No really? What has the NHS ever done for you?
I mean, let’s start with your birth, I suspect your mother had access to a GP, maybe midwife. You were likely born in a hospital and even if you weren’t I would guess that a medical professional was at the birth.
Then you were likely immunised
You might have had illnesses treated by a GP, you probably needed a prescription which was collected from the chemist.
If you were anything like me, or my children, you might have fallen off your bike, or down the stairs or any number of other incidents that would have required a trip to hospital. You would have spoken to a receptionist, nurse, Dr, possibly a consultant. If the injury was bad maybe even a surgeon and anaesthetist.
But…what has the NHS ever done for you?
The NHS is 70 years old. 70! It didn’t even exist when my mum was born. I cannot imagine life without it, in fact there is a chance I would be dead. Now there’s a thought.
I have Crohn’s (you can read my posts on living with Crohn’s here) which means I spend a LOT of time in and out of the GP practice, and hospital. I know a lot of the staff at the hospital by name. I spent almost a month in hospital following one operation. The cleaners would come in for a quick chat, The nurses would perch on my bed and bring me cake on their birthday! In fact on day the man that made the tea saw I was upset and just popped a cup of tea in front of me and smiled – that act of kindness has stuck with me over the years. These people keep the NHS running and patients sane.
I have infusions every 8 weeks that cost £1500 PER INFUSION. Do you think I could afford the insurance to cover them and the 9 operations not to mention the tests, scans and routine appointments I’ve had over the years? No, I could not.
I truly believe that every person is entitled to the same level of medical treatment
No matter their age, medical condition (such as diabetes) or how much they have paid into the system. My partner (who, incidentally, is French) pays his National Insurance and has visited the GP a total of 4 times in the 10 years I’ve known him, but then there is me I’ve had more than my fair share from the NHS. Then, of course, there are our children.
Both my sons spent time in SCBU after their births (which you can read about here and here). Their treatment was fantastic, the staff were amazing. The lengths they go to to comfort parents, making cards with footprints on, the encouragement to help with feeds and changes and bathing, even when your baby is covered in wires.
I can honestly say, out of the time I have spent in hospitals and GP practices, the staff work tirelessly. Often for little reward (you can hardly accuse nurses of over being overpaid!) and a shed-load of abuse. Yes, you are entitled to medical care, but they are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.
The NHS is in danger
Not because it is failing, or flawed but it is being failed by the people we pay to look after it. Don’t blame the NHS, we have something that, as a nation, we should be proud of but it could be lost if we don’t take care.