To treat or not to treat, -The NHS Quandary


In 1948 a brilliant new national health scheme or service was inaugurated by the then Health secretary Aneurin Bevan .  Now in 2013, moves are afoot to prioritize health acre services to area of elderly service users, so that:-

“the most vulnerable of our members, i.e the elderly,  within our society can the receive the best care in accordance with their geographical population density”, or as others more critically  term it ” A sheme through which health services are moved from poor areas to richer areas”

Call it what you will, blame who you will, can it not be summed up in one word, i.e rationing ? Who’s to blame though? Are we in a mess, how did we get into this mess, if it is indeed so,  and if we are enmeshed within such a problem, is there any hope of a cure?

When the NHS began was a noble scheme with an underlying principle of a health service being be available to all,  and to be financed entirely from taxation, which meant that people paid into it according to their means. Nothing, so it seemed could possibly go wrong, so why is the service so maligned by so many of it’s users and continually being tinkered with by those who themselves are meant to serve us; i.e the government of the day?

Rather than the NHS being a badly managed and inefficiently run organisation, might it not be a remarkable survivor, a living relic from a time of much greater simplicity? Might it also not be an organisation which, despite every best effort, is unsustainable, and if unsustainable will inevitably come to an end

Such thoughts are sobering, but if we truly wish to have a national health service, isn’t it time to remove the rose tinted spectacles from in front of our eyes? We blame everyone but ourselves for the current situation, but, through our ever increasing demand for complex treatment, are we not at least partially to blame. There is a choice facing all of us as we look into the future, a stark and unpleasant choice yet one which will have to faced by all. Do we carry on daydreaming and expect “someone else” to deal with the mess that, very often, we have created, or do we face up to reality, and learn, as other generations have done before us, and accept that, however unpleasant, we must all eventually die.

Sorry about the “d” word, but how can we overload and under fund a service through our unreal expectations of service, and then expect it to survive. Might the truth niot be that we simply cannot have the service we all crave for. We cannot have a transplant whenever we feel like it, ;we cannot destroy our bodies, then expect a a cure all treatment; and we cannot cheat nature just because we want to dream,

I do not have the all, if any, of the answers that I have posed within this short entry, but at least I have the courage of my convictions to stand above the parapet, to be shot at, and be seen. So what do you think, as a service user, of the NHS. Do you think it has future, am I, and others like me just scare mongering, or is there a dark and very painful reality check just  ready and waiting to bring us to our knees.

Just a thought, that’s all this is, just a thought from someone who, over 25 years ago,  has worked within the health service. We did our best for all our patients, just as others do so to this day, but I, like so many others, also have the discomforting knowledge that some patients were, and are , quite literally, sent home to die! This is Britain folks, Britain in the 21st century, and it is my firm opinion that  we cannot stay as we are.

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Categories: Growing pains

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