For as long as I’ve been alive, the NHS has been there. It’s such a fundamental part of British life that it’s near impossible to imagine life without it. Sure, sometimes it wobbles but having free-at-the-point-of-need healthcare is, literally, a lifesaver.
That’s why it’s difficult for someone of my generation to remember that the NHS hasn’t always been here or, more crucially, that it may not always be here in the future.
The NHS is under threat, like other public sector institutions I naively believed to be intrinsic parts of British society, like libraries and the BBC. It’s facing creeping privatisation, and yet the outcry is muted – perhaps it’s because the NHS has a sense of scale and permanence that political leaders don’t. It’s that optimism that could cost us dearly.
Anyway, to show why I’m worried, here are a few links, many of them curated by astrophysicist Marcus Chown, who’s on something of a Twitter crusade to save the NHS:
How The Coalition Carved Up The NHS, an article from the Independent.
A letter to Care UK (funny but tragic in its implications).