My Experience of U.S. Health Care as a Recent Immigrant (Part II)

By Gareth Higgins 08-12-2009

I have friends in the UK who are doctors, men and women who work in intense, busy careers. Like many salaried positions, things get exponentially better the longer you're in the system. And, like their counterparts in the U.S., UK doctors have to work such long hours for low reward at the start of their careers that many might ask if it's worth it. But once they've been working for a while, they tend to live in nice houses, take a couple of good holidays a year, and drive nice cars. According to the UK National Health Service's own Web site, consultant doctors can earn the equivalent of between $120,000 and $285,000, depending on length of service and performance related awards. And of course, none of that salary needs to be used for personal health care costs.

If that salary isn't sufficient for the doctor's wishes, no problem. The private health care industry in the UK is thriving too. If you really want a routine operation done a little more quickly, in a hospital with nicer décor, I'd recommend it. Plenty of surgeons who work for the NHS also do some evening and weekend work for private hospitals, significantly supplementing their income.

This may all seem too simple

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