I fully support the NHS, I’m also afraid that we are seeing the system dismantled before our eyes by a capitalist, right wing Government. Yet the officiousness of the NHS Business Services Authority for a potential charge of between £23.80 and £65.20 for an individual is terrifying.
I had to have emergency dental treatment as I chipped a tooth. My dentist was great, as usual, but then came the letter from NHSBSA saying I didn’t qualify for financial assistance – I do. I’m in the correct age bracket to get help with medications, and eyesight tests. I also have an HC2 form as artists, especially freelance artists, are habitually on a low income.
Sadly, mine may have lapsed (a new trick I think, as they used to be annual certificates, now they are 3 or 6 months apparently), anyway I digress, this apparent spot check (funny – they did the same random spot check on me last year …) determined that I may have fraudulently claimed for assistance with the costs of dental treatment. So now I have to provide records going back to my birth, (it seems that invasive) when in reality all they are asking for is my total annual income, expenditure, business expenses, costs of living, all utility bills, all mortgage / rent details, specific information regarding donations received (if any) from friends, shoe size, blood type, and eye colour. Not much, really. After three weeks of a barrage of emails I asked them to just let me know how much the charge is so I can find the funds to pay the excess charge rather than peel my skin back and expose my internal organs in an effort to satisfy them that I am indeed in financial need of assistance. Bear in mind, this is taking into account the fact that I have paid full N.I. contributions and tax since I started work at 17 years of age, over 43 years ago.
N.B. This situation went on for over two months, last week my accountant completed my year end accounts which obviously showed a low income, so this week I received my HC2 form in the post, no explanation letter, no apologetic email, nothing. I breathed a sigh of relief, but I was also furious that I was subjected to that level of scrutiny when Government ministers have spent £millions on contracts for theirs friends, acted unlawfully with contract publications, misled Parliament, have expenses that are not fully explained, and do not seem to face any financial checks at all.
Different folks, different strokes.
I’m still seriously considering a move to Scotland. The heath care is more transparent, and the stress is less.