The NHS is a national treasure here in the U.K. Free at the point of need, it’s a constant safety net that when your health takes a dive there’s someone willing to assess and treat you. And they don’t ask for much money from you, if they ask it all.
To put into context how great the NHS is, I thought I’d recount the times the NHS impacted my life somehow:
The NHS was there to treat my sister’s malformed hip.
The NHS was there to save my father’s life after a motorcycle accident where he almost lost his foot.
The NHS was there when I was born by Caesarian section.
The NHS was there to stitch my thumb when I dropped a glass milk bottle as a toddler.
The NHS was there when my mum slipped and fell in the garden, breaking her arm, and I as a toddler went next door to ask for help and the neighbours called an ambulance.
The NHS was there to give me all of my vaccinations that prevent a myriad of debilitating or fatal diseases.
The NHS was there when I needed a home visit because of the flu.
The NHS was there when I cut open my head to the skull when a swing hit me.
The NHS was there to treat my nan’s emphysema, extending her life to see her grandchildren grow up and to meet her first great-grandson.
The NHS was there when my nan’s emphysema attacks forced her into hospital.
The NHS was there to see my nan go to that long good night when her illness finally beat her.
The NHS was there to bring my three nephews into the world.
The NHS was there to vaccinate them and treat numerous child related illnesses they came down with.
The NHS was there to diagnose my mum’s broken foot.
The NHS was there to treat my childhood asthma.
The NHS was there to straighten my teeth and remove a broken tooth.
The NHS was there to treat my mothers broken wrist and provide her with physiotherapy.
The NHS was there to diagnose my brother-in-law’s cancer, and provide him with best in the world chemotherapy to lengthen his stay with us – but, it could not save him.
The NHS was there to treat my wife’s skin condition, and continue to deploy tests and medication to this day.
The NHS was there to treat my wife’s wounds from her skin condition and an accident with a dog lead. Don’t ask.
The NHS was there to treat my chest infections.
The NHS was there to save my father-in-law’s life when his big toe needed amputating due to a complication of his diabetes.
The NHS was there to diagnose my back pain and provide treatment advice.
The NHS was there when I was a first aider responding to a child hit by a car and another time a colleague was bitten by an adder. For the second time.
The NHS is going to replace my dad’s knee and have him walking and driving within 8 weeks from start to finish.
About 99% of what I described above involved no cost to me or those mentioned. Only where there was the flat price prescription fee, or dentist visit would a payment have been made.
I have worked for software suppliers to the NHS and had the pleasure of meeting and working with hundreds of NHS workers around the U.K.
They are a special bunch and the NHS is an amazing, imperfect, but truly brilliant organisation.
Here’s to 70 years of the NHS and may it continue to impact the lives of many more who turn to it in their time of need.