Why do British dogs get better health care than British people?

When my mum's puppy dog fell seriously ill, he got the best private medicine money could buy. What about the people, for crying out loud?

by Yorker on 16 August 2013 12:24

Not so long ago, my mother's four month old eat-anything-in-sight Border Terrier, Max, had the bright idea of gobbling up a pot full of poisonous slug pellets from the garden. By the time he'd started having convulsions the parents decided that this was unlikely to be playful puppy stuff and took him straight down to the private health centre, sorry, I mean vets.

It was serious stuff. The private doctor, there I go again, I mean, Vet, said he was "not optimistic" about Max's chances. But as the afternoon progressed, following stomach pumps and one-to-one personal care with monitoring and blood tests, the plucky little chappy started to pull through.

Still, the Vet kept him in overnight, checked on him regularly, and fed him lightly and appropriately. He didn't even "soil" himself! The cost of all that was 750 pounds ($1,200).

Imagine if he'd had to endure socialised medicine: an NHS for dogs. Well, first off, if reports about the NHS's treatment of people are anything to go by, he'd have died, probably in the most undignified manner -- found the next morning encrusted with dried vomit at one end and dried excrement all over the other end.

But hey, it would have been free! No-one would have made a profit out of poor old Max's predicament. We can all sleep easy... and forever...

But here's the weird bit; weird if you're not British but apparently completely normal if you are. My Mum worked in the National Health Service (NHS) for 20 years and still swears blind it's "the envy of the world". I've had a go at pointing out that although it might be the envy of the third world, it isn't the envy of the rest of it. You might as well talk to a brick wall.

But this time I thought I might have a chance: "Mum, you know how you just paid 750 pounds for Max's health care...don't you think it would be better if those people who can, paid that sort of money for the kind of health care you just paid for for Max."

A killer argument, right? Wrong. Here's the response: "Oh stop being so stupid, Max is a dog!"

At which point you really abandon all hope that Britain will ever have a serious debate about the failure of socialised medicine. But at least the nation's dogs are healthy...

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