This is not a fun blog post, by no-ones standards, unless you hate me and enjoy schadenfreude. It’s a blog post I just want to write, and writing it has made me feel better, and maybe me sharing these things will help you lot as well.
I am genuinely scared of the NHS bill being voted through. I usually try to remain apolitical, simply because I know that I know nothing, and the very few opinions I have are nieve and idealistic. However, reading about the NHS bill from various people on twitter, most notably Ben Goldacre and David Colquhoun, has changed that. The sheer number of doctors opposing the bill that purports to give them more power is staggering. I had assumed that, despite the jokes, politicians weren’t inherently evil, corrupt or stupid. But this Bill is all of that. Evil because it will deal, perhaps irreversible damage to overall healthcare. Corrupt because of how many links with private healthcare companies there seem to be. And stupid simply because it ultimately affects everyone. An MP should never, and hopefully will never, be forgiven for voting to kill off the NHS.
Many years ago, I went to a mining museum. There was a talk by an ex miner, and a lot of the details escape me, but he did tell us a story. His father or grandfather was working in the mines, and got horribly injured. They couldn’t afford or get medical care, so he died in their home as they tried to save his life. Now I realise this was many years ago, and I hope it couldn’t, or wouldn’t happen in the future. But the last words of his story stick with me: “Protect the NHS kids.”
For a long time I had assumed the NHS wouldn’t need defending. For much of my youth I didn’t realise the UK was rare, nearly unique, in having a health service like this. I’m scared of losing it. I would urge everyone to have a look at this and take its advice to email your MP. Follow up on the information if you need to, there is more here. Even I emailed my MP, breaking my vow of apathy, cynicism and laziness with regards to politics. I hope everyone shouts. I hope that MPs listen. And I hope that the NHS is safe.