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Save the NHS - Hold Jeremy Hunt to Account


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I received this email today. Having much to thank the NHS for over the years, I would encourage caggers to sign the open letter and hold Jeremy Hunt to account -

 

 

Have a look at this:

 

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Hunt-letter

 

Jeremy Hunt has been announced as the new Health Secretary, replacing Andrew Lansley. This means he is now the minister responsible for the NHS, so it is really crucial that he understands just how important our NHS is.

 

If enough of us sign the open letter telling him that we'll stand strong to protect our NHS, then he will realise that we mean business. Let's make it clear that we'll challenge him every step of the way if we need to.

 

Please sign the open letter now:

 

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Hunt-letter

 

Thank you all for your support. Remember - it is YOUR NHS.

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I'm afraid that you're too late most mental health depts were hit by a 25% cut in 2011 fo facilitate service improvements :lol:

 

So how has every other dept faired?

 

At least when times called on the NHS he's experienced :madgrin:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19011788

 

As Donna Summer sang;

 

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, ding dong ding)

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, dingolingolin)

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, ding dong ding)

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, dingolingolin)

 

you can ring my bell, you can ring my bell

(ding, dong, ding, do-ong)

you can ring my bell, anytime, anyway

(ring it, ring it, ring it, ring it oww!)

you can ring my bell, anytime, anyway

(ding, dong, ding, do-ong)

you can ring my bell, anytime, anyway

(ring it, ring it, ring it, ring it oww!)

 

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, ding dong ding)

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, dingolingolin)

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, ding dong ding)

You can ring my bell, ring my bell

(ring my bell, dingolingolin)

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I've told Mr honeybee, he says it's only right. I had a nice email from the organisers asking me to spread the word, which I plan to do by email to our friends and family.

 

The petition is over 100,000 isn't it? That's pretty good going.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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It certainly is, HB. The NHS is a national asset that we all contribute to through the tax we pay on our wages and pensions in the event we are either taken ill or involved in an accident treatment will be available without us having to pay for it at the point of delivery. The politicians who want to flog it off to the private sector profiteers and asset strippers need to be put on notice that we, who pay for it, will not pay our taxes for it to be poured into the pockets of get-rich-quick merchants and will hold the politicians to account whether they like it or not. They need to remember that they are the servants of the electors, not their masters. The sooner the likes of Boy David and Boy George (Or should that be By George?) get that into their thick skulls, the better. Because I can forsee this present government lasting no more than two more months at the very most. Something is either going to come to light or happen that will force a General Election in November.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sharp intake of breath and brace myself for the vitriol.

 

But I'm not sure that I want to save the NHS.

 

If I hear another politician say our health service is the 'envy of the world', I swear I will throw rocks at the telly. It's such a glib statement. Often they are playing to the gallery. Repeat something often enough and it becomes a fact in the public psyche. If the NHS is so fantastic why hasn't every other country in the world adopted the same model?

 

I also hate the way that fear is used to sway opinion.

 

How many of us have actually know what specific reforms are proposed? Or is it that we have just been bombarded by negative opinions from 'the professionals,' opposition politicians or the media and chosen to take their word that this will mean a reduction in patient care and a fast-track to privatisation. People do not like change, unless they are the ones orchestrating it.

 

Do you honestly think the NHS can continue as it is? It's already falling apart at the seams. I know you say you have alot to thank the NHS for old bill, but quite frankly, I have not. I wouldn't put a pot plant in the care of my local hospital.

 

I will be watching the outcome of the Hitchingbrooke Hospital experiment. If a private company can maintain a high level of patient care, (how this will be measured is my worry but it can be no less adequate than that of the NHS), and make a profit whilst paying back the debts of the former Trust, then, for me, it just highlights how inefficient and complacent the NHS has become.

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We are all entitled to our opinions, Sali. My local hospital is the largest general and teaching hospital in Europe. An investigation found that managers who had come in from the private sector had wasted taxpayers' money. They were removed and, as a result, the hospital is now £7million a year better-off.

 

The NHS cannot continue as it is with private sector profiteers ripping off the health budget and the pharmaceutical industry have been found to be overcharging by millions.

 

As to the comments contained in the last paragraph of your post, I think you will find that the debts are a result of the last Conservative and Labour governments' prostituting themselves to major corporations who have seduced them into believing they can make a better job of it. The reality is that it has been proven that the private sector is incapable of providing public services at a better standard of quality or cheaper than the public sector.

