Friday, 14 August 2009

If anything is evil, it is your views....

On the evening of Thursday 13th August, I read in a newspaper that Sarah Palin, the former US Governor of Alaska, who stood for vice-president last year with John McCain, (McCain and Palin were defeated by Barrack Obama), has called the National Health Service in the UK, "Downright Evil".

If anything is evil, it is Palin's views on healthcare. Forty million Americans are denied health care every year because they can't afford it, yet she wants this to continue. If Palin had said she was against the NHS for x reason, whilst I still would have disagreed with her, at least she would have put up an argument. However, to state opposition to the NHS on the grounds of something that it is not, smacks of both lies and desperation.

Professor Stephen Hawking, the author of "A brief history of time", and a man who I have a huge amount of respect for, in reply to Palin's remarks, said that the NHS saved his life. He could have gone private. Professor Hawking certainly could have afforded it, but I guess he has political or personal principles that made him chose not to.

I don't know what his political views are, but I agree with Professor Hawking. If the NHS didn't exist, or if I was living in the USA, when I wanted a diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome, I would have had to go private, which would have cost me a lot of money, which I didn't have at the time. I may have not been diagnosed at all if it wasn't for the NHS.

I am 100% behind Obama's effort to create an NHS style system in the US. I genuinely hope that his plans succeed. Opponents of the bill in the US, as far as I can see, have vested interests, with drug companies and money making Doctors leading the opposition. Probably, those senators and governors opposing an NHS-style system in the USA are sponsored by the drug companies, or have shares, consultancies or directorships in them.

I was referred for a diagnosis on Monday, 14th February, 2000, and diagnosed on Wednesday, 31st May, 2000, three and a half months later. That is not poor service. I was also grateful for the NHS when I was ill in January 2006, and spent ten days in hospital. I had no complaints about my care then either. I wonder what Sarah Palin would call the Nazi regime, if the NHS is evil?

Before the NHS was introduced in the late 1940's, you had to pay to see your Doctor. During the first 12 months of the NHS's existence, hundreds of people went to the dentist to have their teeth out, because they couldn't afford it before. A lot of home births occurred before the NHS, because people couldn't afford to go into hospital. My Dad was born at home before the NHS was introduced, possibly because his parents couldn't afford an hospital birth. He was a breach baby, and is lucky to have survived. During World War II, many recruiting officers were shocked to see the physical and medical states of some soldiers from the working-classes.

Another politician who loves to criticise the NHS, and who is in favour of making the UK health system like the USA's, is Daniel Hannan. Three others, Jeremy Hunt, Greg Clark and Michael Gove (Though I'd never heard of them until I saw their names in the newspaper), have called for the NHS to be dismantled as it is no longer relevant, or at least it isn't to them.

I sincerely hope that the NHS is here in 100 years time, when hopefully messrs Hannan, Hunt, Clark and Gove are footnotes in the history books, or in the anonymity they all so richly deserve to be in. I don't claim that the NHS is perfect or flawless, but it is one of the great British institutions. I just wish they would spend more money on nurses and doctors and cleaners, and less on bureaucrats.


Blogger AS-4-L said...

While the NHS does very much flaws I agree that it is to our benefit as people with ASDs. If you look around various forums it is mainly non-Brits who suspect they have an ASD but can't afford a diagnosis so they have to live in doubt.

Like you I simply contact my GP to set the wheels in motion and 4 months later I had a diagnosis and it was all free.

16 August 2009 at 13:19  
Blogger Kosmonavtka said...

Australia's public health system has its problems but, like the NHS, it is certainly preferable to the USA's - I've had 2 major surgeries this year that I would not have been able to afford otherwise. (Unfortunately, though, dentistry is not covered.)

18 August 2009 at 03:26  

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