So, here it is. My writing on the wall. It will probably never get read by anyone with an ounce of clout, or even importance (except you of course, you're important.) but I need to say these things, because I don't feel anyone in power is really listening and, if nothing else, I will feel better for finally saying them! I would like to offer an opportunity to anyone else who doesn't feel the government is listening, you are very welcome to add your own thoughts or rants in the comments. This can be your wall too. A wall for everyone, even if it is a bit small and maybe a little too purple for some tastes! Get it out there, it might make you feel a little better too!
As I sit here today, writing this, here are some observations I can't help noticing:
1. There is a four to six week wait for a basic doctor's appointment at my surgery.
2. There is a six month wait for a follow-up appointment after tests at our local hospital.
3. In far too many cases it is not possible for a man working full time to support his family without Government handouts.
4. A single pensioner's heating allowance is now £50 less than it was five years ago.
5. Many students are afraid of what the future holds, because it is a struggle to find any kind of work, even after working hard and doing well at school.
6. Students are being denied the opportunity to go to university, because it is impossible to finance.
7. People on low incomes are being forced to pay full Council Tax, even though they have been assessed as being too poor to pay their rent, leaving them at risk of CCJs or even eviction.
These are my seven and I am sure other people will have their own, but in the interests of fairness, I have only talked about the issues I have had direct experience of. All of these, in my opinion, are issues that are wrong and, to a degree, fixable. There will never be a society that is perfect for everyone. There will always be elements of society that suffer more than others, but when you can work hard all day and still have to apply to the Government for a handout that could end up leaving you in thousands of pounds worth of debt, there is something very wrong with the system.
Is it possible to find someone who has the guts, determination, and common sense to make the changes that are necessary to make our NHS work again? Someone who can make it possible for a working man to earn a decent wage, without a zero-hour contract hanging over him? Only time will tell, but it is going to be a tall order for whoever takes the reigns after May 7th.
|Southmead Hospital, Bristol|