I am grateful to my local M.P. Geoffrey Cox for the above figures. He didn’t answer my request for his opinion and insight on my proposal but he did supply me figures that were doubtless intended to persuade me believe that the N.H.S. is being well-tended by the Conservative Government. It is my deep belief that the N.H.S. has been poorly tended by successive Governments for many decades. Indeed, as with education, it is time all political parties stopped using the N.H.S. as a political football and joined together in a crusade to right the ship before it finally keels over and perishes.
My proposal to supply an estimated extra £350-million through a Government sponsored sweepstake looks small beer when compared to the staggering amount of money already entering N.H.S. coffers. Of course once you multiply the trifling £350-million by the 5 years the Government are allowing themselves to right the ship a more impressive number emerges.
Yet with all this existing and promised funding A & E departments remain threatened with either closure or partial closure at night due to staff shortages, cottage hospitals are closing at rate of knots, operating theatres and wards are being mothballed, specialist departments such as maternity units merged as is proposed in my local area with North Devon’s closing, forcing expectant mothers to travel up to Taunton, and G.P. surgeries either closing due to a lack of doctors or waiting lists for appointments becoming as hard to obtain as membership to the Jockey Club.
Of course there is an elephant in the room. If the staggering amounts of money being invested in the N.H.S. is not enough to halt the rapid decline the problem must be that it is being overrun due to a population that is now so large medical services and social care can no longer be sustained through the resource of taxation. And with the population only likely to increase over the coming decades it can only be assumed that no amount of funding will ever be found to maintain the British Health Service as a respected and viable operation.
I am beginning to think my £350-million sweepstake funding, even though it would pay the wages of a good many doctors and train a good many nurses, is only a drop in the ocean compared to what is really needed. £350-million pound, a drop in the ocean! What is the world coming to?
I must return to the elephant no one is prepared to acknowledge. How can an ever-increasing population be catered for when the number of N.H.S. facilities is decreasing. De-coding the figures supplied to me by my M.P. it seems the Government are giving themselves 5 years to get on top of the problem. But I suspect that during those 5 years the population will have increased again and the number of N.H.S. facilities, not to mention the number of doctors and nurses, will have similarly decreased and the problems we have today will remain unfixed in 5 years’ time. My proposed £350-million a year will certainly help though it cannot solve, whereas putting a brake on immigration will.
When the population is allowed to swell, shall we say by a third in a short amount of time, you give yourself the mounting problems of a third more traffic on the roads, a third more sewage to dispense, a third more housing required, a third more need for water, electric, gas etc. You also put a third more strain on medical and social care. That is the elephant the Government is too scared to address for fear of being tarred with the brush of xenophobia. I would term it being patriotic and serving the people born and bred in the country they are pledged to serve.