Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I am a patient . . .

For more than 3 score and ten years we have lived in the United Kingdom and have seen many changes. We recall the early days of the NHS and of being able to go to a school based on ability not on the ability to pay. As a result of our education we were able enough although not rich enough to go onto a real University for our fees and grants were paid for by the state via our parents and others’ taxes.

Through our own efforts and the foresight of our forebears we have advanced ourselves free from the shackles of institutionalized prejudice based on the bonds of class and wealth and by opportunities based on ability and education we have prospered both in terms of health and financially.

We have bought forth two generations of our children and grandchildren and hope that we may live to see a generation of great grandchildren all of whom have benefited from our hard work but principally from education and as a result they have all gone further than our own parents could ever have expected or dreamt of.

However such progress is seemingly being darkened by a dark cloud passing over all by politicians who have benefited as we have from state funded healthcare and education but who now regardless of race, creed, colour or political persuasion wish to deny our children’s children that which they themselves have had so freely and as a result so richly profited from.

Nowhere is this more so than in healthcare.

I am a patient and I have a dream that one day the NHS will return to being a service based on medical need alone not on politically driven priorities.

I am a patient and I have a dream that all those who are trained to work in healthcare learn to care and treat patients first above and beyond any slavish desire for useless tick box bureaucracy that serves not the patient.

I am a patient and I have a dream that my treatment will be dictated by a doctor that I know and trust not by a PCT diktat, a NICE guideline or centrally dictated target for I want a trained professional to treat me as an individual for my medical condition for I remember the Cold War and have seen how deprived those who lived in the Eastern Bloc were as a result of centralized state control with no accountability.

I am a patient and I have a dream that when I see my doctor he or she will treat me for my illness alone and not waste hours of my time asking me to go for patient useless tests every year that treat me not.

I am a patient and I have a dream that when I develop a potentially life threatening and/or a life limiting conditions and I see my doctor I get prompt treatment for the illness that is not delayed by bureaucrats telling my doctors to treat a waiting list target before a true medical need.

I am a patient and I have a dream that those who abuse the health service and prevent those with genuine need from accessing it are penalized for doing so rather than repeatedly rewarded for their abuse at my and many other patients’ expense.

I am a patient and I have a dream that when I go into a hospital I am cared for by highly trained professionals whose sole purpose is my healthcare, my well being and my recovery who are not distracted from my care by the need to complete endless paperwork while neglecting patients like me.

I am a patient and I have a dream about the NHS free at the point of care, available to all based on need not ability to pay that is not destroyed by those who know nothing about me or about my illnesses or about healthcare.

I am a patient and I have a dream that when I have a life threatening illness I do not have to repeatedly use my private health insurance to maintain my quality of life for I have paid and still pay my taxes for together with the National Insurance that I have paid over my whole working life.

I am a patient and I have a dream that the doctor treating me will be able to do so to the best of their ability based on the latest scientific research and that they can give me the best care available regardless of any politically doctored or dictated evidence for I am a patient in need of care from and by a professional not by a protocol.

I am a patient and I have a dream that the NHS might one day return to being a being a high quality state funded service providing care for patients who have paid for it delivered by healthcare professionals not a money consuming bureaucracy that provides no hands on care for patients.

I am a patient and I have a dream that when I become too old and infirmed and my family can no longer manage to care for me that the promise of care from the cradle to the grave will be there and still honoured when I am most vulnerable and in need but may not be able to represent myself as I can now.

I am a patient and I have a dream that what I have enjoyed in my lifetime from the NHS will be passed onto and available to my children as a beacon of how a civilized society treats its people and meets their healthcare needs in an equal and fair way based on medical need alone.

I am a patient and I have a dream that I and my family will be able to live that dream paid for by all of our taxes but equally provided for those who are less fortunate than us who may be unable to pay but hopefully still be able to receive that which we do and that those less able to pay will not be denied the same healthcare should they need it.

Mr. Cameron, Mr. Clegg and Mr. Milliband do any of you still have or share the same dream as your parents and grandparents may have once had?

Praise be to the Party and its NHS reforms and reformers and to some of our more senior patients and our parents and grandparents for their indirect inputs into this piece over the years.

We cannot ever better the original speech but can draw inspiration from the sentiments expressed in it and try as did the original orator to right injustice and inequality wherever it is be found even it is to be found in healthcare.

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