Far be it from me to politicize this blog, but I have great trouble understanding how anyone can brand a system based on the principles of providing healthcare for all as â€˜evil’.Â
The UK NHS has many flaws. It is over-stretched, weary, beleaguered, underfunded, occasionally incompetent, occasionally misguided, in parts outmoded, over-managed and often frustrating. But it is not evil, in any sense of that rather incendiary word.
I have had occasion to need the NHS a few times in my life. Sometimes I had to sit in a waiting room longer than I would have liked. Sometimes I felt that I was getting a little less than the 100% attention I thought I deserved. But if I ever felt like complaining, I just reminded myself that I could be in the US and not have health insurance, â€œso thank God for the NHS.â€
Barack Obama said recently: â€œEvery time we come close to passing health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything theyâ€™ve gotâ€¦ They use their political allies to scare and mislead the American peopleâ€¦ we canâ€™t let them do it again. Not this time. Not now.â€
Rousing words, and ones that confirmed a widespread image of Obama as a man of conviction, passionately committed to the reform he was elected for. But it looks as if he will struggle to see his vision through. Of course he will, for the very reasons he outlines above.
I would ask those fiercely anti-reform politicians to be careful with the word â€˜evilâ€™. If they think that valuing the life and health of the poor as highly as the well off is â€˜evilâ€™, then perhaps their concept of good and bad has been skewered somewhere along the line.
Of all the pharma CEOs Iâ€™ve met and talked to, I can remember a good few who had their arguments with the UK NHS.Â But I donâ€™t remember any of them calling it evil. Â