You can’t get scanned when you’re skint

I know I rant about two-tier healthcare a lot (as in, it already exists in the NHS), so I’ll keep this reasonably short: after our pregnancy scan earlier this week, we had a chat with the midwife about the various tests designed to make sure your baby’s healthy. The biggie, it seems, is the 20-week scan: it’s when you check to see that the foetus is developing normally.

The room in which we had our 12-week scan was plastered with posters explaining why the 20-week scan is so important, so – being good little patients – we asked the midwife about it. Should we get it? Yes, she said. But not here.

It turns out that the NHS doesn’t do 20-week scans in Glasgow unless there’s already reason to be worried – something the midwife says is daft, dangerous and various other things beginning with “d”. Inevitably it’s because of cost-cutting.

So here’s your choice: if you can afford to go private, you can get a scan (which, incidentally, isn’t performed by a mere sonographer; no, it’s performed by a proper doctor. In this case, the doctor who’s a consultant at, er, the maternity ward that employs the midwife we were speaking to). If you can’t, you don’t get scanned. Simple.

Apparently the 20-week scans will be reinstated next year. Which is good news for skint mums-to-be this year.