Theresa May’s latest statement regarding the NHS has proven to be another excuse for raising public tax rates in order to provide the National Health Service with a £20 billion ‘boost’. Whilst this may be seen to have a long term effect over the next few years, all it seems to propose for the present is that the public pays more for a service that is already in dire straits, needing new funding NOW in order to stay successful in its mission to help the public.
Conservative mailout signed by the PM says “the money we now send to the EU will go to the NHS” which suggests all of it will be hypothecated – but obviously omits the continuing subscription to EU institutions, and farm and regional payments etc. pic.twitter.com/YIp3Gn5MHk
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) June 19, 2018
Across the past year Accident and Emergency waiting room times have all but doubled to 4 – 6 hours in some areas, with beds being limited, patients forced to stay in busy hallways due to the lack of space, and still hospitals being closed every month because there isn’t enough funding.
In particular difficulty at present are the services made available for Mental Health issues by the NHS. The BBC recorded in 2017 that 1 in 3 sick notes is due to a mental health issue, and yet despite this rising statistic of what is frequently referred to as ‘epidemic levels’ the waiting period for seeking out further help, such as counselling, can be up to 2 months long.
Recently published books such as Adam Kay’s ‘This Is Going To Hurt’ and Christie Watson’s ‘The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story’ both emphasise from firsthand experience how difficult any medical profession is, especially during periods of recession and hyperinflation. Watson claimed that she saw private wards within NHS hospitals increase in number during her 20 years as a nurse, hidden in plain sight. Kay on the other hand emphasised the stress of performing high risk surgeries on lack of sleep and the dangers of limiting the health care available to the public through elitism and class based discrimination.
Not only is there a need for better salaries for these roles and funding for resources, there is a desperate need for further support for our doctors and nurses to ensure they stay healthy too.
Working 24 hour shifts and being continually dismissed as ‘greedy’ despite receiving so little in comparison to what they give, these individuals need support that will be effective now opposed to in 2023. Long term provisions should of course be a continual investment, but if it is at the extent of further suffering in our current society it is not doing its job and is hence useless to handling this crisis.
Economically speaking costs are going up and up routinely for everyday expenses, with the average millennial now predicted not to move out of home until they are in their early 30’s and even then most likely with over £50,000 of student loan debt. Beyond the NHS, there is a housing shortage across the country, art education cuts and issues every day with public transport. How much more do we have to be charged as a nation in order for taxes to actually start paying for all of these public rights?
It’s time that the government started to note that being cared for when we are sick should not be a privilege. Whilst there is of course ‘no magic money tree’ to provide for all of the services and improvements necessary, it is perfectly possible to research and plan more specifically where any money given by the public is going to go regarding the NHS. And this should be shared with the citizens too – how can we understand what our government is doing and provide our opinions democratically speaking if we do not know what is going on? It is time that statistics stated are explained for, just as there is no magic money tree, no magic unvouched-for statistic is going to achieve this either.