The #welovethenhs twitter hashtag was startedÂ to help defend the National Health Service fromÂ attacks that are being launched on it by some of the opposition in the USA. President Obama has made health care reform a hot topic in the states by trying to approach the subject of re-balancing the inequalities they have there, mainly aÂ health care system which penalises the most needy and rewards the most privileged.
Personally, I have many reasons to moan about the NHS, but I also have many reasons that make me thankful for them, So when people start debating their own flawed medical systems by jumping all over our established system they have, in all likeliness, no first hand experience ofÂ so cannot put forward a balanced debate, then I feel compelled to defend.
In the US without decent health insurance (and in some cases withÂ it) if I were in an accident or if I, or TBK fell ill. I would have to choose my/his/our treatment based on what I could afford, not on what would be best for us. At least with the NHS our options are sorted, I wouldn’t have to choose between paying for mine or TBK health care if I couldn’t afford both. I don’t have to worry about any unforeseen accidents or illnesses,Â I know that if and when we fall ill or accidentsÂ happen we would be dealt with in a fair, non for profit system.
NowÂ I know the NHS isn’t perfect, the waiting listÂ for basic medical care (I’m thinking about my 6 months wait for physiotherapy here) for example is atrocious, I know it has boundaries, we’ve read enough negative headlines about post code lotteries and NICE withholding medicines because of costs to know it’s not perfect but it’s what we have and in my opinion it’s a whole lot better than the alternatives.
For every 2 or 3 horror stories you hear there are 2 – 3 HUNDRED maybe THOUSAND successes. It was NHS surgeons who operated on both my mother and grandmother who without surgery would have both succumbed to different forms of cancer long ago.Â When I was younger and had to have operations to correct my sight, it was NHS surgeons who treated me and made sure that I can see well enough to be sitting here writing this blog today and when I was in labour with TBK and he was lying the wrong way around, stuck and going nowhere fast it was the NHS midwives and doctors who helped me deliver him with not a second glance towards my paperwork to check which painkillers my policies covered.
The US is a deeply divided nation on health as in many other policy areas â€“ it is simultaneously home to some of the planetâ€™s best hospitals, the best research in medical advances and the best healthcare practioners â€“ and also home to some of the worst poverty and barriers to healthcare, the worst developed-world child mortality rates.
I know people personally who will argue back at me that our system is flawed, and from their experience they think the whole system needs to be altered, but to them I say this;
Fall down the stairs, be hit by a car, suffer a brain hemorrhage, develop cancer, suffer from MS, ME, asthma, eczema, give birth, twist your ankle, be the wealthiest or the neediest person in the UK, it doesn’t matter because when you need it the NHS will be there. You will be treated the same as the next person regardless of your economic standing, and you will be treated for free, So UK doubters and the US critics, give the NHS a break no system is perfect and where ever there is something to be paid for there will be restrictions but if it wasn’t for the NHS andÂ what they do, I along with countless others wouldn’t be here today.