Dignity in old age!

Monday 09th March 2020 15:04 EDT

Having worked in NHS, I can judge how our beloved NHS has deteriorated over last few decades. Yes, demand has out-stripped supply, mainly due to steep rise in population, especially old age population whose needs are some four times more than younger generation.

No wonder more and more GPs are sending their patients to private hospitals under NHS. At one time these NHS patients were treated in the same manner as private paying patients but all has changed now beyond recognition.

Recently I accompanied an elderly relation to private hospital for cataract operation. I was indeed surprised to see so many patients sitting in the reception area, as everyone was given the same time, in our case it was 1pm. While we were waiting, one 90 year old gentleman, accompanied by his grand-daughter arrived. He was told that as his turn may not come before 5pm, they should go and do shopping or visit friends.

As they were coming all the way from Cambridge, girl was rightly frustrated, telling receptionist why he was given 1pm time if he could not be seen before 5pm. A 4pm time would have saved him so much hassle; after all he is 90 years old and in poor health, hardly leaves the house. It is ridiculous to tell him to go shopping!

Our turn came at 3pm and when we left at 4pm, he was still there slumbered in his wheel chair, half a sleep. Although medical care under NHS is excellent on most part, administration is poor; shortage of medical staffs is critical and occasionally even doctors are losing their cool due to pressure of work that may lead to mistakes, risking patient’s life.

Such poor service could never be tolerated in Scandinavian countries, France and Germany where they work on different scale, some have medical insurance while others pay part of the cost themselves, although universal care is available free in specially designated hospitals. It is time to overhaul our NHS; give dignity to OAPs, especially to those who are willing to contribute to NHS’ bottomless pit! 

Kumudini Valambia

By email

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