A privilege and not a right
In 1948 the then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS based on three core principles: 1. That it meets the needs of everyone; 2. That it be free at the point of delivery; 3. That it be based on clinical need, not the ability to pay.
The NHS was wholly funded by the government, (taxpayer), and was seen as a ground breaking concept which reflected the mood of society at the time and it proved to be an overwhelming success. For 30 or 40 years it was hailed as the best health service in the world but inevitably became the victim of its own success, people lived longer, fewer people died young and more healthy babies were born.
Life expectancy in the 1950s was 65 by 2010 this had risen to 77, there are now more than 10m people over 65 and, of course, in general the older they grow the more medical attention they need. It is inevitable then that to maintain Bevan’s principles increased resources must be made available to accommodate this ageing population. This has not been the case.
Social perceptions of the NHS have also changed dramatically since its inception, free health care is now considered a right rather that a privilege, it is only in recent years that A&E departments have been faced with an overburdening influx of ‘patients’ with minor ailments, to say there is massive abuse of the system would not be an overstatement. In 1948 public drunkenness would result in a night in police cells and a hefty fine, now such behaviour is rewarded with a trip to A&E in an ambulance so depriving many of those in real need of the care they deserve.
Have social values changed so much that drunks and drug addicts are now considered to be victims and are afforded equal or better treatment than the rest of us? What is so often forgotten is that those in the most need of an NHS system were alive at its conception, they have worked for 45 plus years, dutifully paying National Insurance and Tax in order that they will be paid back in the future, as promised.
National Insurance was, as the name suggests, an insurance policy for the future and coupled with taxation funded the NHS. Why then is the ageing population now used to explain the failures of the NHS, after all it is they that have funded it for the past 65 years!
Is it not time to change Bevan’s second core principle and charge the abusers and parasites who together with greedy solicitors have turned what was once a wonderful dream into a failing unaffordable ideal?
Michael McCarthy, Ribbleton
Plans for wrong for St Ignatius
I read with astonishment that St Ignatius Catholic Church has been given to the Syro Preston Catholics (LEP January 12) not allowing Preston Catholics to worship with this group at the Church.
One has to ask the following question. Do this group speak and understand English? If so why can’t this congregation have a priest who will give a mass in English or Latin to the Catholics who want to worship in this Church? If it goes through this is discrimination to the old St Ignatius Catholics who used to attend their Church.
John Brown, Ex St Ignatius Catholic, Preston
Time to build a super store
Now we know Tesco is closing a load of stores and shedding 2,000 jobs, how well does that sit with the story they are even contemplating building a store on the increasingly derelict Cop Lane site?
Now the charming owners of the Fleece Inn have chucked their toys out of the pram I reckon the council should build a huge car park on Cop Lane, and even if we have nowhere to shop, we can sit on a nice big car park and wonder where it all went wrong.
Allan Fazackerley, via e-mail