NHS cuts hitting home

NHS CutsWe all know that when David Cameron said that the NHS budget was protected, this was as likely to happen as Margaret Thatcher being a columnist in the Morning Star. But, I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure just how bad it would be. That wasn’t until it really started having an impact on my life and those around me.

So, first, how it has affected me: For anyone who read my blog on 31 May 2011 (http://www.cwuyouth.org/view-blog.html?blog_id=229) you’ll know that I suffer from a problem with my spine. I’ve been on fairly strong medication for a few years to calm the pain and enable me to go about everyday life. You can imagine my surprise when my new GP told me that they don’t give prescriptions for the medicationPrescription Drugs I’ve been on for the past three years. After a couple of questions from me I was told that the reasons were due to safety concerns. After a few more questions (where I explained to the GP that I knew that the tablets I take are six times more expensive than the ones he wanted to prescribe), the GP admitted that instructions had been given for cheaper medication to be given. So, the GP prescribed me tablets which I took years ago and were shown to have little effect on my pain. Obviously this isn’t the end of the world. However, when you tie in the likely changes to employment law, this is very worrying. People are genuinely going to be without the care they need, be less able to work because of this, and then be penalised at work.

NurseThen there’s my mother. She works for the NHS. If the Government would like to meet her and tell her that there are no cuts to the NHS, I’m sure she’d show them round the hospital she works in and explain every single cut. Having completed 27 years in the NHS it now seems that my mother will have her hours cut (because this way the NHS hasn’t made her redundant) to a point that she can’t afford her outgoings.

Then there are my grandparents. When you get to a certain age, there’s always a slight dependency on the health service. And why shouldn’t there be? After 50 years of paying into the system, it’s only reasonable to expect something out of it. Having had a heart valve replacement, my Grandfather has regular check-ups. At the minute it looks like anotherOld Person Handsoperation may be necessary. So, my Grandfather has been given an “urgent” appointment. It seems that the NHS has rewritten the meaning of the word “urgent” to mean 6 months. I dread to think what could happen in 6 months.

We all know that we can’t trust anything that David Cameron says, so we shouldn’t be surprised about the changes in the NHS. But, why aren’t we more angry? Why aren’t we protesting to protect our NHS? Why aren’t we? Why aren’t you?

Ryan Case
CWUYouth Committee
West Yorkshire Branch