Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cardiac Arrest

My experience is commonplace. I had a heart attack and I was rushed to my local hospital. That hospital A and E is being closed. If I were to have another heart attack (and it’s on the cards) the ambulance would have to travel further.

The latest report from Sheffield Medical Care Research Unit concludes, “Our data suggests that increasing journey distances for all emergency patients may lead to an increase in mortality for some.” For every six miles further you have to travel there is a one percent increase in mortality.

Twenty years ago we were campaigning against the closure of our local hospital. The Labour Party (yes the Labour Party) was at the forefront of that campaign. Now it is New Labour spearheading the attack on the health service.

With astonishing hypocrisy – well they are Tories so astonishing is perhaps inappropriate – the Conservative Party is claiming to oppose the cuts in the NHS. When in power they drove through massive cuts in the NHS while Thatcher boasted she could be treated “at the time I want by the doctor I want” because of course she went private.

The conventional response from New Labour was heard on the radio immediately the report came to light. “The data is outdated and does not take into account innovations in medical technique.” The spokesman then went on to mention the medical procedure angioplasty as one of these new techniques. Actually angioplasty has been available since the 1990s. How can you tell if a New Labour spokesman is lying? His lips are moving.

So if I kick the bucket in the ambulance that will be one fewer person to oppose the cuts. A win-win situation for New Labour.



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