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NHS concerns

April 13, 2010

What’s the big British election issue, so far? The economy, stupid, but should it be? The crisis goes beyond our shores and thus the long-term solution isn’t entirely in our government’s hands either, whoever’s in the hot seat. Sure, we must have surety and competence in its planning and management, but there are other aspects of the public administration that shouldn’t be overlooked. Nobody is going to die because they’re paying tax at 50p in the £ . . . but they might because of the attitudes and actions of some people in that bracket. Twice in the last month, I’ve heard stories of friends who were taken suddenly ans seriously ill. Each called their doctor for assistance. One was told he could be seen that evening, the other that a doctor would phone him back in an hour.

Each patient was forced to by-pass the GP level and go to hospital. The former was having a heart attack; the latter required major abdominal surgery. In spite of, rather than thanks to, the primary care service, both  people are now on the road to recovery, but how many others aren’t?

I’ll pause at this stage to emphasise that this isn’t a personal complaint. The rural medical practice that looks after me, and my family, could not be better. They are our friends, and they respond speedily to all the community’s needs. I wish the whole system was the same, but it can’t be. The pressures on large urban practices have to be greater. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t be killing people. What are you going to do about it, Gordon, Dave, Nick and Alex?

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