For some, it might be a blessing that this is my first piece for a few weeks! Mostly I have been either preparing, or delivering a live presentation. I was wondering if cancer conferences as they were, would be replaced by some form of hybrid idea, going forward. But I think the consensus was, that the real impact and understanding, was done when everyone was together physically in the room. Personally I couldn’t agree more! So a lot of my current time is spent working on the many lectures that I’m contracted to deliver between now and the end of the year. So finally, after the panic of covid is over, this is one part of my life that is slowly getting back to what it was.
But unfortunately that can’t be said of anything to do with cancer. This can be nothing but a deliberate policy by politicians. Possibly one of this Governments most successful ones! If silence was what they wanted to achieve with this, they certainly have done. The only noise I here in the sector, is the same old charities, continuing to ask for money. Our politicians have successfully divided the nation on so many issues. Driven the country into the ground, on most important facets of life. So many things to complain about that we are spoiled for choice. Most people now are struggling to pay their bills and although what is happening is terrible, I see little attitude for any major rebellion.
Yes, we are talking about a disease that is already affecting every family in the country. 30 million of us will actually be impacted directly. One of the biggest killers in current times. Not just in the UK but globally. Really frightening figures, so why the silence? The cost of this to our society is just incredible. Not just financially but socially too. We are becoming a much sicker nation whilst healthcare is being ignored. Yes, the NHS has it’s issues for sure. But surely good healthcare in early years will save so much money in the longer term? Our Health Service should never be viewed as a drain on society. It should be a mainstay! How have all the leadership let it get to this? Where are the people speaking up?
All I can feel, is an acceptance of this national disgrace. Most of us more concerned about our daily bills than long-term health. Long after these political clowns have gone, our children will remember us as the generation that let the wonderful NHS be destroyed. In my opinion our core society is worse off for the previous 50 years. Although, described by many as progress, with the tech revolution. Such a wealth gap that we have never seen before. Foodbanks, and homeless people in all our major cities. Healthcare with such long waiting lists, there is a chance that many might die before being treated.
For years we have talked about the benefits of early diagnosis, for both patients and society. How will this ever happen when we don’t even have the staffing capacity to run the service at the current levels? Nor the hardware required. We have always known that the NHS as we knew it, needed a change in culture, to bring it up to scratch, and fit for the new challenges facing it. But a combination of appalling leadership in the country, and constant push back from health leaders, we are where we are.
But this isn’t an issue that will disappear if we do nothing. Quite the reverse, things will start to get a lot worse. Our small choice of treatment now, will shrink to become just basic care. Anything more complex than ‘ordinary,’ will inevitably end in premature death, without the finance or resources to deal with it. Even people that enjoy the benefits of Private Healthcare will not escape, as cancer treatment can become extremely complicated and still rely on NHS in parts. There is already a feeling of inevitability about this.
I can say that I am grateful my incredibly complex case was started in 2007, and not today. My life saving treatment and continuing care has run into millions! Which is a big driver in me wanting to help improve things and help others. But I am currently feeling that my work has been for nothing. Frustratingly we now know what to do to improve the lives of many people affected by cancer, but cannot afford to do it. Society still unwilling to let people with a registered disability play their full part. Continuing to alienate and discriminate against them, particularly in the work place.
All this is happening because of the choices we make. No one single person can change what is happening here. Something must happen to break this cycle of failure in healthcare. Unfortunately I believe that price will be paid in rapidly increasing mortality. As always these are my personal opinions, based on my experiences. Please feel free to add yours to the discussion, by commenting below.