Saturday, June 24, 2006

Schoolboy Sulks from the Dutch Right Wing

Remember that Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner who came up late last year over misinformation given to a German newspaper?

He's in the press again. According to the UK Guardian, he had reluctantly agreed to allow large-scale farming of cannabis on a pilot project (to supply the coffeeshops, rather than have them buy it on the black market as they currently have to).

But on Thursday he told MPs that if they wanted to allow cultivation, "then you need a different kind of justice minister".

"It's not fair. I won't! I won't! I won't! I don't want to play anymore! We never play the games I want to play. Mo - o - o - o - m, tell them!"

Medical Tourism

If you live in the UK and, like me, you and your family fear getting ill after the hospital horror stories you've heard (I live in an area where the NHS policies of New Labour have been in full and frightening effect for a few years), or you're on reduced tooth care because local dentists have closed their doors to non-subscribers, you'll be relieved to know about the possibilities opened up by medical tourism.

I heard someone on the radio this morning saying he travels to Hungary for his dental treatment - he even goes for his check-ups.

So I had a look round. Here's something to think about for a start - the MRSA virus comparisons:

  Country  Percentage of MRSA in 2002
  Greece  48.6%
  United Kingdom  44.5%
  Germany  27.2%
  Spain  23.5%
  Belgium  19.2%
  Czech Republic  6.2%
  Netherlands  1.0%
  Sweden  0.7%

There are a lot of clinics open to medical tourism throughout the EU, also India.

The site gives details of clinics all over:
for surgery and for dentistry. There's also a form where you can get a quote. have a clinic in Germany with English-speaking staff. are a clinic in Malta (with prices shown). have a clinic in India with many UK-trained staff where you "get the best possible medical attention in the world at par with what you would get in U.K./U.S.A. at a low cost of less than half the expenses in U.K." Prices are shown on the website and they're all-inclusive packages - including airfare, hospital treatment, medicine, operation costs, prostheses (if required) and all follow up treatment. arrange for treatment in India. Their site has a comparative price guide (though they don't include flight costs).

Treatment abroad on the NHS

If you're already waiting for treatment in the UK, then you may be eligible for NHS funding. UK patients forced to wait longer than they should for NHS treatment are entitled to reclaim the cost of being treated in Europe, the European Court of Justice has ruled.
There's a BBC article about it, also a Q&A page

Medical treatment on holiday in the EU

The E111 form for medical treatment whilst holidaying in the EU is now replaced by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The EHIC entitles EU citizens to reduced-cost, sometimes free, medical treatment that becomes necessary while you’re in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. That's these countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus (but not Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Best idea of all - combine treatment with a holiday in a beautiful sunny country - relax and heal faster.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The 'Department in Chaos' Prepares for Attack

Hello, Clubbers. Nanny wants you.

Those who enjoy a smoke and a pill with their clubbing, not to mention a wrap of something else, had best watch out. Nanny's after their toys again.

"You will do as you are told."

When you're losing a war and you're pig-headed, what you do is try even harder with the tactics that have already failed. Visualise the aggressive knight in the Monty Python film who, after he'd lost everything except his head, still threatened to bite his opponent.

Under new plans shortly to be debated, the Home Office will propose that if you are caught with five ecstasy tablets or 5g (1/5oz) of cannabis you will be prosecuted as a dealer and thus eligible for 14 years imprisonment.

The Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs, whose previous advice has been followed by Home Secretaries, has suggested that the cannabis threshold should be 28gm (1oz) and ectstasy 20 tablets (2g). They warned that the new levels proposed by government were so low that they were likely to cause policing problems.

The Home Secretary has also announced a crackdown on British cannabis farms and a public education campaign to stress both the harm and the illegal status of the drug.

The education campaign should start with members of parliament and the media and should stress both the false propaganda and manipulated research which the public has been fed for the past eighty years.

New lower levels of 2g for possession of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine are also proposed. No change to speed at 14g, so Nanny won't be sending you to bed early.

My nanny says: "It's time those in authority - all over the world - grew up and stopped behaving like spoilt kids who try to get their way by bullying and tantrums."