With surgery on the 9th of December and the small matter of a general election 3 days later, the Funny Boy and I have confirmed a postal vote so we don’t miss out. In the last few years I have found political news fascinating – it is so gripping it resembles a Netflix blockbuster series! From Independence to Brexit there has been plenty of drama. It is hard to watch and at times even harder to believe. For one programme we simply have too many villainous characters – I don’t know who to trust!
Two major hospitals in Scotland have experienced huge challenges under the Scottish National Party: The Glasgow Queen Elizabeth Hospital is facing one problem after another and as for the revamped Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh – that was due to open 4 years ago but can’t due to problems with air conditioning and risk of flooding. As a Neuro patient I was promised the move to the new department in May 2018 but to no avail – a date is still ‘to be confirmed’.
More so than ever before, I have people asking me who will get my vote and the truth is I am still unsure.
It is fair to say that I’m a hospital patient more than your average person in their 30s and on each occasion I always leave feeling in awe of the doctors and nurses who support me. Their dedication and passion is second to none and I have never met a harder working group of people. On more than one occasion I have watched nurses work a 12 hour shift finding no time to finish a hot cup of tea, let alone a proper lunch break!
As for the Conservative Goverment – they have steadily reduced budgets, the number of nurse training places has been cut and they abolished bursaries for trainee nurses. The result of which is 93% of NHS trusts falling short of the number of nurses they need: that’s three times more than five years ago. Nurses are being substituted with untrained assistants.
Ultimately the front facing team who deliver healthcare are not able to do their job to the best possible standard meaning people’s lives are at stake.
Now, there is proof that our current Prime Minister has initiated conversations with the USA which suggests that privatisation of our NHS could be a reality in the future. This terrifies me!
The average cost of someone being treated for brain cancer in the USA is $150,000 per year. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be to face a cancer diagnosis whilst dealing with the financial implications.
Today I had a four hour appointment to check I was fit for surgery. This allowed time for me to discuss the procedure with my surgeon, anaesthetist and nurses. Living in the UK, I don’t need to worry about the cost of treatment because we have the INCREDIBLE NHS. This is what our taxes pay for – the NHS is our lifeline that is there when we need it: 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! I am genuinely frightened that our vital lifeline could be lost within the next two decades.
In my lifetime I have had 8 operations. In the last decade I have had over 20 MRI scans, countless blood tests and more. In the last 18 months I have required 5 ambulance trips and spent more than 40 nights in a hospital bed. Every morning I take three types of medication which I depend upon to get me through the day. I have a medical team which includes specialists from surgery, oncology, neurology, epilepsy, psychology and even menopause.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate, accidents happen and everyone will experience poor health at some point. Let’s not jeopardise healthcare based on who can afford it. As you prepare to vote, please take time to appreciate our NHS and consider how your vote can protect it.
As always, FUCANCER