bounce.

Roy Thayers, 77, was warned he might die on the NHS waiting list but could not afford to pay for the £6,500 surgery. So he wrote out a cheque knowing that by the time it bounced the operation would be over.

"I had been having severe heart pains and a specialist found two valves had become blocked. I risked a fatal heart attack at any time. Then I was told there was a nine-month wait. The doctor said I could have the operation done privately, but it would cost £6,500. I said, 'I'll have it'. I was in the hospital three days later. I gave them a cheque because I knew it wouldn't clear in time."

Roy, from Hounslow, West London is repaying the debt at £25 a month.



chris said...

Interesting that it was the hospital that came calling, is this lazy journalism since what about the surgeon and anesthetist? All get paid separately for private operations everywhere else that I know, and they also get paid after the operation, not before. Possibly the surgeon and anesthetist decided to waive the fee when they realised that he could not pay. But there is another possibility.

Was this the Hammersmith Trust itself organising the operation with it's own staff (hence no separate bills)? Despite the fact that it should have been using these resources to do NHS operations in order to shorten the queue for others waiting for their ration of NHS healthcare.

However the original article that Ananova gets it's story from is from the Sun so lazy journalism is certainly the most likely reason.

Anonymous said...

In my experience of private medicine no-one and I mean no-one moves unless you're insured (and the insurance company confirms beforehand that its on the hook for the treatment recommended) or you can provide up-front a credit card which can bear the expense. So I'm with Chris here: either the Trust coughed up or the Sun isn't telling us everything.

www.freebritannia.com said...

And yet we've are told that no one waits longer than 6 months for their surgery now.

How can this be?

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