 

The reason other countries have not adopted the NHS model is because of politicians who allow their country to be run for the benefit of major corporations, not the people. A lot of countries are, in fact, envious of the NHS model, but admit that there has been far too much political interference in its running.

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To whom it may concern (or who would like to read it,)

 

I have the uncommon (maybe) circumstance to have personal knowledge of both kinds of healthcare (NHS variety and that of the US.)

 

I am here to tell you (and probably only here because of the private healthcare I received)

that I would do it no other way unless there was absolutely no choice in the matter.

 

A young person usually doesn't think of terrible things happening to them, but it does happen unfortunately.

 

Had I not been in the situation of being able to use private healthcare, I am confident (and many doctors are of the same opinion) that I would not be here today writing this letter.

 

I not only got to choose a doctor, but a world famous doctor.

Because of that, I now opt to pay extra to have my whole family enrolled in private insurance to cover everyone.

(And we are not even close to being well off.)

 

I can go to any doctor anywhere that I deem as the best for whatever situation he or she is needed for.

No referrals, no nothing. I just call and make an appointment.

 

I recently needed an excellent doctor for shoulder issues I have been having for about two years now.

I did the research and found the head of the surgical department at a an excellent hospital.

 

I called. I was told that he is so full that he is not accepting new patients at the moment.

I called again, and again. I pleaded and explained about my previous and ongoing relationship with the world famous doctor and how I might be an interesting patient at the very least.

 

Suffice it to say........I got in.

I am very persistent when I need to be.

Finally I feel like there is progress being made.

 

If my child had a rare brain tumor, would I go where I was told to go. NO.

 

I would do the research and find the best doctor for that kind of tumor I could find.

I could go cheap and pay nothing but I would have to go to one of the doctors on a list that would be given to me or get a special dispensation to see another doctor,

but I have the choice and am grateful for it.

 

As I said earlier, a young person doesn't usually think about serious medical conditions affecting them, but it does happen.

I broke my hip so badly when I was only 25 years old that after two extensive hip surgeries and osteonecrosis (bone rot) had set in, I was a total and complete mess.

 

After being told about the world famous surgeon, I went to see him.

 

He happened to be looking for a young and active person to try out an experimental surgery (one in which he would use a new prosthesis he invented and was not approved for use yet.)

I jumped at the chance since my prognosis was so grim.

Because of that I am in medical journals.

It has been 30 years on the same hip. And this was not your average hip surgery. I

was young and active and my hip was totally ripped to pieces.

 

The normal prognosis was that I would have several hips by the time I was my current age.

That is if I was lucky enough that a surgery would actually work for me.

 

I am 56 and still using the same hip. I am the only one I am told that has ever made it this far and I have no intentions of getting a new one any time in the near (or distant) future.)

 

I am a one and only and quite happy and grateful about that.

There are doctors in America that have half of their patients from Canada because they can't get what they need up there.

It makes me quite sad. Especially for the children.

People have to go through so much to get what they need.

 

Yes, I do pay more and I am not wealthy by any stretch of the means but I would rather my money go to health care and peace of mind than get sub-standard care.

I know there are great doctors here in Great Britain, but they can only do what they can legally do.

 

I know that my world famous surgeon has trained doctors from the UK.

One thing one of them once said to me, I will never ever forget. I was young and feeling sorry for myself.

 

There was a UK doctor on fellowship in the US. (In Los Angeles to be precise.)

He was being trained by my doctor. I admitted that I wished I was old with my hip issues.

He said and quote "OH NO! In my country, we wouldn't waste a perfectly good operation on you!" I will never forget that. It told me a lot in a just a few words.

 

Well, just the opinion from someone that has experienced both kinds of medical practice.

I just thought maybe someone would appreciate a few words from a person like me.

I wasn't trying to offend anyone. I just wanted to tell anyone that cared, what I thought of it all. Sincerely,

eye1128

Edited by eye1128
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Signed, with massive gratitude. The only reason I'm here today is because of the NHS and the amazing care that I received during my own personal medical crisis.

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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Eye1128, while I'm very glad to hear that the world famous surgeon sorted you out, I think you are a little behind the times regarding the NHS. Patients now can indeed do the research and choose in which hospital and by which consultant they wish to be treated. Most private physicians and surgeons work in both private and NHS hospitals.

