Yes. I’m going there.
Let me start by saying I have the utmost respect for our nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Without them I would probably be locked away in a padded cell somewhere in the Hebrides.
But the NHS is broken. It is. It’s broken. Like a bag of broken biscuits.
And that’s because the people on the front line are not getting the money they need to do the job they need to do.
It’s that simple.
Except… it isn’t that simple.
I’ve never been that bothered about politics in the past. I’ve always thought of myself as a liberal (note the small ‘l’). Like many, I’ve taken for granted that I can be treated for anything from a nasty cut to chronic illness without having to worry about the cost.
But when I see what is happening to me, to my friends, those with and without MS, I get really upset. Ranty, angry out-of-all-proportion upset. A friend’s child who has already been treated, is in The System, has had a procedure that didn’t work, now has to wait three months to be seen again.
He needs to be seen now so that he can be fixed and his development doesn’t suffer any more than it already has. His mum is having to fight to get him seen sooner. And it is a fight. She feels like she’s constantly being battered.
I recently paid to see a physio privately. It was £35 for half an hour. It meant a real juggle in the weekly budget (many tins of beans were purchased and no wine passed the threshold of our abode). But I was seen within a day and had intensive treatment that has really helped the sciatica. I would have had to wait six weeks before I would have seen by a physio in our local Trust. In that time more damage may have been done and I wouldn’t have known which exercises were best to help the problem. Yes there is a wealth of information on the internet, but I needed to be TREATED.
I voted Labour this time, purely based on the NHS. I believe in it. I have no idea whether the sums would work, it’s not my job to work that out. I want to see everyone being treated without having to pay at the point of service. And that’s an important thing to remember. It’s not ‘free’. We pay for the service in our taxes and National Insurance contributions. I’d even be happy to contribute a little more in taxes to get money into the system where it’s desperately needed.
As for privatisation…when I was first diagnosed I was examined by a lovely Consultant. He sent me off for a scan very quickly, I was in an MRI contraption within a week of meeting him. The hospital I went to was quite swish. It was called The Spire…
A few weeks later I got a whopping bill for the scan.
The lovely consultant had got me mixed up with a private patient and being uneducated in all things private health care wise, I had no idea The Spire was not NHS (yeah, I know)…
Needless to say I didn’t pay it. But it did highlight the difference that once you pay you are seen very quickly, which sounds like I’m making a case for privatisation. And part of me thinks, if it speeds up the time anyone is on a waiting list, I’m in…just make it work for everyone.
What we desperately need is someone in control of the purse strings who actually CARES. Someone who cares about mental health issues as much as chronic illness. Someone who cares about support for people with Autism as much as they do about people with dementia.
Someone who is willing to fight to the death to ensure no matter what your background or financial status, you can live your life to its fullest.
Someone who actually does something.
I know… I’m an idealist… but I live in hope.