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Friday 15th November 2019

The cost of being ill

We all get sick. It sucks. Whether it’s manflu or something more serious and life threatening, in our fast paced world, it’s sometimes hard to take the time to recover, or enjoy the time we have. The last thing you want to do when you’re ill is worry, but money worries can crop up. Having time off work, laying up in bed, you can start thinking and worrying about the cost of being poorly, when you should be resting and recovering.

Hospital parking can be a nightmare. Appointments can run late, or run over. Sometimes you have to see another doctor or wait around for results. This can all bump up the amount of time your car is sat in an expensive hospital parking bay. I always try and find street parking near the hospital but they tend to have time constraints of an hour or two, unless you go further away from the building. Many people can’t walk the distance, either. Parking at the hospital – if, indeed, you can find somewhere to park – can be crazy expensive and if you have an illness which requires you to visit often, it can add up and become a huge expense.

Don’t worry about forking out on energy drinks or expensive remedies which promise the earth. Often, what your body really needs is time to heal.

Time off work can be hard on you, perhaps you worry about the effect it will have on your career or have to make an important decision to close your own business if you are unwell. Official statistics state that the number of sick days taken by workers in the UK is at an all time low, leading experts to believe that people are working when they are sick and should be getting better. Should businesses release the pressure on workers to be in when they aren’t quite right? While the work is getting done and less business days are being lost – which is great for businesses – should companies do more to ensure workers are fit and healthy when they come into work, without that worry of losing their jobs? I think so. Back pain is one of the top reasons for being off work. Better care, education and conditions could stop this, especially for office workers.

If you pay for your medication, this can be a huge cost. With each item on a prescription currently £8.80 in England, this can add up if you are on daily meds. A pre-payment certificate can be purchased which covers you for either three months (about £29), or annually for £104. This is a good way to save money if you have a lot of items on your prescription. There are exemptions, some folk don’t have to pay but if you’re an ‘average Joe’ and have to fork out for regular medication, it can certainly all add up. Much to the annoyance of many in England, residents of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland currently get their prescriptions for free.

We all get sick. It sucks.

There are plenty of over the counter medications but some are exactly the same pills, packaged up differently, with different price tags. Check the PL number on the box, you’ll quite often find that a product in a fancy box, is exactly the same box of pills as a cheaper looking one. Don’t be pulled in by the branding, it’s the active ingredient which is going to make you feel better. 500mg of standard paracetamol is about 30p in supermarkets. The branded version, which contains the same amount of paracetamol, only advertises on the TV and bus stop billboards, is usually at least four times that price, without doing anything different.

Some people swear by certain things like ginger root or chicken soup. Don’t worry about forking out on energy drinks or expensive remedies which promise the earth. Often, what your body really needs is time to heal. Rest and sleep are key, as well as staying hydrated with water.

There are other expenses, too, some which aren’t monetary but may weigh on your mind. Try not to worry too much about the money side of things, just get yourself better. If you can do that and get back into the routine of normal life, things will work themselves out.

Joseph Seager

Joseph Seager

This Thrifty Chap is a frugal Yorkshire boy, now living in Lancashire. Tweeting and blogging to help you save a bit of cash here and there. Average photographer. Aspiring superhero.

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