An old acquaintance of mine was born in Essex, but emigrated to one of the colonies when he was young. A long time ago. He grew up in the colonies, lived there, worked there but on his retirement, he hankered to return to the land of his birth.
So, he called me the other day to say he was going back to the colonies for some pre-Christmas sun. It was a Sunday, I think. On the Wednesday, I got a phone call from him to say he was in hospital. I found this rather odd, although he had mentioned going to the NHS doctors a couple of times (fruitlessly, of course) before his trip. He had called his old colonial GP on the Monday morning and arranged to see him on the Tuesday. After a very thorough examination, the colonial GP decided that he had a hernia. So he booked him in for some new surgical technique on the Wednesday, the operation was done immediately and by the Thursday, he was out shopping and enjoying his holiday.
And I have to say, it sounded wonderful.
Imagine phoning up your GP and being able to arrange to see the doctor you want to see at a time you want to see them. The doctor then spends a whole fucking hour checking you up because you "feel a bit out of sorts" and actually finds something. You know, doing actual diagnosis and stuff. You are then wheeled into a (clean) hospital of your choice within 24 hours for what is, frankly, not exactly a life-threatening condition and operated upon immediately. You leave the hospital better than you entered it and without a dose of MSRA.
Or, of course, he could have gone to a hospital in Essex.