When Maria Chaplia contracted a nasty skin infection last year, she quickly learned the NHS was going to make her wait months for treatment. So she hopped on a flight back to her native Ukraine, where she was immediately treated in a health care system that is much better than the creaking NHS, she writes in the Telegraph.
After countless futile attempts to get through to the NHS to be seen by a dermatologist, I was told that it would be months before I would be given an appointment.
So far, so familiar, you might think. But if you have read and struggled to believe stories about Ukrainians living in the UK returning to their native country for medical treatment, let me tell you that I am one of them. Having given up on the NHS, I flew to Poland and crossed the border. Later that day, amid air raid sirens, I visited a hospital. By the evening, I had the relevant medicines to get me back on the mend.
After living in the U.K. for over two years, I can see that Ukrainians are spoiled in terms of access to healthcare compared to Britons, despite the billions that are lavished on the NHS. Growing up in a small town in western Ukraine – to which it is still possible to return despite the fighting in the east – I never had to wait more than two days to be seen by a specialist doctor.