Fish antibiotics

Mum has been ill this week with a headache, sore throat, blocked sinuses, cough and just generally feeling miserable. She wanted to see a GP and after my experience trying to get an appointment for Dad when he was here I was not hopeful. It seems I was right to feel this way because every place I rang said no, they were completely booked. They said I had to ring back the next day at 8:30am to see whether there were any spaces available and keep doing that each morning until something came up.

Mum was naturally feeling quite anxious about it and went on eBay and ordered some fish antibiotics. You can buy pharmacy-grade amoxicillin on eBay. I am not kidding – see here. Given the concerns about antibiotic resistance I think it’s astonishing you can buy amoxicillin on eBay.

Eventually one of the medical centres told me about a private GP practice in Aberdeen which is new. It wasn’t an option when Dad was visiting. I tried them and managed to get an appointment the very next day. Thankfully Mum got some antibiotics for humans rather than fish which is a bit of a relief for all of us.

I think it’s so great that the NHS is completely free but if it means you die before actually getting to see a doctor then that’s not really that great. I’d rather pay £20 and get an appointment within a reasonable time-frame than pay nothing and wait weeks. But then I come from countries where I’ve always had to pay to see a doctor and because of this, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me.

4 responses to “Fish antibiotics”

  1. Here in the USA, we – at least everyone I know – are envious of health care in Europe. I’m not as familiar with this in Australia. We –my husband and I, just the two of us –pay approximately $500/month in medical insurance premiums. That’s a significant portion of our monthly income (we’re both retired). In addition, whenever we see a physician there’s a $35 co-pay due immediately at that visit. Fortunately, we’re both healthy. Prescription medications are $10 if a generic is available, but much higher if there is no generic. We have occasionally had a visitor from Germany to come stay with us for a week or so. I don’t know what the procedure would have been if he had needed medical care while here

    • Yes, I think the health care system in the US stinks. It’s not like that in Australia and New Zealand where insurance is not necessary to access health care and in New Zealand most people don’t have any health insurance. We never did. But we still had to pay a little bit to see a GP and I never had any problems getting an appointment for myself or for visiting relatives from Australia. People on benefits can see a GP for free.

      I’m not sure whether this is the solution to the problems in the UK but I’m finding it increasingly frustrating that when my parents come to visit, and get sick as often happens when you travel, are unable to see a doctor. They might get to the point where they’re too scared to come in case they get sick while they’re away. They both spend a lot of money while they’re here and yet they’re not treated very well when they become ill. When you get older you become more anxious about your health and sometimes just visiting a doctor and talking to them for 15 minutes is enough to make you feel better. None of us ever need a doctor thank goodness because just the thought of ringing the receptionist makes me feel ill.

  2. I think 20 pounds is a reasonable fee. We pay about $20 here in NZ; not that you don’t know.

    I appreciate NZ healthcare system very much. Some Fridays ago we had to take our son to Starship Emergency ward. My son was treated within reasonable wait. I paid zero dollar. I just had to post them our resident visas in the freepost envelope we were handed over for free by the duty nurse 🙂

    Apparently in America, I am told, healthcare is way expensive and is beyond means of most people. Scary!

  3. it’s not just your parents who find it hard to see a doctor – any working UK citizen has the same problem in that you can’t book ahead like you could to see any other professional advisor – basically the NHS is for the elderly, and unemployed and it does all it can to keep the people whose taxes fund it as far away as possible

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