 

But let's take the case of a serious road accident or a major heart attack or CVA ~ immediate treatment and care is needed. Remember the "golden hour"? If you can get to a hospital and treatment can begin within 60 minutes, the prognosis is so much better. In these cases an ambulance will take you to the nearest/best hospital for what needs to be done. You may be unconscious, loosing blood; no chance of doing your research now is there? The NHS helps many, many thousands every year.

 

Also, don't forget that the world famous surgeon (I presume he/she practices in the UK) was trained by the NHS ~ and did not spring, fully qualified and trained, from any private hospital.

Edited by Caducea
Mistake!
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Private medicine is acceptable where a procedure is elective, that is, the patient elects to undergo the procedure or treatment. It is useless for acute and emergency procedures. The last thing a patient, suffering a CVA, needs is a doctor and a bean-counter arguing over the patient about who is going to pay and whether to throw the patient out of the door. That is the reality of the U.S. system, save for a few municipal hospitals run for the common good. Thank goodness we don't have that sort of situation here. The minute we go down that road, we cease to be and forfeit the right to call ourselves a civilised society. No civilised society treats people in that way. The NHS is not perfect, but it is the best we have and is envied throughout the world. Get rid of the private-sector profiteers and asset strippers, clamp down on the rip-off merchants and tell the politicians, in no uncertain terms, to stop interfering.

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Private medicine is acceptable where a procedure is elective, that is, the patient elects to undergo the procedure or treatment. It is useless for acute and emergency procedures. The last thing a patient, suffering a CVA, needs is a doctor and a bean-counter arguing over the patient about who is going to pay and whether to throw the patient out of the door. That is the reality of the U.S. system, save for a few municipal hospitals run for the common good. Thank goodness we don't have that sort of situation here. The minute we go down that road, we cease to be and forfeit the right to call ourselves a civilised society. No civilised society treats people in that way. The NHS is not perfect, but it is the best we have and is envied throughout the world. Get rid of the private-sector profiteers and asset strippers, clamp down on the rip-off merchants and tell the politicians, in no uncertain terms, to stop interfering.

 

Very true - and even with the treatment of cancer patients, I have known private medical insurance companies in this country refuse to sanction imaging, in-patient stays and other 'peripheral' (in their view) treatments because the patient has reached the ceiling that their particular plan allows. They're then unceremoniously dumped back to the NHS for the bits that BUPA don't fancy paying for.

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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The trouble with the private sector, LG, is that as along as it's simple and straightforward, they're fine. As soon as something gets complicated, or they make mistakes, they throw the poor patient into the back of a private ambulance service's ambulance, drive them round to the nearest NHS A & E Department and dump them there for the taxpayer to pick up the bill for putting right their cock-ups. What made by blood boil was the CEO of BUPA going on television and saying that the private sector was entitled to expect the taxpayer to pay to put right the private sector's cock-ups. How I didn't throw the tv set through the window I'll never know. It's that sort of arrogance that reinforces the case to keep the private sector out of the health service and really clamp down on those who seek to rip off the taxpayer.

