An alternative perspective on the challenges facing science today
The majority of residents in England have benefited from free healthcare provided by the National Health Service (NHS). I think it is fair to say that the majority of us would be in a worse state of health or even not living if it wasn't for the NHS. The UK economy benefits by million of pounds every year as a result of the NHS keeping the British workforce healthy. According to the latest research, every £1 invested in public healthcare increases GDP by £3 . Yet the government insists on cutting funding for the NHS, while it spends billions of taxpayers' money bailing out corrupt banks, maintaining the monarchy's lavish lifestyle, and fuelling futile wars overseas. Where is the sense in that?
I know how the NHS has helped me. I was born in an NHS hospital with no complications for me or my mother. As a baby my elbow was dislocated, and an NHS doctor popped it back in place. As a toddler I was hospitalised due to severe asthma, which thanks to the NHS is no longer a problem for me. My father was treated for a heart attack and had life-saving heart bypass surgery. Incredibly 10 years on, he is in excellent health. I have no idea how we could have possibly afforded to pay for his open heart surgery had the NHS not existed. And now I have the privilege of working with NHS doctors and scientists to hopefully find the next treatment for heart disease. Of course there are sometimes blunders, nothing is perfect but some healthcare is better than none at all. And the overwhelming majority of healthcare provided by the NHS is of the highest standard, arguably the best in the developed world .
If you have been relying on the BBC for your news, you will have no idea that we now face the possibility of no longer having access to free healthcare by the next general election, and blunders could become the norm with a privatised health service, prioritising profit over welfare. People from countries all over the world envy our national health service and yet our government is destroying it before our very eyes, just to gain lucrative business deals from their pals. If we don't act now, our NHS will disappear and we could pay with our lives, literally. After all good health is not a privilege, it is a human right. So think to yourself, how has the NHS helped you and could you live without it?
Act now! Please join the ongoing People's March for the NHS, which will conclude with a rally in Trafalgar Square at 3.30pm on Saturday 6th September. Please visit 999callfornhs.org.uk for more details and sign up for the march!
Dr. Anusha Seneviratne
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