Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Are You Proud of the NHS?

It was only relatively recently, at some point during medical school, that I learnt the NHS has only been around for 60 years. I was rather surprised, I had never particularly thought about it but if I had, I would've imagined it being around far longer than that.

In the press, rather than concentrating on the NHS's achievements to celebrate 60 years, much has been made about the future. Is the NHS still viable? Can and will the NHS survive and of course the 10 year NHS plan. I was recently asked if I was proud of the NHS, in reality this is a rather stupid question, after all, it isn't like I had anything to do with setting it up, nevertheless, some of the answers I've seen have been interesting.

I guess the main factor here is probably political affiliation, I suspect most labour voters would say they are proud, and most conservatives would say the opposite, if for no other reason than they are currently the opposition. This position is perhaps compromised if you're somehow involved in the NHS. I would hope that most healthworkers would be proud of the organisation they work for although I recognise that many have reason not to be. In this case, I would hope that they are proud of the idea of the NHS if not its current state.

Personally, as someone who is about to embark on a career in the NHS, I'm not sure where I fit in. I'm certainly proud of the foundations and ideas of the NHS and I find myself vigorously defending it to anyone who isn't. I don't know much about politics, to me, they're all as bad as each other, I don't think it makes a great deal of difference who is in charge. I don't think the Conservatives would necessarily do a better job with the NHS than Labour have, yes things might be different, but will they really be better? The conservatives will win the next election, of that I'm sure, and frankly that doesn't bother me. I have voted labour in the past but am quite willing to see what the conservatives can offer, so much so that I might even vote for them *shudder*.

So am I proud of the NHS? Yes, I am, regardless of what I think about its current state. I think many that aren't have been swayed by the media who tend to focus on the negative aspects after all its scandal that sells papers.

Are you proud?

Happy 60th!
what will you wish for?


missbliss said...

So you're a doctor now what? now you vote conservative? Yuck.

Sue said...

I'm proud of the NHS. It's been nothing but fantastic for me, and I would dread to think what things would have been like if we didn't have it. People complain about waiting times, infection rates etc etc, but at the end of the day if you are sick then the NHS delivers. In the past 18 months I've had 7 admissions, 5 GAs, 3 CTs and an MRI (and never waited more than 4 weeks for the scans) - without the NHS I would be dead.

So yes, I'm proud of the NHS, and I would walk over hot coals for my consultants (all three of them).

You are going to be a fantastic Dr!

Stephen said...

I am proud of the NHS, insomuch as I am proud to live in a country where access to medical care is not restricted to those who can afford it. The NHS has its problems, but I still think it works incredibly well given the demands placed upon it.

Jo said...

I'm very proud of the NHS system we have here in the UK. Yes, it creaks occasionally, yes, people have bad experiences, yes, mistakes get made. However, think of the (hundreds of?) thousands of people who access the NHS in some form or other *every day*. Most of what they get is for free, or heavily subsidised (in the case of prescriptions).

I know that if I got seriously ill, the NHS would be able to look after me. I wouldn't have to worry about whether I needed to pay a hospital bill on top of everything else.

The NHS has cared for three of my grandparents through their final illnesses (stroke (quick - 2 days from diagnosis to death), heart attack (medium - 2 weeks from diagnosis to death, all on life support) and cancer (long - six months from diagnosis to death)) in such a way that we could not fault the help that they, and we as the family, were given.

gemmak said...

Yup...I'm proud, it may not be perfect but it beats the alternatives and personally speaking me and mine have had the most amazing service over recent years. I recently had cause to attend one of the countries leading oncology units and to have that level of expertise available free at the point of delivery is pretty damn funky in my opinion!