Hello, my name is Michael, I have worked in the NHS for 15 long years, and I am incredibly proud of the service and the original principles. I believe in the right to a healthcare service free at the point of use. However, the foundation of the service and principles are becoming challenges and that is a direct result of chronic underfunding.
The current government and media narratives would have you believe much of the problem is due to an ageing population, un-affordability and lack of staff.
The truth is these are all credible issues facing the modern-day health service, but the current situation we are witnessing has more to do with priorities and deliberate underfunding. While the ageing population does increase the cost of health care and services, it is a positive outcome of a successful health service. It is something that we should be proud of, but often seen as a negative by those who have ulterior motives.
The NHS has suffered since the Tories and liberal democrats came into power during the era of austerity caused by the global economic crash, which is a political choice, not a necessity.
The average increase on NHS budgets every year since the NHS was introduced was 3.7% but since the Tories came into power the yearly increase on average is 1.5% between the years of 2009 to 2019 a massive reduction in the NHS budget (The King’s Fund, 2019). The above information explains the real reason why the NHS is failing to provide the service we are used to; because it has been deliberately underfunded.
The underfunding, reduction and closure of service has painted the picture that the NHS is unaffordable and paths the way for privatisation or outsource which is the current term of choice. The involvement of privatisation started under a labour Government but has massively increased under the Tories despite the constant denial. Furthermore, year on year, underfunding has added to the narrative that the NHS is unaffordable. Well, of course, it is if you are underfunding by the lowest levels in history.
The NHS crisis has been created by the Conservative and in the early years the Liberal Democrats. They do not prioritise your health and well-being, showing utter contempt for the service, values, ethics and survival.
Imagine another five years of a Tory government, what would the NHS look like?
If they continue to underfund it the service as we know it is under threat and could cease to exist. The talks with America is of grave concern because with a proven history of underfunding services and a deal to increase drugs prices could result in certain drugs being withheld or worse, individuals having to pay unjust and extortionate prices. The above adds to the lack of funding, social security, care, empathy and support for those experiencing poverty (14 million, un report, 2018) adding to an increase in health problems leading to more pressure on our health service.
There can only be one conclusion and it is this.
The NHS is being deliberately underfunded, and the vulnerable are being left to rot, and none of the above is safe in the hands of the Conservatives.
Vote for yourself, a neighbour, friends, those with a long term illness or with a terminal illness, the vulnerable and those who are suffering in poverty. We must stand up protect our health service, people, history and things that unite us. Please vote for anyone other than the Conservatives on the 12 December.
Michael Tyrone Shortt
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary