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Why Healthcare Needs To Be Free And Accessible

03/05/2017 16:12
MartinPrescott via Getty Images

I have two twin sisters. They are kind (selectively to me of course as I am their sister); intelligent and though being a good person is more than this, and being a woman is much more than this; they are beautiful inside and out. They were also born premature. Devastatingly so. 10 weeks to be exact.

The reason they had to come out so early (my mother had a caesarean) is because one of my sisters was consuming all the nutrients so my other sister did not have enough. However, when they came out ironically it was her lung that collapsed. Both of them had to be kept in incubators. They were so small and under developed that their heads moulded to the shape they were lying in the incubators (something I can now tease them about). The twin whose lung collapsed still has a scar from where they saved her life, that has faded with age but is still there. However, she is braver than me, and never that I could see, showed any insecurity about it.

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My sisters as babies. Image: Provided with permission from my family.

I'm telling you all this because if we had lived in the US, or another country which does not have free, universal healthcare; our lives would have been radically different. We very likely would have not been able to pay for the care and attention my sisters needed. And while what happened to them at birth did not affect them later in life, so would have not effected our family's insurance policy later; the initial specialist treatment they needed might not have been available.

Don't just take it from me, watch Jimmy Kimmel talk about the recent birth of his son, and reflect on how healthcare should not be something that is limited to you based on how much you earn:

"No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life."

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live/ YouTube

What I am trying to say is do not take the NHS for granted, please make sure nurses are not struggling to survive (I'm looking at you Theresa May) and that junior doctors do not feel they have to go on strike. Do not let privatisation be the answer. Let us just please accept finally that human beings deserve healthcare as a basic human right.

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