There's the sweetest young Chinese girl in my bay at the moment.
The gulf between the Chinese approach to healthcare and ours is so vast I'm not sure it could ever be bridged. Where their approach is holistic ours focuses mainly on symptoms and disease. Where they treat the whole person, we treat just a part. Where they value prevention, we seem all too often to only see the cure.
I can only imagine what she must think of our lack of respect for our older generation and as I tried to explain the pressures on our own NHS and the frustrating delays, I felt miserable and embarrassed.
However, today, she asked me how she should pay for her food. I laughed and said it was included. She asked about her medicines too. All included, I explained. "But what about my procedures and tests?" I explained that was all included too. "But included in what?" She asked, "How do they decide the final bill?"
I said there was no final bill. Healthcare in the UK was free at the point of use.
She clearly found this concept as hard to understand as I would have found the approach of her doctors back in China.
As a full time degree student, her healthcare is free too. Before anyone starts jumping up and down in outrage, I can assure you the fees she is paying for her course would make you pass out in a clean faint. Students like her keep most of our universities going. So she's paying alright, just not here and now.
However much I may have squirmed as I tried to explain the waits she was finding so mystifying, it was matched by the pride I had in describing the most equitable health service in the world.