‘KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC’ - A slogan I see in nearby house windows. Too late. It needs editing to, ‘KEEP WHAT’S LEFT OF OUR NHS PUBLIC’. Yes, it’s disappearing with a mixture of galloping privatisation and government cuts.
Minor injuries units are mostly closed. Diabetic units have been closed in some areas. 54% of sexual health units have closed. GP appointments are by phone only. Over 15 million are on waiting lists for tests and treatment.
A quarter of patients, following an urgent GP referral, wait over two months for their first cancer treatment. If your cancer referral is from a screening programme, 87% are now left waiting over two months for treatment.
38,000 heart operations have been postponed. And no, it’s not all to do with Covid-19, as the 18-week target has been missed for four years by an NHS weakened by a decade of cuts.
A hospital chief executive told Polly Toynbee of The Guardian they used to have 4 people waiting for a year for diagnostics and treatment. Now it’s 1,200. The Nuffield Trust records 48% of people who require treatment waiting beyond the 18-week limit, the worst since records began.
We are talking of patients who are in the higher risk groups at risk from Coronavirus so they face a double threat. In addition no foreign staff are arriving, and the Home Office is delaying visas for overseas doctors already here and waiting to work.
Never mind this may be a threat to many of us, but it is a life-saver for SERCO and the privatising wolves slathering at the hospital doors. As an NHS patient whose life was saved twice by ‘foreign’ surgeons and nurses I recently received this unsolicited email from a private health insurance company - “Have you ever thought to yourself if you were to get ill or injured, would you want to avoid a waiting list of 3-6 months for NHS treatment.” No, but I have thought I, hope Hell is too hot for whoever is responsible for writing this and that you get taken there in a Serco prison van.