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  • Last week I went for a routine (free) eye test; the young optician who carried out the test was worried about the pressure in my eyes, and said that I had to have a proper consultation with medical ophthalmologists, as the increase in pressure was often a precursor of glaucoma, which often led to blindness. He said that he was going to arrange a visit for me at the Eye Clinic attached to the University of Edinburgh and to the public hospitals of the city. To my amazement, a letter arrived within 2 days from the Centre inviting me for intensive tests and consultation with the ophthalmologist. That was Friday.
    I was first seen by a Staff-Nurse technician who began by carrying out a series of test, after which I was seen by one ophthalmologist who examined my eyes and asked questions, after which I had a Field Vision Test. Next I had a my eye pressure measured, after local anaesthesis. Finally I was led into the consultation room of a senior specialist who looked inside my eyes through an impressive piece of equipment. He then studied all the charts and graphs that the other doctor and specialists had provided him with and pronounced his verdict. My friends will be pleased for me, for although the pressure inside was rather high, there was no bruising of the optic nerve, therefore no sign of the dreaded glaucoma. Done and dusted in three hours. But I would need to be monitored every six months. My vision is now safe, and I hope that I will long continue to admire beautiful young things like the young woman in the photo.
    This is typically how medicine is practised here: The best technicians, the best professionals operating the best equipment, offering first class service, in this case within a week. I am happy and fortunate to live in a civilised country.
    The non-British readership will be wondering how much this cost me. You guys bitching on about Obamacare, listen carefully: It cost me nothing, zilch, nada, rien du tout, not a penny, not a cent. I don’t have an insurance; all my life I have paid my taxes, and the state provides me with my medical and social needs. Socialism does not stink, and is not immoral.
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