A week or so ago a friend of my wife’s angrily posted on her Facebook page how long she’d had to queue in the A&E waiting room when she took her son for accident treatment.
Since the Tories got in power, your stay in A&E
waiting rooms in the NHS has got much longer
She was more fortunate than some, who have had to wait in the back of the ambulance that had brought them to hospital.
The ballooning “waiting” statistics paint a vivid picture in the adjacent graph, and suggest that this problem in the NHS is not systemic, but rather a matter of how inadequate our national treasure’s budget is given the increasing demands on it.
Is it a coincidence that these awful stats worsened significantly when David Cameron became Prime Minister?
As I get older more things are going wrong with my body and I see at close quarters the lengthening queues facing those who can’t afford to go to private medicine for treatment. My wife has a hip problem, and she recently saw a consultant in a local private hospital for advice, as part of a scheme whereby of NHS hospitals are booked up’ patients can opt to be seen in a private hospital.
She asked the consultant in passing for advice on a related joint problem.
The consultant looked over his expensive spectacles and admonished her for wanting two diagnoses for the price of one! Not even the aroma of fresh coffee and coordinated decor made up for this cutting denial of the hippocratic oath.
The kind of health service David Cameron wants the NHS to evolve into could be seen in the response of this consultant! Someone who knew the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.
Now look at the USA, a country where the freedom of the individual is pre-eminent, and where the queues in hospital waiting rooms are undoubtedly shorter than they are in the UK, since many people can’t afford medical help.
But when you learn that of the one million babies who die on the day they are born worldwide, 11,000 are from the US, more than any other industrialized country, the benefits of short queues, or of the delicious coffee given to you in the waiting room are put into perspective (see http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/30/17988462-more-us-babies-die-on-their-first-day-than-in-68-other-countries-report-shows?lite for more detail).
Our health should not be allowed to become a product that can be bought and sold.
This demeans us as a society.
The US example on newborns is a bad dream waiting to be be re-lived in the UK if we do not cherish the NHS.
Unfortunately we can’t trust David Cameron to cherish the NHS.