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Caducea, Thank you for being happy for me and the fact that I did indeed get sorted out. You are correct in that I am a bit behind the times regarding the NHS. I apologize for that. My life has been very complicated. (Too complicated to explain in this post.) I was in the U.S in 1981 when my story took place. My doctor was at the time the head of Orthopedics at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles.) He was trained in the U.S. and traveled the world (including Britain) teaching other doctors. UCLA is also a training hospital. He has always been heavily into research and inventing mostly hip but also some knee and shoulder prosthesis. I believe he has fourteen patents under his name. He would much rather save and not have to replace any joint, but I was too much of a mess. He has since invented ways of resurfacing joints so replacement is no longer necessary in many cases. Much of his work was traveling and teaching others. You are also correct in that when there is an accident, the patient must get to medical care as fast as possible. That did happen to me. It was after two failed surgeries, that I was informed about the doctor that was doing wonderful things and might be able to help me. The osteonecrosis was so bad that when I was opened up for the final surgery, the ball joint was "floating like a marshmallow" in my body. (Those were the surgeons words.) I do not claim to be an expert but I do think being able to choose a doctor for yourself or your family is a very personal thing, and I want to know I have done everything in my power to get the very best person for the job. If you had a child with a rare disease, and there was one doctor on the planet that had successfully worked on children with that particular disease, you would go through whatever it took to get to that doctor. America keeps trying to push what they call HMO's (Health Maintenance Organization) on everybody they can. They are cheap, so they have succeeded for many and there many very unhappy people because of it. There are so many rules. You MUST go only to your primary care center for medical treatment. Only certain doctors can treat you. If you are out of town and something happens, it is a mess. I know someone that broke her foot and could only get some kind of brace where she was or she would have to pay a huge amount of money out of pocket. She had to travel to her home town to her own care center to get real help. The doctor she finally saw in her home town said things were worse because she was forced to wait. You pay a fee for every referral. Your primary care could send you to the pulmonary specialist and you pay a fee. Then that doctor might send you to an allergist. Now you have to pay another fee. And so on. I would want no part of it. Another person I know has an abdominal aortic aneuysm. They are silent killers. She knows it is there and it is being watched. If it gets to a certain size, they must operate. It is most commonly a huge surgery where they open the abdomen. It is very involved and mortality of rupture repair in the hospital is 60% to 90% with this particular surgery. There is a doctor (only one of a handful in the country) that practices in another hospital not far away from the hospital she must go to for her issues. This doctor can do a minimally invasive surgery with very small risks compared to the conventional surgery. Because this doctor is not on her list, she cannot see him. This is the craziness I am speaking about. The hospital is actually run by the same group that runs the one she must go to, but she cannot go to this one. How can they justify such a thing? Many doctors say that "Obamacare" (which the Constutution of the United States says is illegal in about five places) would ruin things. I know that some things should be fixed, but that is not the answer. All I was really trying to say is that I think people should have complete choice and that I was in a situation that would have completely changed my life (or ended it) if I had not had that choice, and I am very grateful that I did. I think everyone should have that right without jumping through hoops at every turn. I am just a person with a story and an opinion. I am not an expert on NHS and don't claim to be. I was just adding my opinion to a subject I have strong feelings about. Thank you for listening. I know there are many very good and dedicated doctors working for NHS. Many trained by the doctor I spoke about. Even the one that told me that they would not waste a good operation on me in his (the UK) country. The fact that I would not be worth the money spent on an operation still brings forth strong feelings. I was a young girl and alone(my husband was a Naval Officer away on orders) and a doctor actually said those words to me. I would have rather have been lied to.

Edited by eye1128
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Hello Old Bill........I have only posted a couple of times here. I just feel passionately about my healthcare. I noticed what you said about the Nixon administration and HMO's. I am not at all sure when the whole idea of the HMO came about. They are in use now, and that I do know. They are horrid. I would never be part of one if it took my last penny to stay out of it. Obamacare says that Americans MUST buy insurance or be penalized. I read the other day that if this all comes to pass, over half of Americans will most likely get penalized. The Bill of Rights says in several different ways that Americans cannot be forced to pay for anything they do not want to purchase. The fact that they are still trying to get away with it is amazing. The poor in America never go sans anything, no matter what you are told. My mother is considered poor and has lived in America for most of her adult life. She is considered poor and gets better health care and other benefits than most people I know. She never pays for anything. She is ethnically Greek. It is too long a story to get into how she is now American. She lived in London for years before America, so she has never had to pay outright for healthcare. She always says "The United States of America" has been good to her. What she doesn't get is that it is not the United States of America that is paying for all her freebees. It is the American Taxpayer. And over half of Americans pay NO tax at all. And I am not talking about the rich. And under Obamacare, over half of Americans will have to pay a penalty if they do not purchase the insurance forced upon them. These people are not the rich they keep talking about. The problem will still be that the middle class (which is rapidly disappearing) that now pay for the poor will also be paying under Obamacare because the insurance he would be FORCING people to buy will not be forced upon the so called poor. They will be receiving it for free as usual. Again, the middle class will bare the burden. Death Panels will be making life and death decisions. Those people (not doctors) will be placed in a position to decide if someone is worth the money it will cost to "fix" them. In other words...... Grandma is sharp as a tack and perfectly fine in every way except she unfortunately isn't a youngster anymore. Grandma has broken her hip and it will now cost a lot of money to make her whole again. Someone up in some corporate office will decide whether she lives or dies. They may very likely say that she would not likely live long enough to get their money's worth. Are they God? Why do they have that power? Maybe six months longer with Grandma will mean the world to all who love her. No one in America goes without medical care if they do not want to. No one will be turned away in an emergency situation. And if you truly are poor, you apply for benefits (paid for by all who pay taxes) and you get whatever you require. My mother thinks it is her right to call for an ambulance whenever she feels like it. I hate to sound cruel, but the last time they broke down her door to get to her, she asked them to get her medication for her because she couldn't reach it. She gets daily in home health care, she lives in a very pricey neighborhood and she only pays half of what she should, and her medication is free. What a deal! What really will be changing except the middle class getting screwed (excuse my language) again. How many ways can they think of doing that? Will Obama be using Obamacare. I don't think so. Members of Congress are always voting themselves raises. They get great healthcare and wouldn't stand for anything sub-standard in their eyes. I wonder how fast it would all disappear if those trying to force these horrible things upon all the regular people were themselves forced to participate? Not long, I guarantee it. They will always have enough money to do whatever they want or go wherever they need to go for their own needs. Some states are worse off than others. You are a retired policeman. In California before retiring, policeman and fireman are purposely given a positions with a lot of overtime (I know many police and fireman.) For retirement, they average the highest three years of service and then they get ninety per cent of that for their retirement pay. Both firemen and policemen get that in more than a few states that I know of. The Military doesn't get that. I know a retired policeman. He is 55 years old and is living wonderfully at well over $100,000 a year. Must be nice. I know for sure it is that way in California and that is where he lives. He spends all his time camping, fishing, etc. No wonder California if so broke. Anyway, it is very frustrating that so many in Britain believe all the false information they are fed. I hope I answered a few of your questions anyway. I hope you don't think I am just some nut case, but it is just so frustrating..........eye1128

