Colin Adams, had an agonising tooth, so he called the dentist. Not having visited the surgery for several years he was unaware of current dental charges. When he asked about the cost, receptionist said, “It’s somewhere between an arm and a leg.” She added, “The price will go up, obviously, if on further investigation, the dentist feels he needed a further week’s holiday, in Tuscany.
He enquired whether NHS treatment was possible, the receptionist found this amusing, “Yes it’s possible, however as you don’t live in Northern Scotland you’re unlikely to find an NHS dentist anywhere near here.”
She then explained, “When you come you’ll need to fill out a few forms, previous medical history, consent to treatment, warnings about adverse reactions, confirmation that what ever happened it wasn’t the dentist’s fault, and a credit check to ensure you can afford the treatment plan. And no, you can’t pay it in instalments.”
Given he was on a weekly contract, had no savings, and was only just managing to cover the family’s monthly bills, there was no spare cash to pay for treatment. He tried to grin and bear it but the pain grew worse. He started looking for things to sell, the children wouldn’t let him sell the TV, he needed the car for work and the goldfish was worth less than bowl it swam in.
The dog however, was young and healthy. He’d been bought when times were better. Following a family conference about whether to sell the TV or the dog, the family decided the dog had to go.
Colin said, “Obviously we miss the little fella, but I couldn’t go on any longer. I was happy to give up the TV but the kids and the missus wouldn’t have it. “