Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Why do the British put up with the National Health Service? Is it now the worst health system in the developed world? Thanks to Gordon Brown's billions, the NHS is now run entirely for the benefit of the staff and their petty grievances. An Australian friend who complained to a nurse recently was told she didn't understand our culture - I wonder if she would have said that to an Asian or African. Another nurse failed to respond to an emergency bell because she'd "just come off my break." In A & E departments you have to wait hours because all the staff are continually discussing their precious "breaks". (What is a "break"? I never have "breaks".) A big hospital I had to visit recently was one of the filthiest buildings I've ever encountered. I could go on. In the last year or two I have come across multiple NHS horror stories, some with fatal consequences. At the heart of the matter is the fact that nobody in the NHS actually likes or feels any obligation to patients or their friends and families. As a result, the casual infliction of additional suffering - and, thanks to novel bugs, further illness - is commonplace. Ethos, which, Gordon, you cannot buy, has vanished. When are we going to take to the streets?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:56 am