Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Why we must fight for the NHS

Last night I watched a programme on channel 4 called Bodyshock- “I'm Turning into a Giant”. I don’t normally watch such programmes, as they appear at time to resemble a freak show. However I had a personal interest in this programme, because it dealt with acromegaly, a condition I myself had suffered from.

In 1994 at the age of 41, I started to feel very ill and was eventually rushed into the Middlesex Hospital where I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

However the medical staff began asking me strange questions. Had I noticed any differences in my appearance? (No) Had my shoes got tight? (Yes) Had rings got tight? (Didn’t where any) had anyone noticed any change in my appearance? (Friends were probably too polite to say so.


Eventually they told me they suspected I had Acromegaly, and a series of test confirmed this.


From then on I was a bit of star patient (only about 3 people in a million have the condition) and saw many medical students.

However once the condition was confirmed and my diabetes under control (I began injecting myself with insulin daily). I was released from hospital, but told I would be needing surgery.


Within a fortnight I was in the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN). Where in a few days I was operated on successfully.

I can consifer my lucky I was living in London at the time (Indeed close to the NHNN)
Such was the success pf the operation ,that not only was the acromegaly dealt with, but after a short time I started producing my own insulin again and ceased to have the symptoms of diabetes.

I may possibly be the only person to claim that diabetes saved my life! In that it is thanks to that condition the acromegaly was diagnosed before any serious damage was done.

However the main point of this article is that thanks to the NHS I was treated successfully and never once did I have to worry about the cost of it  or how I was going to pay. I wonder how the people in the USA featured in the programme managed

David Laws the former Lib-Dem cabinet minister was one of the writers of the "Orange Book" . In the book the group offers  free market liberal solutions to a number of perceived problems in society, such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government, the European Union and prisons. It is was written by those Lib-Dems who are most comfortable in Con-Lib collation.

Laws in the book referred to "soggy socialism". But it was socialism that inspired our NHS. Some Liberals will say that it was Beveridge but I believe that Nye Bevan was largely influenced by his own  South Wales Miners Federadition’s medical scheme. If it wasn’t for this far sighted scheme by our own people I might not have been around to write this blog, and it is time they were given the credit they deserved.

1 comment:

  1. I very much enjoyed reading your post and I am very glad that you are happy with the treatment you got at the NHNN. I work at the hospital amd would love to hear more about your story. If you'd like to get in touch, please email your number to communications @ uclh.nhs.uk and I will call you right back or call 020 7380 9897.

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