Whilst I can understand everyone’s concerns about the NHS reforms, I do think that some people look at it through rose tinted spectacles.
I had to change my GP earlier this year because my old GP was unable to offer me an appoitntment within the next three weeks. They suggested I call every day at 8am for an emergency appointment, but of course when I did the phone was permanently engaged. Fortunately I had the choice to register with a new GP, an no-one sees this choice as a threat to the future of the NHS. So why shouldn’t patients have this choice in other areas.
The Labour MP earlier in this thread quotes the example of his excellent treatment for a benign brain tumour, but he might also care to ask himself why the UK has some of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe, or why it is not unknown for people who have been diagnosed with cancer to wait two months for their treatment to begin. He might also like to comment on the following cases, all of which took place when his party was in power, and whilst the government which he supported poured billions of taxpayers money into the NHS.
There has to be something wrong with the system when cases like these occur.
You also have to ask yourself why most other countries in Western Europe have not adopted a system like the NHS, and why their cancer survival rates are better, and why there are none of the long delays for diagnostic tests and treatment that you can experience in the UK. (I have been recently referred for an MRI scan, and told I must wait 6 weeks)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_France describes how the Healthcare system operates in France, and people might like to compare this with the system in the UK and ask themselves which system they would prefer, or whether they would prefer elements of the French system to be introduced in the UK.
I think there are far too many vested interests within the NHS at the moment, and the patient is often the last person to be considered. Consultants have a vested interest in keeping NHS waiting lists long, in order to give their patients an incentive to go private. It was Nye Bevan who, to use his own words, had to “stuff their mouths with gold” in order to get doctors to co-operate with the NHS when it was established in 1948.
As someone who has PPMS and is likely to rely on the NHS increasingly in future, I want to see it continue. What ulimately matters is that people have access to the healthcare that they need, when they need it, and that low income is not a barrier to receiving healthcare. Not whether the NHS as an institution survives in its present form because the government (of what ever party) is afraid to tackle the real issues.