Monday, September 5, 2011

Nice things

Having to buy my first medicine here today I learned that all the prescription drugs in UK cost the same - regardless of what you've been prescribed, you pay a fixed sum of £7.40 to get it.

You can also buy a "season ticket" which is £29.10 for three months or £104 for a year to get an unlimited allowance, and if you're under 16 (or over 60), pregnant, rely on public funds or fall into any of other special categories, you get your medicines for free.

That sounds absolutely unbelievable to a Russian person, but when I told about my astonishment to others, first people thought that I had it the other way around and was actually appalled by high price - because it used to be cheaper before and also you still have to pay that fixed price even if the drug itself could have costed less if sold over the counter.

I wonder if the government plans to cut that in some way, but at least that's how things are now.


While writing that I remembered that I had mentioned I was going to visit a dentist a couple of months ago. Dentistry is also available for fixed prices, as well as the free emergency treatment. However, the queues are significantly longer than for other NHS services (you can easily wait for 4 or 6 months to get a simple filling) so I went for private practice that time. Still it was reasonable - not cheap but also not very different comparing to what you pay for similar treatment in Russia. Of course there are very expensive practices and if you're ready to pay, sky is the limit. But I can't tell that generally it costs much more than I was used to before relocation.

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