Why I’d back higher taxes to pay for NHS

Bath Chronicle - - OPINION -

At the present time the NHS is sub­ject to se­vere scru­tiny and fre­quent crit­i­cism. I would like to record the ex­cel­lent treat­ment pro­vided by the NHS that my wife, Ann, re­ceived over a 20-month pe­riod when suf­fer­ing from in­op­er­a­ble can­cer. We ben­e­fited greatly from the ded­i­ca­tion and kind­ness of the staff at the Royal United Hospi­tal, Bath, and the as­so­ci­ated ex­ter­nal­lylinked teams. In par­tic­u­lar, dur­ing the months while my wife re­ceived chemo­ther­apy, there were real strengths within the sys­tem both for co-or­di­na­tion and care. We must recog­nise that noth­ing is, and never can be, per­fect but what was demon­strated was good team work­ing and ded­i­ca­tion rang­ing from the con­sul­tant lead­ing the treat­ment through the whole on­col­ogy team. More­over, the off­site dis­trict nurs­ing com­bined with sup­port from the char­ity Dorothy House, again co-or­di­nated, demon­strated that those un­der­tak­ing this work have a com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion be­yond the salary that they re­ceive. As one nurse put it, ‘If I do not do this, who can I ex­pect to do it for me when the time comes.’ We must all re­mem­ber that those within this spe­cial ser­vice, which started 70 years ago, con­trib­ute so much to our so­ci­ety. The fund­ing for gov­ern­ment-run ser­vices must be com­men­su­rate with need; waste must be a min­i­mum. How­ever, I con­sider that if ad­di­tional money is re­quired for the NHS via taxes, then pro­vided these are vis­i­ble and clearly iden­ti­fied as spe­cific for this ser­vice, it would be ac­cept­able to the pub­lic at large. Pro­fes­sor Pe­ter E J Fle­witt FRENG

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