Edited by eye1128
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I have heard HMOs referred to as "Denial Factories". The main problem that affects the USA is that the politicians have allowed big corporations to run the show and not kept them on a short leash, as they should have down. Those that should pay their fair share of tax have not been paying. They are about to clamp down on the tax avoiders and dodgers in the UK. Up to now, it has been those who can least afford it who have borne the brunt of tax increases and those who can most afford it who have benefited from tax cuts. Allowing corporations to make life and death decisions is perverse and corrupt. It really is down to the American people to stand up to the corporations and politicians and say, resoundingly, "No. Enough is enough. You are not pushing us around anymore."

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This is really very ironic, but shortly after I posted on here yesterday my partner was taken ill and eventually we went off in an ambulance and spent 8 hours in A&E where they sorted the immediate problem, with instructions to see his GP today, or return to hospital if things get bad again.

 

Eye1128, you say you feel passionately about healthcare, and so do I, and though I probably shouldn't speak for them, I can tell Old Bill and LG and loads of others do too. Some of us wouldn't be around now if it wasn't for the NHS, and just as you say we shouldn't believe all we hear about what goes on in the US, while there is perhaps much wrong with things in the NHS, there is also much that is magnificent and worthwhile fighting to save. I have also worked in the NHS for most of my life and have worked with people, on all levels, who want it to continue and see the damage that is being done by this, and other recent governments.

 

I hope you understand our passionate belief in the NHS, and why we are so desperate to save it from privatisation.

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I believe I do understand your passion. And I believe there are great doctors in the NHS. And it is also very difficult to change something like the NHS that has been there for so long. It isn't easy to change something drastically that people have had and relied upon for years. I know there are many things that need fixing with the system in the U.S. I admit to that with no difficulty. But what they are proposing is insane. Being denied by insurance companies for pre-existing conditions for example. What is next? Will we have to get DNA screens to see what we MIGHT get in our future and be denied on that information? Everyone is predestined for something! And I know there are wonderful and dedicated doctors in both countries. The U.S. is so great and people travel here all the time for procedures because of the research we do and all the wonderful breakthroughs we have had. I was a beneficiary of one of those doctors passionate about research and making things better. That takes money. Our debt is out of control and this healthcare scheme is just that. A scheme that will surely be the last nail in the coffin. And trust me, this idea some have of doctors arguing over who is going to pay in an emergency situation just doesn't happen. The patient comes first. One thing good about having the ability to choose is if you get a doctor that you just do not like for some reason, (this has happened to me) You just do not go back to him or her and find someone else. I once went to a doctor that was very famous in in field. I thought he was rude and condescending. He was horrible. He might have been considered great at what he does, but his personality was horrible. He had some kind of God complex or something. I felt like I wasn't even in the room. I did more research and found a wonderful doctor that was very empathetic and really helped me. That is the beauty of choice. Also, when there is no competition, there is no reason to be better. When you are good at what you do, people will find you. I have not spoken to one doctor yet that is pro-Obamacare. And that is the honest truth. Thank you for listening.

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