Wednesday, 26 August 2009

NHS safe in their hands? Hardly...

There's been lots of crocodile tears from all sides about the parlous state of the NHS in recent weeks, driven by the USA's debate over whether to have an equivalent publicly-run health service or not.

Thatcherite poster boy, local MEP and general Tory buffoon Dan Hannan started the row (as usual) by telling a US audience that the NHS was a "sixty-year mistake".

Labour politicians - presumably afraid to admit that some of their number were using their excessive ministerial salaries to opt out and buy private health care for themselves and their families - completely failed to defend the NHS and its staff, despite the facts that life expectancy is longer in the UK than the US - and that American taxpayers pay more NOT to have an NHS than we do to fund one.

It wouldn't be so bad if this was just an academic row - but it isn't.

Just this week, The Argus has run two stories revealing the extent of the cash shortfall faced by local NHS services under Labour's stewardship: on Monday it led with the shocking news that crumbling Sussex hospitals faced a £120 million unpaid bill for a backlog of building repairs - and yesterday we learned that here in Kemp Town the Royal Sussex County Hospital alone has spent £3 million on temporary staff since April.

Sometimes it seems that only the Green Party remains committed to a publicly-funded, free for all, health service - and believe that it's fairer to fund it from general taxation than a share of the profits made by the private companies the government is sneaking into the NHS with increasing frequency.

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