Several years ago I had to discharge myself from an NHS hospital after three days of receiving no visit from anyone who could diagnose my excruciating gall stones. By the time I escaped and got to a private consultant my gall bladder had become gangrenous. Another day or two in the tender care of the NHS and I would have been dead.
This monstrous Leviathan did its level best to kill me and, even though it failed, it can’t be faulted for effort. Apparently the NHS is doing much better in thousands of other cases. Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust alone is responsible for killing 1,200 patients between 2005 and 2009, which is pretty good going for just one part of one of the UK’s 86 counties.
Desperately ill people were left in soiled sheets, unwashed, thirsty and hungry. Listing the causes of death, most sources cite such neglect, but few mention MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections – or indeed the waiting lists that must have killed many people before they even got into those murderous fleapits. Neglect and infections are often connected, though not necessarily so. My mother-in-law, for example, was neither thirsty nor hungry in her Devon hospital, but MRSA got to her anyway.
The papers are full of indignant commentary on our murderous health service, and all sorts of measures are being proposed. Sending doctors and nurses to prison for dereliction of duty is among the more radical ideas, while most others deal with removing this or that glitch.
Commentators coming out of the left political field feel that pumping more money into the NHS will turn it into a model the rest of Europe will want to follow (so far no other country has). Those more conservatively minded talk about reducing administrative staffs and building up frontline services.
No intrepid soul has come up with the only true explanation for the disgraceful state of our medical care. Which is that the NHS is so rotten because it’s based on a rotten idea.
There is a good reason this obvious fact has been overlooked, and a shortage of intelligent commentators isn’t it. It’s just that the British have been brainwashed to look upon the NHS not as a mere expediency, a purely practical way of administering medical care, but as a cult.
For even an intelligent Brit to suggest that the NHS is fundamentally flawed is akin to a Muslim saying that there is a God other than Allah and Mohammed isn’t his prophet. One may question the shaman but not the bull’s head sitting atop the totem pole.
Such inordinate worship is wrong even in theory, for no administrative setup, or for that matter no man-made institution, ought to be held as sacrosanct. People are fallible, indeed fallen, which is why we aren’t blessed with perfect institutions in this world. And imperfect ones should be open to criticism, including the kind that raises doubts about their raison d’être.
The false, destructive idea on which the NHS is based goes by the name of equality. As with all modern ideas springing from such an ideological bias, when put into practice they achieve the exact opposite of their declared aim.
‘Equality’ in education means, for all intents and purposes, no education. Equality in university admissions means degrading higher learning. ‘Gender’ and race equality at work means denying employment to the most qualified candidates and thereby damaging the economy. And equality in medical care means, well, Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.
It ought to be clear by now that no giant government undertaking can possibly succeed in anything other than shifting more money, and therefore power, the way of the state. No modern country can afford a fully nationalised medicine – not the kind of medicine that can keep up with the advances in diagnostic technology and pharmacology, not to mention a rapidly aging population.
No other European country even tries – they have all put into effect a combined system involving tax incentives, private insurance and some state involvement. As a result, they all boast much better standards of medical care than our dear NHS can even dream about – and the gap is growing wider. Yet the NHS is already the biggest employer in Europe, so what’s the plan? Make it the only one?
Like most socialist projects, the NHS is based on a lie, in this instance that medical care is free. In fact the 12 percent of our income we shell out for National Insurance Tax makes the NHS one of the most expensive systems of medical care in the world.
True enough, you go to hospital now and pay later, through your taxes. But free at the point of purchase doesn’t mean free – this impression is illusory and therefore wrong. What is undeniably true is that, if we discount the postcode lottery, the NHS provides equal care for everyone – which in essence means rotten care for all.
Socialism in general, and all its offshoots, including the NHS, is indeed about universal equality, but only of those who don’t belong to the ruling elite. It’s in fact the most self-serving of all methods of government. That’s why we shouldn’t be surprised that the administrative staff of the NHS, along with various government agencies responsible for medicine, is growing in inverse proportion to the diminishing size of frontline medical personnel.
All those directors of diversity, optimisers of facilitation and facilitators of optimisation perform the core function of the NHS – increasing the power of the state over the individual. When all those expensive doctors, nurses and hospital beds get in the way, they’re brushed aside – in essence, they’re superfluous.
Do our MPs know this? One suspects many, perhaps most, do. But if the bill to do away with the NHS were to come up for ballot, it would be defeated well-nigh unanimously – this regardless of how persuasive and well-supported the argument in favour would be.
One may get away even with voting against one’s own party. But one votes against secular gods at one’s peril.