Context: I live in Ireland. We have a public health service which costs 300m a year, a very substantial part of the yearly budget.
My father was taken to hospital last Monday night (pneumonia). He went to the A&E of the public hospital and was put on a trolley for the night.
I visited tuesday morning and the accident and emergency was chockablock with people on trollies. Nurses had to weave amongst them, the Nurses station had two people on trollies in front so, when you went to speak to them, you were speaking over two sick people.
Every nook and cranny had people on trollies. All the beds in teh wards were taken.
This wasn't flu season, just an ordinary monday night tuesday morning.
He has health insurance so I got him transferred to a private hospital, to a room on his own, nurses checking every hour, full facilities.
The NHS, in England has a 6 hour rule, Patients are either discharged or moved to a ward within 6 hours of arrival at a&e.
The NHS is, again, a substantial part of the english budget spend on publc services, but it works.
If you don't have private health care, through no fault of the nurses and doctors on the front line, you are not going to get adequate medical care.
If one person had msra or any other contagious illness.. it would spread rapidly in these crowded conditions.
It is a two tier system, health insurance gets you access to private hospitals, consultants, no waiting list for operations.
Public health means waiting for appointments to see consultants, long lists for operations, ....
I remember the debate over obama care.. has it made health care affordable in the US? or are you screwed there also if you can't afford health insurance?