A British Dignitas
There would appear to be such an aggressive approach to end of life “care” from the NHS one could say that rather than flying all the way from to Switzerland where the official assisted dying organisation Dignitas is based is now unnecessary.
The recent story of 104 year old Dr David Goodall is one where he could have saved £10,000 and gone to any NHS hospital rather than going to Switzerland from Australia. Our National Death Service would no doubt have sorted him out in just a few days via nil by mouth and morphine / opiates.
So it would appear that faced with ballooning costs and a massive growth in population, especially of the elderly, they are in the firing line in terms of being the route to saving or at least attempting to control the budget.
The suggestion here is that if you are more than a certain age, and cannot envisage a quick and successful procedure in hospital, it might be better to simply let nature take its course – or go private. Even with the private route medical insurance companies are echoing the strategy of the NHS. You may increasingly find that your insurance company will refuse to pay out just when you most need it.
Whatever the case, it may be worth keeping in mind the words of The Who song, “Hope I die before I get old.” That said, if you do not die, we do have a beloved national institution who can help out.
Do Not Resuscitate
It would appear that the NHS at 70 is itself suffering all the ignominy that many of its elderly patients of this age and above. It is to combine a couple of cliché, getting a taste of its own medicine after having bitten off more than it can chew as a concept.
To address this, a stealth policy of ever diminishing care and treatment has crept in over the past decade. This sad state of affairs which one could call NHS Lite has gained momentum due to the desperate need to curb spending and meet insatiable demand. In fact, as time as has gone by the stealth policy has just become blatant.
The Magic Health Tree
In an ironic twist many of those born before the NHS was founded in 1948. Even from before the start it was doomed. How can a concept with an unlimited liability and limited resources ever work in the long term?
We are now met with stunning and grim consequences of the fatal flaw in the NHS from the time we turn up at A&E: Do not resuscitate, withheld treatment and involuntary Euthanasia, the latter of which amounts to a free Dignitas service via the drug of choice, Morphine.
Relatives of the elderly now have to justify why their loved ones should be allowed to be admitted to hospital, treated, and why they should not receive life shortening drugs such as opiates in order to speed up the process.
Indeed, it could be said there was nothing wrong with the syringes or any individual Doctor at Gosport. It was simply the policy we have in place now – the accelerated demise of chronically ill (and very often not so ill) old people in order to streamline budgets.
First Class Cost / Second Rate Service
The NHS offers us and continues to offer us second rate service at a first class cost – something which is echoed in other bloated semi Government organisations such as the BBC, and most utilities, infrastructure and transport. HR, regulations and over management has weighed them all down.
In fact, anyone waiting in a corridor with their sick or injured loved one in a queue of trolley beds might think they have been placed in a time warp in the Blitz rather than well into the 21st century. So perhaps a third rate service?
This institution is a cross between a white elephant and a sacred cow, manned by unnecessary fat cats whose salaries could be used to pay for more Doctors and Nurses. But then what would be the point of that? There is no performance criteria for the NHS, it is just a factory line.
Unfortunately, the NHS is a concept which is so engrained in the British psyche that whatever the failings, the scandals and the cost, we keep doubling down on the error of decades. No one can bear to admit that this particular emperor has been naked for at least two decades and is in terminal decline. Indeed, the stigma is so great this negative article on the NHS – however many punches it may or may not land, is likely to be buried: sarcasm intended.
First World Health?
But whether it is Gosport, Charlie Gard, contaminated blood, breast cancer screening, or perhaps most critical of all, the woeful relative performance of the NHS versus other First World health systems, successive UK Governments can never question the concept.
A Free For All
And what a concept, free healthcare for all.
Born in the aftermath of the Second World War, in a food rationing environment, only the most cold hearted souls could quibble that the poorest in society deserved such treatment.
However, from day one there were three main problems.
The first is a problem with socialism – why should a millionaire get anything for free? Nothing should be universal. Everything should be means tested, especially as we know have the technology.
The second, the “free” concept means that the NHS is a financial black hole, sucking in an ever increasing amount of cash on every expensive modern treatments.
The third flaw – staying with the cosmology analogy, is there is an ever expanding universe of demand. This is currently swelled by the twin drivers of an ageing population, and a growing population.
Indeed, we currently have around three jumbo jets of new NHS users arriving in this country daily. On this basis the way one waits months for appointments and operations, or hours in A&E is fully understandable. What is strange is that such fatal flaws continue to be normalised, with anyone questioning the state of affairs akin to being a taboo breaker of the worst kind.
All of this goes to explain why no politician of any note, and no one else of any significance has ever tabled the idea of a NHSexit. It would be a guaranteed vote loser and career destroyer – such is the controversy. Indeed, the pro NHS lobby here in the UK has greater power than the National Rifle Association in the U.S. – the great American pro murder lobby.
So if the NHS cannot be interfered with, and it is our Great British vanity project, how can it be sustained? It can and has been sustained by the accelerating decline of the level of service. Put simply, you have to wait longer and longer, to get less and less. The latest list of 17 withdrawn operations just goes to prove the point.
Now worst of all, the NHS having to act not in the best interests of the patient, but in the interest of its own survival as a fatally flawed concept.