Mothers Day is an appropriate time to thank God for the NHS.
Like many who were born before or in the early years of the NHS I was born at home, but happily lived to tell the tale!
|The vast majority of UK babies survive|
It’s a matter of fact that if you’re born in Afghanistan your chances of survival as a newborn are only 85%. Seeing many TV news broadcasts recently you probably won’t be shocked to hear it.
But what may be a surprise is to learn that in the highly developed USA the risk of maternal death at childbirth is 1 in 4,800 whereas in the UK the risk of maternal death is 1 in 8,200 – significantly worse health care in a significantly richer country!
We should be thankful for socialised medicine.
Sometimes that means waiting a bit – in 2005 my wife broke her leg but had to wait in the A&E department as a number of badly injured motor cycle accident victims took priority over her need for attention.
Did she complain?
No. Most of the motorcyclists lived to tell the tale.
This made her inconvenience bearable.
In 1945 William Beveridge declared that “five giants” should be slain during our post-war reconstruction. (want, disease, squalor, ignorance, and idleness).
The NHS was a key part of his vision, but 65 years later it exists in constant fear of break-up and destruction.
The NHS was noble in conception but has been faced on the one hand with ever increasing costs as a result of advances in medical knowledge, medicines and technology, and on the other it suffers from the financial restrictions inevitable in a centrally funded service with changing management dogmas and political beliefs.
Against this background a youthful next door neighbour was taken ill earlier in the week with a perforated appendix, and following an emergency appendectomy didn’t come home till the weekend.
Every problem needs attention, and emergencies quickest of all.
Need is the only sensible criteria when it comes to allocating medical services.