NHS – Underappreciated and misunderstood…

Earlier this week I was reading an article about a man describing how his sister had died from TB in 1926 and how living on the breadline they could not afford medicines to treat her… How the TB got into her spine and left her paraplegic with a hunchback and totally dependent on their mother. This poor young girl at the age of 10 was in extreme pain while the TB ate away at her spine and invaded her vital organs, she was silent as it had destroyed her vocal chords.

He said, and I quote ‘TB was known in the 19th century as the poet’s disease, but I saw no lyricism in the way it killed Marion. As the autumn days grew shorter in 1926, so did the time my sister had to live. Her last weeks were unbearable but she still fought death. She thrashed her arms about in defiance against the coming end to her life. My parents tried to calm her by stroking her hair or singing to her, but she wasn’t pacified. Instead, Marion wept silent tears and continued to struggle with so much ferocity that in the end my dad reluctantly restrained her to her bed with a rope.’

This gentleman goes on to talk about how when the NHS was formed and for the first time in his life he went to a doctors surgery and was treated from Bronchitis with antibiotics, how grateful he was, to have nothing but be granted the privilege to be given medical treatment as though it is a right.

To us nowadays, we take this for granted… With no thought to how people suffered in drawn out agony with common and easily cured ailments and diseases.

The creation of the NHS has made it so that we are in truth our brother’s keeper, and that taxation benefits everyone through maintaining not just our roads and sewers but the health of our children, workers and elderly.

I have been to the A&E before on a number of occasions. Once because a family member was having a panic attack and thought they couldn’t breathe, the staff there fixed this family member up to every machine possible and all of her vitals were fine. There was nothing wrong. Going there completely wasted their time, but when your family member seems sick and you have no medical knowledge the reassurance and ease of being seen by a medical professional is a comfort to us that we never appreciate until we need it. And even through that whole experience – the medical staff in the A&E department never once faltered in their professional manner, nor in the compassion and patience they showed us.

I have always found the staff in A&E departments to have more patience than a mother… If people waste my time I am not so forgiving, or understanding. I think we should give our NHS and our medical professionals the same respect and admiration we offer to our troops. Because they are holding up a massive responsibility for which they are often underappreciated and unnecessarily blamed for the most absurd things.

Take some time to just think, how many times have you personally used the NHS?

When you go abroad and buy your medical insurance to make sure you can be seen and fund treatment if something goes wrong? Something that doesn’t even cross your mind in the country you live in….

How much comfort does your NHS provide you? And when was the last time you stopped and truly appreciated all the NHS has provided us with?

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