"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Saturday 19 February 2011

Dear Mr Cameron: In Defence of the NHS

Most of this blog was originally the basis of a comment I made on a really interesting piece: Why Cameron’s funding for the NHS will be worse than Thatcher’son the excellent Liberal Conspiracy blog: http://liberalconspiracy.org

Before the groans go up ‘well she would say that wouldn’t she’, please read on:

Dear Mr Cameron

I really cannot let you keep pronouncing about the need for cuts right, left and centre [bit of a pun there but never mind] especially when the NHS is getting dragged into the equation, with added fears of 'back door privatisation'. So as a consumer, customer, taxpayer, voter - really whatever 'label' you want to hang around my neck please spare a few minutes for my thoughts.

This is not about figures, charts and projections. There is always money to be found quickly for a war [witness Iraq invasion] so forget the aching ‘need’ to cut NHS spending to plug the deficit. Just look at some of the facts.

No-one would say that the present system is perfect – but dismantling it is not the answer. We are still the envy of most of the rest of the world – and I say this having lived in a different country and experienced the sheer bureaucracy and inequality of the system there – where the richest got the best drugs and the poorest, well basically suffered… and that was in a country where health care insurance was compulsory but {a} one could ‘decide’ [tongue in cheek there] how much cover one wanted dependent on how much one could afford [that is why my tongue was in my cheek, obviously] and {b} once on that cover the insurance company could not refuse to renew your cover/raise the premiums extortionately once you became too old or ill to be profitable. Nor could it refuse to cover a new arrival into the family if the new baby had an expensive medical problem. Both these things happen with most private medical insurances in the UK.

Sure, there are reforms that should be made in the present system and some of those reforms may save money and some may cost money – swings and roundabouts. Every public and private institution or business needs ongoing checks and balances to ensure efficiency and that modern skills/methodology are maintained. Common sense.

Some hospitals/doctors/nurses/physiotherapists/outpatients departments/etc etc may be better than others – but then some bus services/department stores/hotels/builders/car mechanics/etc etc may be better than others. What we should all be doing is not knocking the NHS but supporting it and discussing ways to improve it. If a hospital is deemed to be 'failing' in one area the reasons why should be thoroughly investigated and then the lessons learnt used across the board in all other hospitals. Perfection, whilst difficult to achieve, should be something strived for but may take a few 'attempts' on the way.

Yesterday we heard that two major London hospitals - one of them a teaching hospital and centre of excellence - are to cut jobs in the government spending cuts. All the government false pre-election promises etc can be read about by clicking on the blog title above or cutting and pasting the following link: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/health-news/2011/02/18/governments-false-nhs-promises-laid-bare-as-1-000-job-losses-announced-115875-22930883/
I really cannot think of a valid reason for this action other than spite on the part of the government.

There is a whole area upon which the government does not seem keen to get too involved - drugs bought by the NHS. Yes we hear that such-and-such a drug is too expensive etc etc. We do not hear so often about the massive profits made by drug companies, many of whom pay their taxes abroad and not in this country where those profits were made. If these profits were examined/and or fairer taxes paid would drugs become cheaper and therfore more available to more patients? Just a thought.
Alternative medicine such as homeopathy, which is a much cheaper alternative, is constantly derided by lobbyists from drug companies - one has to ask why this? The NHS Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, formerly the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, [photograph above - http://www.uclh.nhs.uk/OurServices/OurHospitals/RLHIM/Pages/Home.aspx] has been in existence since 1849. Homeopathy may not suit everyone - but then neither does
all allopathic medicine.

There is also an area which a lot of GPs would like to spend more money but are prevented -[oh dear the puns are coming thick and fast] - that of preventative medicine. Another cheaper alternative but maybe one that would take longer for its results to show - and one which therefore a government would not want to undertake for its 'statistics' sake?

I made a comment in another place that Aneurin Bevan must be weeping in Heaven at what you are trying to do to the NHS, Mr Cameron. I am not sure if he believed in Heaven but he is certainly in my Heaven and we have a duty to see that he is happy there. OK a bit sentimental, so if you like it better, Nye loved a drink so lets drink to the NHS! You said the NHS was safe with you, Mr C - but please remember the words of Nye when he started the NHS: "We now have the moral leadership of the world".

Yours Dispairingly, Elizannie

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