When the socialized health care system in the UK takes a political view, it matters. This week it has done just that. So when the Health Minister in Boris Johnson’s new administration, Mathew Hancock, sent out instructions to the 1.5 million National Health Service (NHS) employees (a full 5% of the national workforce) to threaten a withdrawal of care for some people, it was a real shock.
The guidelines to all NHS employees state that while today they can refuse to treat people who are verbally or physically violent, now they will be at liberty to refuse non-emergency treatment from anybody whom the medical professional deems to be exhibiting “harassment, bullying or discrimination, including those using homophobic, sexist or racist remarks”.
This provision, though outwardly in keeping with general provisions, is different in an NHS whose key founding principles were simple, understandable and entirely equable -- that it was to “meet the needs of everyone, that it be free at the point of delivery, that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.”
At no point did the post war consensus state, “unless you hold political opinions we don’t happen to like”.
No right minded individual approves of racism, sexism, or homophobia. However people who do share those views are citizens and taxpayers too. It is their money they spend when they enter the hospital. After all, as a society we provide healthcare for those in prison, even child killers and terrorists; it would be monstrous not to do so.
Part of the problem is the way in which decisions as to what constitutes these hate crimes is made. Recently in the UK, there has been the development of “non-crime hate offenses”. Last year the police investigated 129,000 of these incidents that, given they are not criminal offenses, can result in no prosecution or charge, just the heavy breath of an invasive state. In a recent court case a judge described the activities of the police. He pointed out that “In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi”.
It would be true to state today that the UK is not a Christian country. It is more a NHSian country. The National Health Service is a point of blind pride for pretty much every UK citizen. No politician can emerge from any dealings with it, with even so much as a splinter in their finger, without the contemporary liturgy, “I thank the NHS and all its wonderful staff for looking after me and my family at this traumatic time. The NHS is the pride of Britain, and the envy of the world.”
The thing is it just isn’t. In recent years the whole system has fallen into disarray. Cancer survival rates are the worst in the developed world and many other aspects of the UK health system are creaking under a system derived around the interests of the service providers rather than the consumers of those services -- the general public.
Bring in a system of thought police to add threats over lifestyle choices and the current 60 year old love affair with the NHS may go the way of the collapse in faith in the BBC, which is now under threat from the government given its capture by the liberal left.
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