On Tuesday I had a check -up at the hospital, it takes only ten minutes to get there and a further fifteen minutes until my appointment time.  As is usual in the Out Patients I saw people who made me feel very lucky indeed.  You know those long crutches which rest under the elbow, two women had those resting beside them as they sat in the waiting room and one old man was in a wheel chair.  I had my trusty stick and my husband beside me.  This was an NHS hospital so no money was required, treatment was ‘ free at the point of need ‘ as Aneurin Bevan stipulated in 1948.  Of course the doctors, nurses, all the staff and the building have to be paid for .  Bevan who grew up in a mining family in Wales knew from experience how difficult it was for most families to obtain treatment in the case of illness or injuries in the 1930s.  A visit from the doctor had to be paid for and although miners (when they were in work)  were covered by their employment insurance scheme, their wives and children were not.  And serious illness and appalling injuries were much more an everyday occurrence in mining families.  Many miners suffered a long and debilitating illness called pneumoconiosis which they developed  by breathing in the dust as they worked to dig out the coal.  My dad was a coal miner when I   was born, he was called up in 1942 and never went back to the mines.

      Of  course the NHS and all the medical services have to be paid for, Bevan asked himself what was the fairest way of raising this money so that everyone in the population could have medical care when they needed it  and it was not limited to the wealthy few.  He decided that general taxation was the best way to cover; mothers and babies, sick children, and all those suffering from tuberculosis, heart complaints, arthritis and many other life limiting serious illnesses.  So a percentage of the income tax 99% of us pay goes to pay for the staff, the hospitals and the treatment that we all of us need from time to time.  So when you read about Google, Amazon or any other international company refusing to pay their taxes on money they make in the UK think of all the medical services which will not be funded because of the greed of a very few corporate CEOs who prefer to stash their money in a secret bank account.  How will you feel if you have to wait three months in a queue for treatment?


6 thoughts on “MEDICAL MATTERS.

  1. “How will you feel if you have to wait three months in a queue for treatment?”

    Even worse is no treatment. When I retired from teaching in 2005 at age 60 there was no Obamacare. G. W. Bush was still president of the U.S. waging two wars that he started and the US was on the verge of the global economic crisis that would cause tens of millions of workers to lose their jobs a5round the world and then lose their homes. Millions of famlies lost their homes in the U.S. alone along with 9 million jobs. That ecnomic crash was caused by Wall Street US Bank greed and the few who caused that suffering walked away with fortunes and not one of them went to court or prison.

    Meanwhile, I retired from teaching at 60 and took a 40% pay cut. If I wanted to have medical until I turned 65 and was eligible for Medicare, I had to pay almost $1,500 a month so I left teaching with no medical care, because in the U.S. teachers are to be stepped on and blamed for everything. I even heard on crooked and corrupt politician running for the U.S. Senate blame public school teachers for the huge prison population, the highest in the world, and illegal drug use throughout the U.S. with no mention that the War on Drugs was started by President Richard Nixon and prison populations soared after that from a quarter million to more than two million.

    I was fortunate. A few months after I retired, I discovered that because I was a combat vet who served in the US Marines and fought in Vietnam, I was eligible for medical care through the VA, the Veterans Administration, and I’ll probably use the VA until that medical care is taken away from America’s combat vets by the Republican Party.that does all it can to cut taxes for corporations, million ares and billionaires while shafting the other 99% of workign Americans every way they can by legally allowing the few to increase their wealth and power by stealing the workers hard earned pensions, pay and medical care.

    1. The politicians in the UK look always to the USA in total admiration of the very, very rich like Murdoch et al and aspire to be like them. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979 began the attack on the Welfare State and unleashed a hornets’ nest just waiting to turn the clock back to the 1930s. The Cabinet of this present government was in the main educated at Eton, the wealthiest Public School, public in this peculiarly English sense meaning, a fee paying school. There is a surreptitious movement here to turn our local secondary schools into Academies. I have read with great interest your views on American schools being privatised, I have to say with complete horror.

      1. Have been reading Diane Ravtich’s Blog too?

        Ravitch began her career as an editorial assistant at the New Leader magazine, a small journal devoted to democratic ideas. In 1975, she became a historian of education with a Ph.D. from Columbia University. At that time she worked closely with Teachers College president Lawrence A. Cremin, who was her mentor.

        She was appointed to public office by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

        She served as Assistant Secretary of Education under Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander from 1991 to 1993 and his successor Richard Riley appointed her to serve as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which supervises the National Assessment of Educational Progress; she was a member of NAGB from 1997 to 2004. From 1995 to 2005 she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution.

        In 2013, she joined forces with a writer and former teacher, Anthony Cody, to set up The Network for Public Education which is a foundation dedicated to fighting against educational corporate reforms. She is currently serves on the board of directors as the President of NPE.

    2. Our Conservative government is following the Republican Party all the way. I am fortunate I still get free care from the NHS and the doctor. The next generation will be the one to suffer. Almost no bankers have been fined or sent to prison only a couple from a small bank called the Cooperative Bank, which I believe is now owned by Hedge-fund managers. All to protect the billionaires with their secret funds usually in another country.

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