By coincidence, I too had a brush with the health service at the weekend: nothing to compare, really, just a trip to A & E for treatment of a very minor injury. But I, too, was struck by the dedication of those on duty. While I was in the treatment room, ambulance staff wheeled in a woman who had been in a road accident, strapped from head to foot on a stretcher, together with her baby daughter who had been asleep on the back seat of the car. Thank goodness neither was badly hurt, but I was mightily impressed by the care and attention lavished on them by the nurses and ambulance workers: they dealt with the situation with professionalism, care, and an appropriate dash of humour (even managing to make the injured parties laugh, which was quite something in the circumstances).
This was, of course, the weekend when the US Senate voted to proceed to a debate on the health care reform bill (well done, conservative Democrats, for stepping up to the plate). Googling my injury while deciding whether I needed to go to A & E, I came across a number of US-based forum discussions in which contributors urged their fellow sufferers to treat themselves at home and avoid a costly visit to the Emergency Room. Another reason to give thanks for the NHS. Come on, you Democrats: face down the turncoat Lieberman and go full-out for that public option.