Posts Tagged ‘HMO’

When you passionately argue against a system that provides access to healthcare for those who are probably most in need, you are, for me, arguing from a platform that is completely and utterly morally, ethically and inhumanely spent.

As the world scratched its collective head attempting to comprehend the fantastic spectacle that was the London 2012 opening ceremony, I took to the social network-sphere to take in the wave of pride of a nation who saw an homage to our National Health Service.

A nod, for those who are still confused, to the idea behind the NHS. To the concept that a nation would ensure free access to a healthcare system for all – based on their medical needs and not on their ability to pay.

Was this a political statement? Who can say?

Should an Olympic opening ceremony be the vehicle for such a statement if it were? No – some would say. Emphatically. Passionately.

However.

Stop for a moment.

Consider.

These games – the London bid, were based on the ideal of inspiring a generation. About igniting the imagination and desires of an entire generation. What better message could you possibly hope for the youth of today; the leaders of tomorrow; the minds that will define a nation, than one that embodies the very best of qualities humanity has to offer?

Thinking not of yourself, but of others. Taking care, not just of yourself, but also of your neighbours.

As #NHS began trending on Twitter I was surprised to see the fear, perhaps even hate, for and of the idea of social healthcare.

I was numbed by the comments of those who truly believe(d) that a healthcare system built around the idea that everyone would pay to ensure everyone had access was abhorent.

I wanted to ask those who most vehemently raged against our NHS, those who live on shores from across an ocean, why they were so against putting in place a system that extends the life expectancy of everyone, not just of the affluent.

I wanted to debate the thought that this social ideal was inherently evil, when the counter argument was one that saw no demons in a system that directly links your health to your bank balance.

If money is the route of all evil…

I don’t believe that the opening ceremony was lauding the current state of our NHS; as it is in dire need of improvement. I am not even sure it was making a political plea that we should save it.

However.

Stop for a moment.

In a time when so many countries are weighted down under the burden of an economical recession, when more and more people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads or put food on their tables – ask yourself. What exactly is it that someone could find so repugnant about a system that would ensure that you, yes you – no matter what your financial situation might be tomorrow, do not have to worry about your access to healthcare?

I ask simply because… because… money has no place determining who should continue living!

Last week I found myself sat watching Diagnosis Murder, yet another extremely cheesy and annoying daytime TV show that makes me cringe whenever Dick Van Dyke opens his mouth.  I sat with my customary cynical TV snobbery in place, raging inside at how ridiculous the programme was and the crime it represented to good TV drama.

But then, just like a bucket of cold water, the plot develops into a storyline highlighting the disgraceful practices of HMO’s; those, in my mind, hateful organisations that were spawned under the Nixon administration – with the explicit purpose of making money out of medical health; of ensuring that profits are possible if care is withheld.

The fact that HMO’s still exist to this day beggars belief.  The fact that this bastard offspring of a President that was impeached from office for ‘high-crimes and misdemeanour’s’  is still dictating the life expectancy of those in need of urgent medical care, makes me sick.  The fact anything that mandates a physician needs to withhold care, until they have checked if the patients insurance carrier will pay for said treatment, is legal, leaves me with a feeling of despair.

When money meets medicine, I wonder what happens to Primum non nocere?

And it is this same sense of foreboding despair that continues to engulf me when I think of the Tory plans to introduce privatisation to the NHS.  In fact, Tory plans to privatize anything, after the resounding success of their previous privatisation programmes in the Thatcher years, actually fills me with tangible fear.

The NHS is in a mess, of that there is no doubt; the system is definitely in desperate need of an overhaul.  However, who, other than a Tory MP, honestly believes that the National Health Service would be better off if large health organisations were allowed to tender bids to snap up the more lucrative elements?

Who seriously thinks any good can come from the old boys network chopping up the service so their friends can make millions in the coming years?

The NHS is a mess, but it was created for a very specific reason, to cater for a very specific need.  It was introduced with an explicit mandate to provide care based on need, not the ability to pay, and that need has not diminished one iota since the NHS first appeared.

I don’t know what the future is for the NHS, but I fear that Tory privatisation would be something we would all live to regret – most likely in our time of most urgent need.