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Tommy Sheridan Column: COUGHING UP FOR FREE NHS.

Byline: Tommy Sheridan

I'VE had an annoying, throaty cough for a fortnight now.

My head's generally okay, my nose is only a little more runny than usual - but my bloody cough persists.

And I couldn't get a doctor's appointment for eight days.

The harassed receptionist asked if it was an "emergency" and I felt stupid - it's only a cough.

But things like that need to be checked out. Far too many of us, men especially, don't visit the doctor when we should.

Eight days for an appointment is far too long, but sadly typical.

On Monday, the doc gave me the once-over and diagnosed a throat infection. He warned me against speaking too much, although it's the only thing I'm half-decent at.

The most painful part, however, was the pounds 6.30 charge for my antibiotic prescription. I thought we had a free health service, paid for from taxation.

The sooner my colleague Colin Fox gets his Bill to abolish prescription charges through Parliament, the better.

CAPTION(S):

HEALTH WAR: Colin Fox
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 3, 2004
Words:172
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