I really miss the days when the worst we thought Jeremy Hunt could do to the NHS was privatise it. At least you knew what you were getting with privatisation. But what Mr Hunt is doing, incredibly, manages to be worse.
It's been a long nine months for the NHS since the Francis report was published. As if the terrible and unnecessary suffering at Mid-staffs wasn't enough, numerous other scandals have come to light all across the country, continuing to damage the reputation of what we like to think of as a national treasure.
Earlier this week I tasted my first experience of the NHS under the new regime of NHS/Private partnerships through the GP commissioning of services... and it wasn't good.
David Cameron promised that there wouldn't be a top down reorganisation of the NHS. In 2009, David Cameron said: "With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS." However, we are now facing the largest reorganisation of the NHS in its 65 year history.
An EU law has just come into force that may shake up the NHS more than any political party has ever been able to do. The Directive on Patients' Rights in Cross-border Healthcare gives the right to any EU citizen to get healthcare in any other EU Member State - and their local health authority must pay the bill.
The north-south divide is a powerful trope within popular English culture and it's also evident within the country's health. A recent report by Public Health England showed that between 2009 and 2011, people in Manchester were more than twice as likely to die early (455 deaths per 100,000) compared to people living in Wokingham (200 deaths per 100,000)...
Poor access to primary care is one of the biggest problems plaguing the NHS. Getting an appointment with a GP or accessing primary care remotely is not easy. GPs play an important role as the gatekeepers to wider services in the NHS.
I grew up believing that doctors were on a higher level than the rest of us. Their knowledge was vast and mysterious, their advice kept us healthy... What really struck me recently is that medical staff are twice as likely to get addicted to drugs or alcohol than the general public. How can this be possible?
They are not intellectually convincing, but they are vocally dominant. The Left needs to organise a coherent response, and argue for greater NHS funding as an alternative to brutally ending free healthcare to suit the people who won't pay the higher taxes required to maintain it.
Developing cataracts and waiting for your vision to blur is just a natural part of ageing isn't it? Why should it matter if you can no longer drive? Well of course it should matter, it does matter and it does not have to be this way. So why are there so many people being denied treatment?
f we start from the premise that the people who often know best about poor standards of care on the ground are dedicated NHS staff themselves, then we should be looking extremely carefully as to how they are treated.
You only have to observe the trending topics on Twitter when political events like the Queen's Speech, a Budget or another major act of law is being debated in the Commons, to see how engaged the public is. Large organisations are already accessing this information.
Britain has prided itself on free healthcare for all, but with mounting scandals and examples of disgusting excuses of care, isn't time to truly consider part-privatisation of the ailing National Health Service (NHS)?
If charges are necessary - and I don't run the NHS budget, so I don't know - then it needs to be done very carefully. There needs to be complete consideration of the principle of the NHS - that people who can't afford healthcare should not remain ill or unable to work for that reason.
We're all aware of the challenges faced by the NHS and its staff, and how savings have made life difficult for a lot of people working in Trusts across the UK, but what doesn't really help patients and their families - which is what the NHS is there to do - is flaming, berating, scaremongering and being straight-up inappropriate on places like Twitter.
As the stream of policy discussions and floated ideas for the NHS continue to emerge, I and my family have had unfortunate cause to realise just how much of what the health service does is impossible to "value".