Friday, 14 August 2009

The National Health Service’s new clothes

I’ve been rather irritated by the current disinformation campaign of the Republican Party in response to Barack Obama’s health plans. As far as I’m aware there are no plans to create a National Health Service, so holding up the UK as an example of what can go wrong is highly suspect.

Three monkeys. See, hear and speak no evil
I’m equally bemused by the response of most politicians in the UK who’ve rushed to the defence of the NHS; fighting to proclaim their love is true, that their love will last. Love is blind. It won’t be long before one, probably over-compensating Conservative, starts singing to the tune of all nurses are angels and all doctors are God. Absolute drivel – though I’ll admit to having met a few doctors who acted as if they were God. I'm presuming those wearing the rose-tinted spectacles have never had to wait a year (sometimes more) for treatment, or been misdiagnosed with Parkinson's disease and only after TEN years had the treatment corrected; this happened to my mother. Nor have they been victims of the 'postcode lottery' of NHS treatment after moving 20 miles, and in the process happening to move from one health trust that would fund treatment to one health trust that wouldn't; this happened to my wife.

The NHS is a glorious principle in which I whole-heartedly believe, but those holding it up as a paragon of virtue are about as useful as 'death panel' comments from Sarah Palin, or the idiot Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan describing the NHS as a 'sixty year mistake'. Slightly sinister, though hardly unexpected, is the response of Health Secretary Andy Burnham who described Mr Hannan's comments as unpatriotic. Do my comments make me unpatriotic too?


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