Dear Mr Yeo,
I’ve relied on the NHS more than most people. I was born in 1944, so I’m just a few years older than the NHS. Soon after it was introduced, I had pneumonia. I remember very little about it except a frightening visit to hospital for an X-ray with my mother.
About 30 years later, my son was born in an NHS hospital after a procedure to prevent premature birth, because I’d previously miscarried.
I’ve had treatment or care for hepatitis, pyelitis (thanks to a kidney deformity), depression, cancer (twice), heart disease, asthma, arthritis, cellulitis and macular degeneration. I’ve had ME for 25 years, and I’ve had a hysterectomy, a lumpectomy, a mastectomy, an abdominal sacrocolpopexy, and surgery involving a plate for a broken ankle. Before it was computerised, my file at my GP’s surgery was enormous. My hospital file is similarly large.
Without the NHS, I’d have been dead a long time ago.
So you can imagine that I feel very strongly about the NHS, and how it should be managed. I do not accept that increasing privatisation will benefit patients or reduce costs. PFI, used to build hospitals like the Norfolk & Norwich under Labour, has been enormously wasteful of public funds. I see no good reason for extending its use. I fully agree with all the points made by the BMA: http://www.lookafterournhs.org.uk/more/
Please restrain Mr Lansley and urge your colleagues to think again about the changes being proposed to the NHS.