Monday, 11 March 2013

No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid*

Ironic. As mentioned in my last post I was going to interview my dad to use his reminiscences as a source for one of my classes. One that I had heard before was of  him going to a meeting as a teenager shortly after the war to hear Aneurin Bevan speak on the creation of the health service - a defining moment which persuaded him to join the Labour Party. 

I was going to brave the icy weather and ride down to Kent when I got a call from his carer to come early because he had been taken into hospital. Fortunately he was able to be discharged the same day. But whilst spending a fairly harrowing day in the very same AndE department from which my mum was admitted and never returned, we had an announcement advising us that waiting times were three hours and that anyone waiting to be seen should go to another hospital ten miles away, or to see their GP. 

And next week I will be on a march next Saturday  to protest the cuts at the Whittington Hospital - roughly a life time on and from my dad going to that meeting ...

* These words from Aneurin Bevan's 'In Place of Fear'

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

I sympathise with your dad's position and feel strongly about the state of the NHS. I believe we all should consider more than protests against cuts and closures but address wider issues concerning the structure of health care, finding a way to assert the authority of patients and recipients of health care. I am still connected to a major university hospital and engaged in inquiries, and it upsets me to see the left simply opposing cuts rather than investigating the entire thing. I go to conferences on health care and for years the public and private sectors have been singing from the same management sheet, where the central role of health economists is recognised, cost benefit models replace ethical principles, and the scarcity assumption is never questioned in so called ethical debate. The left in the UK appear to know it all and are unwilling to criticise the 'envy of the world', but I can contribute, from years of experience here, to support attempts to prevent Obama installing something appalling in the US.