I'm not one to wax lyrical about the way things are oh-so-much-better in my homeland, which I am aware that I still left for some suddenly unfathomable reason. But today, I have an ear-ache and it really pees me off that I can't go to a GP and sort it out. I have been diligently saving up my minor medical complaints because I only want to have to go see the doc the one time, and am hoping to get the lot seen to in one fell swoop. Oh but here's the thing: that doesn't work in a country where there's no such thing as your jack-of-all-trades GP. You have an ear problem? Go to the ear specialist. You have a sore toe? Why the toe doc is the one for you. You need to renew your pill prescription? Get thee to the pill-presciption renewal specialist. And what, smartypants specialist, if I have all three problems at once? That'd be the Emergency Room for you little fall-apart lady.
Well today I have an ear-ache, and I don't want to go to the ER and sit and wait beside a man with a knife stuck in his chest (this actually happened to me - well, sort of) and be treated by a random doctor who doesn't know me from Adam and is already rushed and bearing no resemblance at all to any of the handsome doctors from the show of the same name. I want one of those docs that has known you since you were two and will sagely say something along the lines of: "Fiona, you know what that ear-ache could be? Remember you put a pea up your nose when you were seven, and it never came out?".