Breaking the System

I’ve been in hospital again. Less involved than last time, but another reduction in mobility that sees me off work for a short while, and reduced mobility for a while. I’m grumpy too, because I can’t get out to the pub, and that dancing program is on.

What I’m going to whinge about this time is the running of the NHS at the moment, no, in fact, the systematic disassembly of the NHS by the current government.

Something happened that I’m fundamentally opposed to. Not opposed enough to refuse treatment, obviously, but something that sticks with me.

I was treated in a very nice Spire private hospital, just up the road in La-di-dah Little Aston. I hadn’t suddenly discovered untold riches, and got private insurance that would actually cover my fucked-up body, or tested the limit on my credit card by paying for it myself- the NHS paid. Very nice it was too, pleasant, seemingly unstressed staff, a comfortable private room, decent food after the op. Free parking for my other half to collect me (though there’s a question over if that’s a good thing or not at a large site).

This annoys me in two ways:

Firstly, I would imagine that Spire made some cash out of NHS budgets.

Secondly, NHS hospitals could be more like this. Where it really counts. When I was last in, and the time before, my care was great. Staff were really good, but stressed, and overworked. I didn’t get that feeling in Little Aston- when I was in a bed that I’d bled over, it was changed with little fuss in about 10 minutes flat, simply because the staff had time to do it.

Despite what many would have you believe there’s no reason why the NHS couldn’t be like this. Much of the stuff we’re told about our “failing NHS” is manufactured, precisely to allow the privatisation-by-stealth I’ve played a reluctant part in, and it’s just plain fucking wrong.

If we didn’t have an NHS, I would not be here today. The circumstances of my birth not far off (not far enough!) 50 years ago meant that without the NHS I’d have died, simple as that: my family were not wealthy (not that poor, but not wealthy). I have family and friends who have been saved more recently than that. These same people would, like me, be told to go and fuck off by private health insurance.

Let’s not split hairs here: the objective here is to make money for the rich, and price anyone who isn’t rich out. Stop funding it properly, farm bits out to the private sector (because they’re always more efficient, huh?), preparing the ground to privatise the whole fucking lot. After all, it worked a fucking treat with the railways, buses, and energy, didn’t it- they’re all perfect examples of a well-run private-enterprise system working cohesively and efficiently for everyone’s benefit. The increased competition keeps prices down and efficiency up so well, and there’s no cases whatsoever of near-monopoly funded by the taxpayer to line the pockets of wealthy fucking twats.

If you think you’ll be fine because you’re healthy, you’re young, or you have a good job, take a good hard think: Life can have a good go at fucking all that up and showing you up to be a fool. If you have a hint of a prior health problem, the insurance companies will be off into the sunset before you know it. If you become ill, and lose that job, you’ll be unable to pay the premiums anyway.

Our NHS is one of the genius strokes of government policy (a decidedly rare thing), and we’re allowing it to be wrecked.

I do have a fairly decent job. I pay a reasonably large amount of income tax each month. You know what? I’ll willingly pay more if that is what it takes to fund the NHS properly, and if you don’t agree, you’re a fucking short-sighted idiot.

One Response to “Breaking the System”

  1. Willenhall Lad Says:

    I agree. My Dad has recently been in hospital for a far worse operation and was looked after royally by the NHS staff but on;y after a few glitches such as letting him sit in his own blood for a day and then the ward Sister wanted by 79 year old ex-nursing auxiliary to wash my Dad’s butt – you know my Mom and you know probably what you said.

    The other thing that bothered me was that they made him drink so much water it washed the essential sodium out of his body and he collapsed in their arms – a big wake up call for them and hence the right treatment later. But it needed that jolt to wake the buggers up.

    The 6 bed ward he was on was a really fast turn around day recovery ward and in his 8 day stay he saw 18 other patients transfer through so you can judge for yourself how hard the staff involved in doing the surgery were pressed, from A & E patients to cancer ops and so on.

    What I admired was that the staff were at full tilt all the time. hats off to them.

    But I have to agree with you. The NHS shouldn’t be privatised or exploited by Business either. The trouble with politics is that it attracts people who think they can solve problems – without any experience of what they are trying to fix. But having said that, management of resources is different from fixing people and I don’t think medics should get involved in stuff outside of their areas. I’ve seen doctors phoning round for beds and other services when that would be best handed off to a resource manager and let the doctor treat the next A & E patient. When you need treatment, you need the doctor dealing with you, not on the phone trying to find you a bedpan.