I discovered about a year ago that I had cataracts. One in each eye, the right being worse than the left. At the time the opthalmologist offered to list me for an operation but being terrified I refused and said I would wait. So the right eye has deteriorated and I have been pondering increasingly on why I would choose to go through younger old age with a sight problem that can be improved considerably by surgery (though obviously there are risks). Today therefore I went back to outpatients at Newark Hospital and have been listed for the operation on my right eye in April.
I have always had a passionate belief that free and comprehensive healthcare is an essential in any decent and civilised society. We do not need Blair's Foundation Hospitals and supposed "choice".
The existence of Foundation Hospitals in some areas implies there will be less competent facilities in other parts of the country. What justification can there be for giving some members of the population an inferior service in this way?
Choice? You can only make genuine choices when you have a full knowledge of the product you are purchasing, the alternatives that are available, and the power or resource to ensure you get it. Selecting a treatment for a possibly life threatening illness is rather more complex than buying a pound of apples off the market. With illness there are not the opportunities to learn by mistakes "the surgeon made a balls up so I'll try another the next time I need a hysterectomy".
What sick people need is a decent facility not too far from where they live adequately resourced and staffed with competent and motivated people. I have faith in the UK NHS and I have always had a good service, as I did today. This despite the fact that staff have been demoralised by years of change which has not always had an obvious benefit for patients, so called modernisation and other triumphs of form over function.
I will keep you posted on developments as my treatment progresses.
NO MORE BORING THAN MANY ANOTHER BLOG
No, not your blog of course. I concede that your posts are succinct, insightful, humorous and well worth reading. That is why I would appreciate it if you could spare a moment to cast your eye over my efforts and let me know how I can encourage people to read it. On the other hand it may be the most boring blog, someone's has to be.