A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Friday, August 14, 2009

The sainted NHS - Woe betide the gainsayers!

It is never a good idea to speak the truth about the NHS. If you do you get pilloried. By the supermarionated Andy Burnham, who looks like he's just had an NHS facelift. Or by the morally accurate compass maker, who doubles up as our prime minister. And now David Cameron has weighed in to criticise Daniel Hannan, who Cameron describes as an eccentric. He who won't have a word said against the outfit.

The trouble with the NHS is that it was a con from the start. Aneurin Bevan decided the people were too stupid to follow the real politics so he duped the country by inventing National Insurance. Nothing whatsoever to do with insurance. Slush funding at its best. Right from the start people thought they were paying into something and that "claiming" would be easy. It has always been underfunded. Only Keith Joseph spoke up and suggested a proper funding portfolio, but he was dismissed for his pains. Pity!

I have had first hand experience of the NHS recently. As with most British institutions it is good in parts. If you get a good bit, you'll probably praise it to the rooftops. I take a realistic approach, I think. It is staffed in the main by well-meaning, mostly caring people who can get a tad pissed off with a day's work. Some of the patients leave you wondering about your fellow human beings.
On one stay I had my first evening meal sitting up in bed with my trousers round my knees, soaking wet from urine, with a newly fitted catheter. Nobody had been able to attend to me. You see, time is not always of the essence. Before I got my meal, I was severely reprimanded for being past the five o'clock scoffing time. 6.30 was when the puddings had stiffened. I had asked for my meal at nearly 7!

In an NHS hospital you are more likely to contract a new disease than ever get one on the outside. Added to that, you get all kinds of nocturnal happenings. One of my co-patients used the washbasin by my bed as a urinal at 2.30 in the morning. Now I never asked for such added attractions during my stay. It just happened. Also, visiting time is a joy, especially when grumpy relatives ask you to join in to discuss their loved ones' problems!

Daniel Hannan is in hot water for daring to suggest that there may be an alternative way. David Cameron is said to be beside himself with a mixture of embarrassment and outrage that a Conservative could think in such a way. I'd like to know if David Cameron would care to eat a meal with urine-soaked trousers about his knees. Maybe that's just the price we have to pay for not putting our heads above the parapet?

The Conservatives would do better if they just got a grip of the truth. The truth being that the NHS system is overloaded and overworked. That it doesn't always run smoothly with sweet smiling nurses and a grade A service. I don't want an American system where the doctors are mainly driven by money. In the USA unnecessary surgery is conducted so that $10,000 can be pocketed instead of $1,000. The US system is great for the fully-insured when they are not sick.

Both countries have the potential for great health services, properly funded with everyone catered for. If the politicians got their faces away from the mirrors, stopped listening to vested interests and just admitted that things need to change, we will succeed in getting proper health provision. Otherwise it's the same old rubbish for the next generation.


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