There was much flag waving and badges wearing four weeks ago when the National Health Service turned 70, as understandably it was a big opportunity to celebrate, wasn’t it?
Some of us though instead had a tear in our eye.
That was because we have been around a long while, we have been there since inception, we have from those early days been looked after rigorously by its caring & knowledgeable GPs, we have seen firsthand the wonderful things it has achieved, we have been forever grateful for it safely bringing-in new life and ongoingly sustaining it, we have prayed while it has snatched a loved young one from the jaws of death with ground-breaking surgery and wonderful medical care, we have been amazed at its achievement in restoring a lost existence, we worried incessantly while it has successfully delivered cancer treatment amongst us, we have benefited from world class operations & procedures, we have been uplifted by the dedication of the ITU teams that pull-back patients from the brink, we have witnessed the delivery of the very best of medical care to our sick or dying family and friends, we have been saved by its outstanding diagnostic equipment and skills of their operatives, we have been there for the magical treatment for our dislocations, our broken bones, and joint replacements, we have had a great and emotional close relationship with dedicated doctors and nurses, from the most senior to the most junior, we have been astounded by it being at our beck and call day and night, year after year after year, and we have suffered from concern when sometimes it has let itself down a few times over these past seventy years. We hurt inside now with worry about it.
Also, some of us are lucky enough to also have had close contact with some of those in the medical profession, so have seen at first hand just what a difficult profession it is to meet the standards of, to get into, to gain the immense knowledge acquired, and the effort needed to perform well in it, and the dedication displayed – enough to know that we could never have countenanced it for ourselves.
The NHS is now on its knees, it may well be terminally sick with a number of complications that make recovery problematical – how can that be do you think?
Many remain convinced that the Conservatives are ideologically opposed to the Health Service because it was a Labour initiative – if they are not, then surely this is exactly the time to bloody prove it in spades, isn’t it?
Well, there are many many problems of the NHS lurking under the skin, but the main diagnosis is one of devastating starvation – MONEY. Don’t believe a word of what the Government liars tell our population about increasing funding going in year on year, because that is like feeding a growing child solely on a little extra milk, which we all know would simply lead to severe malnutrition – as has the NHS displays from its limited financial support. Oh yes, now the patient is in a critical condition, some solid food is being promised, but EXTRA CASH, too late, will not in fact revive the patient, only extend its agony.
[The NHS has to be annually properly funded in future with a percentage of GDP that matches the money that other developed countries are spending on healthcare.
For the NHS, it would seem that the dream is at an end and without a god-sent miracle, ‘end-of-life’ care is going to be the inevitable way forward.
One of the biggest factors that is dragging the NHS down is also its greatest asset – it is a free service, available to the whole community. The BIG problem with that is that it is increasing abused, and successive governments have allowed that to happen and have done absolutely nothing about it, let alone reverse it. WHY NOT?
- Perhaps, some of them are NOT as proud or supportive of the NHS as they need to be?
- Perhaps, some of them are NOT as committed to having the NHS in its current form as they pretend?
- Perhaps, some of them ARE in favour of increasing privatisation of the NHS?
- Perhaps, some of them ARE determined to replace the NHS with a Private Health Care system [and cut taxes]?
[Note: US healthcare is private and the ‘costliest’ anywhere, but its outcomes overall are relatively poor].
The problem with anything given away as free (particularly in unlimited quantity) is that the recipients don’t then value it, because they didn’t have to put in any effort to get it (like they don’t even bother to turn-up for GP or hospital appointments, do they? Cost yearly to the NHS £1 billion+?). It is only when they have to sweat blood for something that they REALLY appreciate it, don’t they?
In the early days people WERE indeed most grateful for the NHS, and they wouldn’t dream of troubling their sole Doctor unless they were really ILL, so in those times, people just wandered down to the surgery and were seen (and treated!) practically within 5 or 10 minutes; but nowadays that is all changed, because many people are never out of the blinking practice surgery, and are there with everything from a sore finger to a cold or a headache, demanding antibiotics by the crate-load, so the rest of us can’t get an appointment for a couple of weeks at best; or they drop into the local hospital’s A&E with a stubbed big toe demanding an x-ray or just a cold even (if it’s out of hours and their doctor’s is closed). Everybody unnecessarily indulges themselves with medical care simply because it is free – self rationing doesn’t exist in a way it would if people had to pay an attendance fee or something else.
The whole situation is compounded the more so, by the fact that nobody has to have or show even a membership card to get treatment, however expensive [what other members club can you just walk into without your card, eh?] – that simply means that amongst other things, all and sundry including those who haven’t paid a penny in taxes, or perhaps are undetected illegal immigrants, get free treatment and drugs, while the foreign ill or the pregnant can land at Heathrow and get the tube into London and their medical problems are over, even if it’s a birth or an abortion.
The excessive demand on ALL services of the NHS is killing it, so that has to be addressed with immediate vigor – the extra money going in soon, will simply not solve it, because usage is like a cancer destroying all else, including A&E and Operation Waiting List times, plus the physical and mental heath of doctors and nurses who are being completely overrun.
The Government should start by requiring all valid patients to carry a newly issued NHS card establishing their treatment rights – that could ultimately be varied according to status?), which has to be presented & recorded at every appointment, whether at the GP surgery or Hospital – users, if they know it is being monitored, might just apply some self-restraint, so that we will see some major drop-off in abuse.
People visiting the UK should be warned to get travel insurance to cover medical expenses – just as WE have to when going abroad.
If that soft approach doesn’t work then stronger steps MUST be taken – and a charge might be the answer (particularly for missed appointment)?
WHATEVER, NHS USAGE HAS TO BE BROUGH DOWN TO COPABLE LEVELS.
Other issues need to be tackled as well – the things that are helping to destroy the NHS so cannot continue: one in particular, it doesn’t work when we have our community funded NHS providing free the necessary wide-ranging difficult expensive stuff medically, being dragged down by an expansive private sector, which is simply creaming off the easy money making stuff for profit, can you? NO, so
- Reverse all privatisation within the NHS, which is simply lining it up for widespread takeover by City health sharks
- Regulate the UK’s Private Healthcare services [provided through insurance] to stop it being a parasitic money spinning machine being incapable of providing comprehensive health care and require it to provide fully capable hospitals [as in America and other countries]
- Stop Private Healthcare patients using their insurance cover to jump the NHS waiting lists and stop them dipping in and out of the NHS system, as it suits their personal medical situation – patients should be either NHS or Private, not both.
[In the UK, Private medicine just provides hotel style facilities & food with privileged medical care, while investing nothing in real health services; it filches essential medical staff resources from the NHS; it leaches off the research results obtained by the NHS’ financial investments; its hospital admitted patients needing specialist intervention are immediately dumped back onto the NHS; they only do the easier operations.
It doesn’t train Consultants, Surgeons, Doctors or Nurses; it doesn’t provide ITUs & HDUs; it doesn’t do transplants or brain surgery or the like; it doesn’t fund its own medical research; it doesn’t even always provide all its own facilities – if frequently squats in NHS premises].
[The NHS has been neglected by the uncaring, abused by its users, taken advantage of by the wealthier, been inadequately funded, and driven the loyal NHS staff into the ground – is there still time to save it all?]