Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Readers’ comments: Not free, and not there to be abused


In response to Nick Booth: What’s wrong with the NHS? The patients, that’s what 

Barry Sheridan wrote: A substantial number of British people steadfastly refuse to acknowledge their role in the deterioration of life here, just as a large percentage continue to heap demands on any nationally supplied service irrespective of how they behave. The NHS is the most visible example of how this attitude has damaged what was once a decent and principled aim. They of course share this responsibility with government who recklessly refuse to make the nation fully aware of the true costs of what is demanded. Instead, we have experienced successive governments who are all too willing to use the public purse to bribe the electorate with yet more promises of what government claims it can do. Let us be honest, government’s real achievement is to ruin what was once good. If there is a way back from this state of affairs it must begin with making everyone realise that services cost, they cost plenty, so instead of hiding NHS costs we should start making an initial charge for all treatments. This will remind the user that this service is not free and is not there to be abused. If patients misbehave towards staff trying to do their best then throw them out on the street. They will soon learn to behave.

MrVeryAngry wrote: I have had a near identical experience when I was incarcerated in hospital for 6 weeks.
The reason is if you give people a sense of entitlement without any apparent cost and pander to their every whim to ensure your constituency – as all politicians and bureaucrats do – you destroy civil society. You will coarsen people.

Jingleballix wrote: All the best with your ailments Nick – keep buggering on.

Good piece. A dose of reality is always appreciated.

Sadly, the last 2-3 generations we have bred contain some of the worst citizens the nation has ever produced.

porgycorgy wrote: I don’t for a moment want to be patronising but you seem to have kept your chin up and shown far more resilience than I could have done. It’s the right thing to do, to turn the negative sides into inspiration for a written piece. I really don’t like being in a ward, it drives me crazy. In France, and on the continent, single rooms are much more common. Combine this with decent food and you have more ability to get well again.

I’d like the ability to have NHS treatment but to pay for a private room and decent food – a hybrid system if you like. At the moment, I can only afford to pay for small to medium operations on a private basis, but experience has shown that it has been worth prioritising health over other things. I really think that we should have a more flexible health system that enables us to show our willingness to prioritise health over other material values. My operation was advanced by a couple of months, compared to NHS waiting time, and this stopped my condition from becoming more serious than it need have been.

Nursing care has been very mixed, for me. It is highly controversial, I know, and dependent on the hospital circumstances, staffing levels etc. I had much better nursing care as a private patient, which is almost inevitable, I suppose. Also there were many more nurses who were similar to me, with good language skills, to whom I could talk more easily, and this improved my care a lot. As for doctors, they have all been good, of whatever nationality or ethnicity.

You are right, it is all a political minefield! However, it would be good if there could be a proper and free, well-researched debate about our health service in the UK.

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