Happy 65th birthday to our greatest achievement

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
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It is bitterly ironic that on the 65th birthday of the National Health Service, we have in power a government hell-bent on retiring it for good.

I owe everything to Aneurin Bevan’s masterwork. The NHS delivered me, ensured I survived premature birth and numerous early asthma issues, saved my mother from cancer without which I would not be around, then performed my mother’s triple-heart bypass, and did their best to save her from her eventual demise. The John Radcliffe Hospital treated my father for a heart attack, and inserted a stent which allows him to live an active life with free prescription drugs. I only have fond memories of what should be the worst times of my life, because the staff were diligent and kind, though overworked. I couldn’t imagine having to work such long hours surrounded by such suffering, but I imagine it is a calling.

I remember suffering from a bad asthma attack after sleeping in damp conditions at a festival, getting a lift to hospital hardly able to breathe, and being seen promptly at 3 in the morning, put at ease and given a free inhaler for my troubles.

In another country I could lose everything I may have worked for paying for healthcare bills. Long waits in A&E are a small price for affordable healthcare provided by such great professionals. We must also remember the huge strain put on our most cherished institution by government bureaucracy and this Coalition’s ideological agenda of smearing the idea of a fully public NHS through media and funding cuts, despite the lies to the contrary.

If, like me, you cherish the NHS, get involved in the NHS 65th birthday marathons in London and Oxford this weekend, or if, like me, you are in no condition to run a marathon, just support the runners, promote the event or share pictures. Together we built the NHS, together we can save it.



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