It’s our NHS: Don’t let it sink.

I was lucky enough to hear Aislinn Macklin-Doherty speak about the NHS recently, and one of her metaphors for the crisis really hit home. She said that the NHS was like a large public ship, where everyone gets their own space, their own cabin, and their own life jacket. It is not fancy, but everyone has enough to get by. Now imagine the private health sector is a flashy yacht. It is resourceful and it is responsive but only the rich and powerful are allowed on it. Now imagine that both these ships are alone at sea, and that this small flashy yacht can only survive if it siphons off the resources from the public ship. At first it tries to woo some of the richer guests onto the boat- with promises of exclusivity- but after a while it gets too crowded. This new demand means it needs more resources. And so instead of trying to woo more people on- it actively tries to sink the big public ship. It fires missiles underwater at its hull, grabbing all the fuel and resources spilling out of the gut of the ship it can get its hand on. The normal people on the ship cannot see this happening and assume the co-existence of these two ships in the sea is peaceful. But it is not. The private health sector can only survive if it drains resources from the NHS. It can only survive if it takes its best doctors, nurses, and facilities. This is the challenge we are facing today, and this is the enemy we are up against. Continue reading