Last autumn I shard the story of Livia, someone I know very well. Livia was unexpectedly unwell – she thought it might have been her medication (free) needed adjusting, in fact she had an undiagnosed stomach ulcer. She was admitted immediately to hospital where she had a whole range of tests (all free) and procedures including an endoscopy (free). She was kept in hospital for three days and nights (free) with three meals a day and as many cups of tea/coffee/squash as she could drink, she received three units of blood (free – given by wonderful donors who receive nothing but a cup of tea and a biscuit – oh and a badge if you donate a certain number of pints) other fluids and medication (free) plus the marvellous care of specialists, doctors, nurses, tea-people, cleaners etc.
So an update on Livia – she had two follow-up visits to her normal doctor, plus the medication prescribed for her ulcer (free) a follow-up endoscopy, two blood tests (yes all free) and while she was in the doctor’s surgery she was given a free flu jab. Since then all has been well on the stomach ulcer which has healed itself; she’s had another check-up with the doctor, and continues with the medication (all free)
Recently she visited the doctor on a completely unrelated matter and this is what she received:
- blood test
- ultrasound scan
… and then she visited the hospital for her routine three yearly mammogram.
Some people who live in countries where they have to pay for their healthcare might say ‘ah yes, but you do play for your healthcare, you pay through your taxes!’ Well, Livia would reply, and so would I, well, yes, indeed we do; but our taxes are graduated according to how much we earn – those people who are struggling and have difficulties, pay much less, and sometimes nothing and sometimes they are given extra help.
Some people might say that this isn’t fair because they themselves are extremely healthy individuals and never see their doctor or go to hospital or have any prescriptions or medication. Yes, again this is true. But many people you rely on do receive it. When you were born, if it was after 1948 your mother and you would have been looked after, your childhood inoculations and vaccinations would have protected you from diseases; and now, now as you sit in your ivory tower people who support you – the dentists, the police, the fire service, ambulance people, dustbin men, teachers – oh the endless list, those people are enjoying the befits of it. We are all enjoying the benefits of it – and so are you indirectly. That’s what I would say.
I would also say that our National Health Service is under pressure as it rarely has been before; lack of funds, cuts and more people needing its help because we have more treatments for things which previously people would just have to live with and suffer, more expensive treatments, and an ageing population… oh and lots more.
Hurrah for the NHS and all the people who work within it, Hurrah and
Here is a link to Livia’s story: