The Cult Of The NHS

NHS medical records to be sold off
NHS's "supporters" do their cause a disservice if they do not tolerate it being criticised. I've stopped trusting the organisation almost entirely, mainly because the realities I've witnessed during the illnesses of friends and relatives have so often fallen short of the quasi religious status invoked to protect it.

Firstly, it's failings are an area most people are ignorant of because the broadcast media often shields its audiences from horror stories regarding malpractice and its overly high death rates compared to the US precisely because they are so terrifying and upsetting.

Secondly this fact is coupled with the reality that, as with any large employer, you instantly face the wrath of sombunall[1] NHS employees if you're not seen to be "on side". Their anger reaches jaw dropping extremes if one of their cult members defect, apostasy is punished almost without mercy[2]. It therefore often becomes a topic best left alone.

However, in our new age, this tactic falls foul of short term thinking and, like those of the BBC, its "supporters" do damage to the institution they claim to love by managing to extract nuance from the debate. Furthermore, in frequently and childishly assuming all critics must be "evil Tories" who hate everything about the organisation, they alienate potential allies who are merely voicing their genuine concerns. There's something profoundly evil about seeing a sick patient's complaints swept under the carpet of the left right paradigm but it's frequently what happens in the heat of online debate.

The fact this polarisation tactic is so often used by both representatives of Her Majesty's Government (the politicians) and those in its employment (sombunall NHS staff and their unions) starts to make it seem an almost deliberate ploy when you realise that it plays straight into their hands, both feeding a desire for further taxation (when the mask of the "left wing" is worn) and funnelling critics into the privatisation point of view by branding them "right wing".

Perhaps staff who do this have genuinely been misled, or are emotionally confused by the worry they'll lose their jobs and not be able to feed their children if forced to earn a living in the private sector, but politicians I make no excuses for. Unlike a Nurse or a Doctor, they do nothing of value for our society and so in my book must account for their idiocy and lack of character at every turn. Their stock in trade is pernicious excuses and passing the blame. This is why their kind always pretend that criticism of the NHS must be an attack upon all those who work within it:
They know this tactic pushes the focus away from them and onto The Cult Of The NHS's "untouchables", the doctors and nurses.

Nigel Lawson once described our Health Service as "the closest thing the English have to a religion, with those who practise in it regarding themselves as a priesthood". This is how Her Majesty's Government seems to view the situation and the public dance to Her tune each time they agree. The truth is both doctors and nurses are human and sombunall have indeed made terrible mistakes which they must be held accountable for.

Now, those who have trusted their doctors and nurses with private medical information are likely to have a moment where they will question their faith as today's news emerges that medical records, regarding both physical and mental health, are to be sold off to the highest bidder, after they are placed on the oh so private internet, a global communications system. Promises offered by politicians that these details won't get into the wrong hands are alike to a box of tissues offered as a bandage for a burst jugular. Anyone who accepts them does so only because there's nothing else available.

Fingers will be pointed as this story continues to develop but personally speaking I hope its direct and immediate consequence is to get more people to really question Her Majesty's Government and it's God appointed right to rule over us from our cradle to an NHS hospital's grave, early-death, bed.

The reality of these revelations is you now have every right not to trust your doctor with sensitive information. This is a policy I adopted when one of them scribbled down, "ex-smoker" on my notes after what I thought was an informal conversation about how much money cigarettes used to cost. The NHS is and always has been an asset and institution of Her Majesty's Government and it needs to be challenged. As with The BBC these institutions are not distinct from each other, in practice they often bind together and co-operate to protect themselves from the irritating bleating of the human cattle they force to pay their wages.

That they are all part of one single larger organisation explains why none of these bureaucracies will ever seriously hold one another to account. As they keep repeating, "they're all in it together". Never were truer words spoken. However, the flip side of this narrative offers hope, the elephant in the room, the internet, where dissenting voices from within these fortresses of bureaucratic power are able to speak out. As the old world of the broadcast media sinks into the waters of one where all of us have the ability to become mass communicators online, I believe there will finally be change in our society.

Either the light of logic and reason will melt the slogans, mantras and dogma surrounding this issue and the NHS will be forced to become more accountable to its patients, rather than its employees and the state. If not it will crack under the weight of reality as its defenders refuse to debate their absurd positions and so their standing will become untenable.

Thanks to for this link regarding protecting your information

Nick Margerrison

[1] The word "sombunall" is not in wide usage and was a satirical invention of my intellectual hero Pope Bob. It means, "some-but-not-all". It of course should apply to all generalisations in the mind of any intelligent reader who is likely to know the truism that generalisations only ever really work in a general sense.

[2] The cult of the NHS's treatment of whistle blowers is appauling. Here are but two recent cases:
PREVIOUS ENTRY ON THIS TOPIC: Should we be grateful for the NHS?


David Bradley said…
NHS has always remained under criticism for one thing or another due to its certain policies and in some things it is true that NHS do some unfair acts. However for appraisal and revalidation good step has been taken and if doctors intend to get help with their appraisal provides professional services.

Popular Posts