Shamelessly stolen from MaddMedic, who's on the blogroll now - both of his places. His second blog (I'm in awe - the only explanation for how he has the time must be that he has Calvin's duplicator box from Calvin & Hobbs) brings the skinny on the wonderful government run healthcare system in the UK:
It began with a stern lecture from the receptionist for not following the rules. The NHS requires patients to be formally registered with the practice before the doctor sees them. Appointments must be made in the morning for the same day only. In addition, you cannot make phone appointments but must visit the surgery in person. This particular rule appears to have been established by the practice itself to sidestep confusion with the Appointments Line – an NHS telephone booking system so complicated that it requires an 18-page user guide!Well worth your time.