I have always been proud for working in the NHS because we treat all people regardless of their background. Everybody is given the same access to health care whether they are of the upper or lower strata of society. Health is being treated as an unalienable right of everyone. This makes it very heartbreaking that this current government seems hell-bent in destroying an institution that benefits the majority and not the privilege few.
Budget cuts? Sure let’s slash the NHS budget despite the fact that we have a population that is older and frailer. Medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds that we are managing to save more lives hence people are living longer and requiring more interventions, treatment, and help when they go home.
There is shortage of homegrown nurses so hospitals look abroad to get much-needed help to plug the ever-present hole in the bucket of staffing. The government’s answer? Let’s impose a law that will allow the government to send home any foreign worker (non-EU) back to the country of origin. Errr…band 5 nurses do not earn that amount unless they all progress to band 6. Sad to say, not everybody progresses onto band 6 posts as these posts are very limited. Does the government propose that we keep retraining staff? This does not save money nor maintain safety of the patients.
There is a shortage of medical staff on the floors… The government’s response? Propose new contracts for the junior doctors that would mean that these hard-working colleagues of ours will lose out on money. Yeah, this will ensure that these already over-worked doctors will stay in the country and carry on caring for our aging population!- Not!
I now ponder why all these changes are happening in the NHS. In my 15 years working for the NHS, I can say with certainty that the NHS, ergo the safety of the patients are maintained by the dedication and commitment of the nurses and doctors who always go beyond the extra mile. It is very rare for nurses and doctors to go home on time. I even feel guilty when I go home 1 hour after my official time because I always think I could or should do more.
Is it because that those in power right now do not avail of the NHS? Is it because they will never feel the effect of their decisions because they and theirs go to private hospitals?Is it because they do not know what it is like to be one of the common tao? Or is it because they want to abolish the NHS and privatize health care? Why keep attacking the professions that care for the majority? Is health really not important to this government that they are willing to compromise it?Is the health sector really the logical area to slash budget on?
Unfortunately, the majority of the voters placed these people in power. 66.1% of the voting population turned out for the election this year. So I now pose this question to the 33.9% of the voting population – would your vote have mattered now?
Sorry for my ramblings but I have one uneasy mind right now.