I know that some Dopers work in the emergency services, so I think you’ll be interested in this article.
- So that’s in the UK.
How does that work there?
I know in every town I’ve lived in here in the US, you call for an ambulance or accept a ride in an ambulance that’s already there (example: you’re at a public gathering and there’s an ambulance there as part of the emergency services), they stick you with a nice, fat bill. Maybe your insurance covers it, maybe it doesn’t. (I’ve seen both.) But I’ve never heard of the bill being less than $1500 for a simple ride to the hospital.
It’s NHS, it’s paid for by taxes, not at point of use.
Some people do abuse the system, by trying to call for a lift or because of the sniffles or whatever, but the triage is generally pretty good at minimising the issue.