Privatisation – Survival for the Richest

Since April we’ve been operating under the new NHS. Some changes to the NHS will bring greater functional efficiency and cost savings but for the cynical there are enough danger signs to trigger the all-too-familiar fear of impending doom. I’m depressed, I wish I could take something but all the anti-depressants seem to list the very symptoms I have amongst the side effects. What have I to do?

One of the changes which will supposedly usher efficiency is the electronic transmission of prescriptions from your GP to your nominated pharmacy.  Although Leeds had one of the first sites to pilot the system we still lag behind many localities that have already gone live. Despite this, at Day and Night we have started registering those who are nominating us onto the NHS spine so that when a local GP goes live we will be ready.  I’m informed GPs only need to give 6 weeks’ notice to go live. Those already on our Carousel Repeats or collections need not do anything. ‘Electronic prescription’ will mean less hassle to the GP and patient but not for me. I’ll still have to print the scripts to process them- so sweatier armpits for me.
As with most people I have a sickly feeling that the other changes to the NHS such as the introduction of the Commissioning Support Units with their commercial outlook indicates the first steps towards full blown privatisation…. Now even the Iron Lady, the champion of free markets, did not tamper to that extent. Life is succinct. Without accessible healthcare life is cheap.
Only over a year ago my father passed away on admission to a ‘private hospital’ in that country of my birth whilst the nurse who was supposed to monitor his oxygen supply joined the receptionist in demanding payment guarantees from my folks! I suppose this is a far drawn example of more than just privatisation gone bad, but my point is that life must not be dependent on the depth of one’s pocket at the point of healthcare delivery- UK or Zimbabwe. The pastor at the service said words to the effect that God decides one’s time.
I shook my head in disapproval then and I’m still shaking now. How can we accept that a poor healthcare service is God’s will? Does the Lord favour us in the West that we should have a life expectancy of 80 years whilst most Africans expect much less than 60? Is this the Creators choice? All my old man needed to avert hospitalisation and  subsequent demise was a course of penicillin in the first instance but the rural clinic did not have it…. Therefore, no it wasn’t his time.
No one should die of a simple case of pneumonia anywhere in the world.  It’s certainly not God’s wish.
We have the technology to extend life to as far as we can humanly stretch it-MMR immunisation in Wales or supply of anti-malarial drugs in the tropics. The likes of the popular Mandela (bless him) and the loathed Mugabe (bless him too, life’s too succinct) have not outlived most of their generation in Southern Africa because God loves them more- these men just happen to have access to the best healthcare around! Our times in the UK will be extended even further, for the rich and the poor, as long as the NHS is not privatised.
Yours Medicinally, Abel Kubare,
Superintendent Pharmacist Day & Night Pharmacy
PS: Lest I forget the purpose of this column-advice: Do not open the eye immediately or blink rapidly after instilling an eye drop. Rather shut the eye for a few minutes or better still press a forefinger along the eye bag (just under lower eye lid), this stops the medication from rapidly streaming down the back of the nose and throat. It’s important to get the medication into the eye for glaucoma or other major eye conditions, so don’t rush to open your eyes- you won’t miss much.

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