by Martin Odoni
I was out driving in south Manchester yesterday, when I saw some notice-boards that caught my eye for having letters deliberately missing from them. At first I did not recognise the boards’ meaning, as I was trying to concentrate on driving, and the missing letters were not helping. But I then had to stop at some traffic lights, and so I took the opportunity to have a closer look. The first one read, roughly; –
Spr_ins and gr_zes. Do not need A&E.
There was an ‘NHS’ logo in the top-right corner.
The second board read, roughly; –
S_re Thr_at? Won’t need A&E.
And there was the logo again.
Now call me ‘Old Mr. Paranoid’, but somehow that logo did not convince me completely that the National Health Service itself was where this sentiment originated. There is no doubt whatever that Accident & Emergency services are in a…
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Dearest friends –
The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.
The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24hrs shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!
Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!).
My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they.
Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes,cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away…to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa last 24 hrs. enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterdays hospitals.But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormous resolute.t
And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flows, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!
An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made and paid in and by US.
Mr. Obama – do you have a heart?
I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.
I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.
Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza.
The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.
Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.
Gaza, Occupied Palestine
‘THE BETRAYAL OF OUR NHS’
PUBLIC MEETING FRIDAY 4 JULY 7.00-9.00 PM
FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, 10 CEDAR ROAD, SUTTON SM2 5DA
You may think that ‘betrayal’ is too strong a word. Then come and listen to health professionals who are campaigning to defend and keep the NHS as a public service. Let us debate and engage with the key issues that are largely ignored by the mainstream media.
The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 is a historic turning point. Under the guise of putting GPs in control, it requires that all services must be put out to a competitive tender by the Clinical Commissioning Groups. So far most of the contracts open to competition have been won by private providers.
The truth is the NHS is the most cost effective health service in the world and it is now being prepared for extensive privatisation. You may not see much of it before the election of 2015 but there will be rapid acceleration after the elections and within five years the NHS as we know it will cease to exist except for the ‘logo’.
Sutton cannot be isolated from the national trend and the threat to St Helier Hospital still remains. Unless we mobilise to defend the NHS as a public service, we will lose it. So please join the campaign.
Dr Jacky Davis is a consultant radiologist, member of the BMA council, a founder member o Keep our NHS Public and Co editor of NHS SOS, how the NHS was betrayed and how to save it
Dr Bob Gill is a GP in Welling on the executive of the National Health Action Party
Lucy Reynolds Dr Lucy Reynolds is a chartered accountant currently working as a health policy analyst specialising in the impacts of market reforms on population health and wealth. She is a former medical humanitarian aid worker who has spent 15 years tackling the disastrous outcomes of healthcare privatisation around the world, and is also an NHS patient alarmed about the implications of the changes to the UK’s NHS. The people of this country remain largely unaware current transition to health insurance to replace GP services and the use of the PFI scam to force privatisation or redevelopment of all NHS hospitals, according to McKinsey’s QIPP plan, and she hopes to help the defenders of St Helier Hospital understand the nature of the threat and the options for protecting our communities