Thursday, 7 April 2016

Born (and re-born) on the public NHS

Some of us get to be born more that once in our lifetime.

The first time for me was in 1971, when my mother gave birth to me in a hospital in Andover.

The second time was in 1991, in a GPs' surgery in Brighton, then another in Camberley, then in a hospital in Frimley, then another in Surrey. The second birth was a little more tricky than the first (though my mother might argue otherwise), because it involved the complex and time-consuming process of diagnosing my MS.

So I've had two successful births, and endless loving care before, during and after each one, all of it on the public NHS.

Getting my MS diagnosed when I did changed everything in my life for the better. If I hadn't been able to turn to the NHS for help when I was at my most vulnerable, at the start of life with a condition that would affect every important decision I have made as an adult (and every important decision the rest of the world would make about me) I really don't know what would have become of me.

I owe the NHS everything.

Today, junior doctors all over the country are on strike over the imposition by the Conservative Government of contracts which the junior doctors describe as "unsafe and unfair". I, and the Green Party, wholeheartedly support the striking junior doctors in their efforts. We condemn the disgraceful treatment the Conservative Government is meting out to those young men and women who have devoted their lives to giving millions of people who rely on the NHS the most precious gift of all: our quality of life.

I smiled when I heard that cast members of the Channel 4 comedy Green Wing had turned out to support the striking junior doctors at Northwick Park Hospital earlier this week. I have received treatment at Northwick Park that probably saved my life on not one but two occasions when I lived in nearby Harrow.

To the junior doctors who have been placed in this appalling position I send my loving support.

Long live the public NHS.

See also: Larry Sanders gives Green Party backing for striking junior doctors

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