Friday, June 17, 2005

So argues (an admittedly ailing) Timothy Garton Ash:
'what I saw in this NHS ward made me proud to be British, in a way that no military victory, no sporting triumph, no government, monarch or pageant ever did. Proud to be a citizen of a nation that thinks it worth spending so much of the money we earn to give even the poorest, oldest man or woman a basic dignity. Proud of those showers of endearments, which low-paid staff from Trinidad, the Philippines, Zimbabwe and Kurdistan somehow find it easy to adopt, as a British version of something universal.'
Reading this, I can't help but think that we (Americans) have a lot left to learn from the British; and we (readers) have a lot to learn from Garton Ash (whose health, one hopes, has improved).
(Incidentally, I've heard a number of NHS horror stories from friends and acquaintances here. But then I heard a lot of health services horror stories about the university health service back at my elite American university. My own experience is limited to my college's GPs, who have been in every way exemplary; it makes being ill almost enjoyable.)

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