The television programme called House.

House is a ‘what done it’ television programme starring Hugh Laurie, about highly qualified doctors in America trying to figure out what mysterious disease a patient has. In a recent episode a Romany gypsy fell ill.

He was rushed to hospital where he had his own private room and a barrage of tests were done on him, without any apparent wait, using state-of-the-art equipment. Several doctors concerned themselves with this patient. A couple even went to his house to try and find a biochemical cause for his ailment (a wasted exercise as the boy had given them a false address).

According to the programme Romany gypsies do not interact with outsiders and the boy’s immediate family all moved into the private room in an attempt to protect him from Nazi minded doctors who might want to experiment on him. The boy’s father knew how to stand up for himself being an itinerant scrap metal dealer.

So they were poor then, and they didn’t have anything to do with Western customs including, presumably, health insurance.

At the end of the programme, a toothpick was found to be the cause of his complaint and it was duly removed. The final scene was of the boy waving gratefully to one of the doctors – who was loitering on a staircase with, presumably, nothing better to do – as he and his family troop out the door.

And presumably, the scene with the administrator running after them waving the one hundred thousand dollar unpaid invoice was left on the cutting room floor. Or is America a great place to fall ill these days?

2 Responses to “The television programme called House.”

  1. Nev says:

    I’ve often wondered about this too. Presumably, if you’re an emergency case – heart attack, traffic accident, whatever – they treat you, but do they always charge you afterwards? What if you were unconscious and unable to tell them you didn’t have any medical insurance or money?

    And what if you arrived at the hospital in a terrible condition but were able to tell them you had neither insurance nor money? Would they turn you away?

    In this country, before the NHS, did people with treatable conditions but no money just accept that they were going to die? That approaching a doctor or a hospital was pointless?

  2. Candy Riek says:

    What a great article! Thanks admin…

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