Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A NATIONAL Health Service?

Last week Ann Marie Rogers (pic right), in her own words, was sentenced to death. She had requested that her local health authority pay for Herceptin medication to treat her breast cancer. They refused. She took them to court. She lost. Rogers has already undergone a breast mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments, but she was hoping that Herceptin would decrease the chances of her cancer recurring. The court ruling may potentially hurt thousands of other English women who currently receive funding for the medication. And yet, what do we hear today? If Ann Marie Rogers lived in Wales, she'd be OK. See HERE. And if she lived in Scotland she'd be OK too. See HERE. It surely renders the concept of a NATIONAL Health Service a joke. However, I am sure Ann Marie Rogers and her family will find it distinctly unfunny that their taxes are paying for Welsh and Scottish women to be given the treatment which their own country denies her. What a disgrace.


HowRidiculous said...

Surely it only makes a mockery of a NATIONAL health service if one subscribes to the view that there is such a thing as a British nation. If we see there being separate Scotch, Welsh and English nations, it all makes perfect sense.

If only England gained ts independence the money it spends on the other nations in the UK could be spent on itself and thus Mrs R might be able to have her Herceptin after all.

Chris Palmer said...

Herceptin is an expensive drug for the NHS to acquire. Further, the benefits are not accepted by all and not a certain "cure."

Had she been given the drug, and it had given her side-effects, due to the drugs' experimental state, no doubt she and others would have been up-in-arms suing the health services.

Of course, if £8 billion wasn't going across the boarder to Scotland for absolutely no good reason, other than for Gordon and Tony to bride Scottish voters, then, indeed, Mrs Rogers might have received the drug.

However, if we privatised the NHS and created an insurance based system, her insurance would have paid for the drug.

ian said...

More of a notional health service.

Question: If Ms Rogers moved to Wales, or rented a house there, would she be entitled to treatment?

Anonymous said...

The NHS spends £80 million per year on Viagra.

That's enough to keep 4000 breast cancer patients on Herceptin for a year.

The NHS spent £85m on consultants in 2004, money which could have paid for 4250 year long courses of Herceptin.

The NHS spends £10 million per year on gender reassignment procedures which would keep 500 patients on Herceptin.

University College Hospital spent £70,000 on a six ton polished pebble for the foyer. That's 3 and a half years of Herceptin treatment.

Addenbrooke's Hospital recruited an art curator on a salary of £37,000. Allowing for a few benefits, enough for 2 Herceptin patients (plus God knows how much he spends a year on art)

There are now more managers and admin staff working in the NHS than there are either hospital beds or nurses. I don't know where to start working out how much Herceptin the over-staff costs would pay for.

This is not a "who pays for what & where" issue. This is a "why is our money being pissed up the wall" issue.

David Vance said...

Surely the point is that the concept of a NATIONAL Health Service is a socialist construct, well past its sell-by date. In that respect it is indeed a Notional Health Service - so why do Conservatives still pander to its flawed ideology???

Anonymous said...

But it goes far,far deeper than this of course - in Scotland students have their university fees paid by the English taxpayer, whilst English students have to rack up huge debts to pay for their fees.
In Scotland, the English taxpayer pays for the elderly to receive free nursing home care, whereas in England,those needing such care have to sell their house and home and all their possessions to fund average residential care costs of £600-£800 per week.
It's not very likely that the "Dour One" is going to change these disgraceful disparities, despite all his supposed support for "Britishness"

wonkotsane said...

You have to live in Wales or Scotland for 3 years before you can get the benefits the locals get, even though you are paying for it along with the rest of England's tax payers.

Why can Scotland and Wales afford Herceptin? Because English taxpayers pay for it. Why are English taxpayers paying for it? Because the British government (specifically the Scottish Chancellor) controls our tax money.

Dying for an English Parliament? English breast cancer sufferers are. Literally.

Anonymous said...

The case for an English Parliament just grows and grows. I bitterly resent my taxes going on keeping Labour strongholds happy.