Dr Chris Jones
Our National Health Service
I've worked in the NHS for over thirty years and like most of us I believe it is one of those things that make our country great. Not only because it is consistently ranked as the best and most cost-effective health service in the world - though it is: see the 2014 figures here. Not just because it means that when we are at our most vulnerable and frightened, we don't have the added worries of how to afford the cost of health care. But because it shows the best of human nature: how we can put aside self-interest to work together so that everyone benefits. The strong helping the weak, the rich helping the poor, the fortunate helping the less fortunate.
Everyone values the NHS, and every politician says that they will defend it. So why does it always seem to be in crisis? Why are politicians always trying to "fix" it when almost every other developed country spends more and gets less? I believe the principles of the NHS are fundamental to its performance, which is why contracting out to the private sector is so short-sighted. Nowhere in the world does a health care system based on generating profits produce better results. Did you know that over the last 2 years one third of the NHS services put out to tender have been taken over by the private sector?
4 reasons why NHS privatisation is so wrong
There are always going to be debates over how much we choose to spend on health care and where that money should be best spent. But large-scale privatisation advocated by the Coalition parties will destroy the basis of the NHS, leaving fragmented and divided services, running down the long term investment to make quick profits, and taking that money out of the health care system altogether. Even senior Tories admit that the Health and Social Care Act has beentheir biggest mistake. Public provision of health care works, works better than the alternatives, and provides us all with cheaper, better quality, more reliable services.
Promoted by Alan Pawsey on behalf of Chris Jones; both at St Mark's Church Hall, Hall Rd, Norwich, NR1 3HL