Dialogue:______read aloud in pairs

A: Would you ever consider taking out private health insurance?


B: I think it's a very sensible idea!


A: But you are already paying for the NHS through national insurance. Why should you have to insure yourself twice?


B: That's a very good question. The reality is that the NHS covers people in

major emergencies, but the service is under too much pressure to give adequate support.


A: Can you be a bit more specific?


B: Certainly. There're thousands of people who are in great pain. Some are

waiting for minor surgery while others are waiting for treatment at pain control clinics.


A: But under the patients' charter, hospitals are meant to treat you within a certain time.


B: Well, you know how they get round that one. They make you wait for months

before they put you on the waiting list.


A: I don't think it's as bad as you make out. According to government

statistics, waiting lists are coming down.


B: That may be true for certain operations such as hernias where you're

sometimes in and out of hospital within a day. They rush you through the system

because they're short of beds. Then they hand you over to some elderly relative with a

weak heart and expect them to look after you. They call it "care in the community".


A: But there're lots of back up departments such as Social Services and Occupational Therapy.


B: Have you ever tried contacting these departments and filling in their forms?

Getting them to take quick action is virtually impossible.