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?
I have been a teacher and a lecturer for a number of years. I am married with two sons. I'm interested drama, films, TV, books, society in general, poverty and riches and political systems.
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