In which there is a defence of the NHS

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Recently the NHS has come in for some criticisms.  In fact, it seems that the NHS is always being criticised for something.

Yes, there have been failings that are very serious, and we cannot accept things like a lack of basic hygiene.  That is not something I would ever condone.

Despite all this, I don’t think we in the UK appreciate enough what we have – good, free healthcare for our entire lives.  With all the talk about President Obama’s attempts to reform the US’ healthcare system, it made me realise how lucky we are to have this quality of healthcare available; not just for those with health insurance through their jobs, or who are able to pay for it, but for everyone who lives here – even those who aren’t British citizens.

I am grateful for the NHS in so many ways.

For the fact that if my father were to keel over in the street having a heart attack (and with our family history, this is quite likely), an ambulance would take him straight to a hospital where he would receive treatment, no questions asked, no need to prove he has insurance or the money to pay for it.

For the fact that if I decide to have a child, I will have the services of a midwife; that I can decide where to have the baby, that I can have a home birth but be backed up with medical assistance at a hospital if anything went wrong.

For the fact that if that baby was born with a defect, a cleft palate for example, it would be fixed straight away and I wouldn’t need to turn to charities such as Smile Train to help with surgery costs.

For the fact that if I had an extended stay in hospital and was off sick from work, I wouldn’t need to worry about being presented with a massive bill at the end of it.

For the fact that my bite was fixed once before and is being fixed once again, saving me thousands and thousands of pounds in orthodontic bills.

So thank you, NHS.  I promise I will never take you for granted.

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