“I am going to walk for the 999 Call for the NHS and I am going all the way.
The answer to the obvious question of why is simple: because I want to and I need to. I am not happy with the way things are in the NHS: Midstaffs scandal and the recent treatment of whistle-blowers, for example, are a manifestation of the deeper underlying problems of pursuit of ideology despite mounting evidence to the contrary, abuse of power, and loss of direction and accountability, and are an affront to our values of dignity, respect and fairness.
When coupled with the Health and Social Care Act, the PFI initiative and obsessive introductions of markets (just to make it clear I am not totally against markets/choice) it seems to me that the NHS I chose (I am originally from India and came here because of the fundamental principles of universal, free at point of need health care) may not be there for much longer, unless we act. I am not making any political points because in my experience since Thatcher introduced ‘Internal Markets’ in the late 1980s, the direction of travel has been maintained and recently accelerated. In fact, political parties so far have tended to abuse the NHS when in power and use it in opposition. We need to put a stop to it- for our sake and the sake of future generations.
Just when the NHS is seen as the best health system in the developed world we seem hell bent to destroy it – why?
Remember that saying attributed to Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. And to use another one: “If not now, then when; and if not you, then who?” We need to rise to the challenge and do whatever we can to save this cherished institution. Whether it will make a difference is not the issue for me. I do not need to be reminded that millions marched against Iraq War but Tony Blair forced it through. That only confirms that people get the governments they deserve, and to quote Churchill: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”.
Leading up to 2015 elections we have an opportunity to create a new form of governance (if not government) and force a cross-party unified approach to the NHS (and not the political football); no future government should be allowed to renege on their promises – remember there will be no top down reorganisation of the NHS!
If these Darlington mums can do it, why not us. Come on, it is good for the NHS, the soul, and the body – all that exercise!”
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