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National Health Service Cash Crisis, What Crisis?

Last modified 2014-03-23 18:03

Patricia Hewitt, the then Secretary of State for Health is quoted as saying the following after 1000 job cuts at a hospital in Stoke on Trent were announced in 2006.

"I have no doubt the people of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire will go on getting better healthcare as a result of the recovery plan." .

A surprising thing to say as these losses included a good proportion of doctors and nurses.

In my locality the Primary Care Trust then imposed a mandatory wait for 16 weeks before a patient can get what is disingenuously called a "non-urgent" hospital appointment.

Countrywide there are similar stories. The Secretary of State has "taken personal responsibility" to remove the financial deficits in the National Health Service.

There is an enormous mismatch between the perceptions of the government and the ordinary person. Tell the average person waiting a mandatory extra time to see an orthopaedic surgeon to get an increasingly painful and disabling arthritic hip replaced that the patient is not affected. They are unlikely to agree either that they are not affected nor that their care is non-urgent. It is improbable that each of us individually can do much to alter this situation. The Secretary of State almost certainly genuinely believes what she says. This raises major problems for meaningful communication and is alarming and disappointing as it shows no knowledge at all about ordinary life. It does not bode well for the ability of government to take the right decisions when these affect us all. This makes it difficult to change policies which seem irrational to most of us but sensible and appropriate to those who decide them.

What can we do About it as Individuals?

Modern medicine is very good at some problems and less so with others. If I need a major operation then clearly modern medicine is the first port of call. At the other extreme if I have a problem such as an anxiety state helped by a talking therapy then a complementary therapy such as , or would be my first choice. If I had a back problem (I do as it happens, amongst other things see ) I would make a bee line for an or .

However if my problem is one of waiting for an operation and I'm stuck with a long wait I would consider a complementary therapy in order to minimise the stress of waiting. Top of the list here would be , or . The only thing offered by modern medicine to someone waiting for a hip replacement is an increasingly strong and problem beset list of painkillers.

Find a that both deals with your problem and suits your temperament, then a therapist in your area and, most importantly, check out that therapist. Talk to a few of their other patients if you can. Look at their website if there is one and make an initial decision making appointment. Then go for it.


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