Wednesday, 4 June 2008


Unity responded to DK's quite naive post about co-payments with his usual meticulous fisking, and I've commented but I'd like to expand upon my comment (below) a bit:

Excellent post, as ever. Good to know there are medics willing to make a shitload of cash from people’s misery. Some things never change.

And that’s the bottom line, whoever has a problem with co-payment. If any of you have worked in healthcare, you’d probably see the problem more clearly. Imagine you have two patients with similar diagnoses. One is part of the affluent middle-class, one has a more working-class background. Both have paid NI all their lives. Both are informed of these random, maybe-effective drugs that could prolong their lives, but only one can afford the treatment. What do you say to the patient who cannot? ‘Tough shit’?

The NHS is free and equal to all. It's not, but it's supposed to be. The consumerist society we live in mirrors the free market economy model, which implies that you can have what you like if you have enough cash. This should not automatically transfer to the NHS. The National Health Service was designed to be, above all, fair*.

If you can buy add-ons, providing you have the money, then how is that fair? It pisses me right off. And, like the new news that private 'managers' are going to be brought in to improve the efficiency of 'failing' hospitals (that is to say hit more crappy targets), this is one more step to a private health service. It might piss me off, but it's the poor of the country who're going to get pissed on.

Anyway, good day. Started in a bad mood, kept my shape, kept my character, threw down some awesome nursing manoeuvres, and now I'm in a splendid mood. And I'm going out on the piss, which is even more exciting. I'm working my first late tomorrow, possibly hungover, so we'll see how that goes. Quietly, I'll guess.

But now, of course, I have quite likely jinxed it. Woo.

* People will use the term 'equitable', but ignore it. Far too open to interpretation.

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