Tag Archives: Lent

Giving thanks for the NHS

Yesterday’s Count Your Blessings text was this: “Tax dodging by some unscrupulous companies means developing countries lose more money annually than they receive in aid. Give 50p if you have benefited from a tax-funded service in the last year.”

I’ve had cause in the last couple of weeks to use the NHS rather more than I would have liked (and have the bruises to prove it, thanks particularly to the student vampire who was lovely but probably needs a wee bit more practice at taking bloods!). As well as this, from my lofty view in devolved Scotland, I have been watching with horror the debate about the proposed NHS Bill for England and Wales, and as well as giving thanks for the services I received myself I have to selfishly give thanks that health matters in Scotland are devolved so, both as a punter and as a worker, I don’t have to deal directly with the fallout of Andrew Lansley’s proposals. But even though I don’t, my family and friends down south will have to deal with the realities of a health service privatised to within an inch of its life, and that scares me. When you have the Royal College of GPs (the very GPs who are supposed to take on a lucrative commissioning role under the new proposals and so who would be set to benefit from supporting the bill) vehemently against the bill as they think it is utterly detrimental to patient wellbeing, as well as a number of other influential representative bodies (you can see a summary diagram here, and a handy diagram from Ben Goldacre summarising the groups invited to the government’s summit on the NHS reforms earlier this week here), the continued insistence of the UK government on pushing through the bill seems crazy. I am really scared that the NHS which, for all its faults, is one of the things this country can rightly be most proud of, is about to be summarily destroyed in England and Wales.

I know I’m sounding melodramatic, but I want to give thanks for the NHS while it’s still there. 🙁