Wednesday, March 09, 2005

John Reid Should be Ashamed

I just read this quote from "Dr" John Reid. "If the Conservatives get in there won't just be cancelled operations - there'll be cancelled lives." What an utter disgrace.


Lady Finchley said...

Desperate times often bring out the worst in people. Blair and Reid are dreadfully rattled because they know the Conservatives have captured the public's imagination. The only one relatively calm seems to be that eternal bridesmaid, Gordon Brown because he is enjoying his colleagues' great discomfort. Big tme schadenfreude! No doubt he's pulling that wedding dress out of the mothballs (yet again)and dreaming misty eyed of his Big Day.

DM Andy said...

But he's right and shouldn't be ashamed in pointing it out. There are people alive now that wouldn't have been if the Tories had still been in charge of this country.

I can be reasonable with the Tories on most subjects, but I've worked in the NHS under the Tories and now under Labour. The Tories cannot be trusted with the health of the nation.

Lady Finchley said...

Rather a sweeping comment, DM. I also have a close connection with the NHS so I would be curious about your experiences with it.

All the best.

DM Andy said...

Ahh, the comments seem to work again (was having trouble earlier)

I mean things like in 1996 when I started working in the NHS, overnight waits in a trolley in A&E was very commonplace, now it's unheard of. In 1997 the hospital I work in had 4 critical care beds (ITU and HDU), now it has 8, next year it will have 10.

Statistically, less people die of cancer now than did under the Tories. When in 1999, the government promised to cut cancer deaths in under 75s from 141 per 100,000 population per year to 113 by 2010 they were ridiculed by the Tories. But as the NAO reported this week, they are well on the way, deaths down to 122 by 2003. That's over 10,000 people who didn't die in 2003 from cancer who would have under the Tories. One can assume that the Tories wouldn't have cut the rates to the same extent if at all because they said that the Government's plans were a waste of money.

By the way, another snippet of information, During the Tory years 1979 to 1997 prescription fees rose from 20p to £5.65 per item. If fees had increased by the same rate from since 1997 then a prescription charge would be nearly £25 by now.

Lady Finchely said...


Of course you know that I am going to regale you with stories which prove my point of view!

Why is that the patients are now waiting longer for cancer diagnosis and for treatment now under Labour?

As for waits in A & E, a close relative of mine who was suffering from a diabetes related illness that had him close to death, didn't get a bed until well into the next day?

My main bugaboo is Labour's obession with non essential NHS staff-I know of a mental health trust that has a communications staff of 10 - and I have no doubt that this is also true throughout the country.

Re presciption charges - try living in the States and not being able to afford private health insurance. My sister pays £100.00 a month for a prescription which I obtain for £6.35! I am sure that you know that certain patients with chronic illness such as diabetes don't pay at all nor do people under a certain income so that argument to me is a bit disengeuous.

We will have to agree to differ but I do respect your opinions nonetheless.

GILES said...

There are people alive now that wouldn't have been if the Tories had still been in charge of this country.

Are you referring to terrorists?

DM Andy said...

Lady F, according to the National Audit Office, cancer treatment is quicker and more effective than before 1999. I'm not going to claim the credit for the Government as there have been advanced in cancer care in recent years, but I can claim that government incentives have helped.

On A&E I'm surprised to hear your comment. of course it can happen, but I can tell you that in the Trust I work for, when a patient waited on a trolley for over 8 hours (I think he waited about 10 in total) there was a major stink about it, that was the only wait of such length last year and we're one of the worst performing trusts on that measure (we only hit the A&E targets once out of the last three quarters).

On Prescription Charges that's exactly my point. The reason it's only £6.40 at the moment is because the rises have been held below inflation since Labour came into power. Labour have also widened the exemption categories, I believe that about 85% of all prescriptions are free now. If the Tories had been in power and increased the charges at the same rates as 1979-97 then the latest rise would have been to £24.90 and more people would have to pay them.

You mention the US Health Insurance system, that's the choice facing us, it's healthcare based on need or healthcare based on ability to pay. Iain, which one do you want?