Saturday, 12 May 2007

Trident Kills. Why Not Cure Our Ills Instead?.

I saw a wonderful advert on TV offering an MOT for the body.

Me being me, I started to feel like Tony Hancock in The Blood Donor and immediately checked out the website.
Perhaps, it is time for me to get a full wash and brush up after all these years of Epicurean excess.

'Our aim is to ensure that anyone who wishes to reduce the risk of undetected disease can do so through a range of assessment services'

Great. I am all for preventative medicine.
Saves lives, saves the country money.

The website gave some stats :

'In 1987 the five year survival for lung cancer was under 10% - today this situation has not improved. Currently only 15% of cases are detected early enough to be considered for treatment. Every year 33,000 people die from lung cancer – equating to 90 people every day.
If detected earlier, survival rates for lung cancer can improve to 90%.'

Good, lets get tested.

'As the leading provider of private health assessments using CT scanners, Lifescan is able to check for the very early signs of heart disease, lung cancer, colon cancer, aneurysms, osteoporosis as well as other illnesses.'

But wait, this is not a new government initiative. Instead it is part of the privatisation of the NHS.
Assessments which would previously done by the NHS are now very largely the responsibility of the individual.
And the individual has to pay through the nose.
For example a body scan with colonoscopy is going to set you back £750-00

Mr Brown as part of his New Deal for the Health Service (basically, I am not Tony Blair, I had nothing to do with the debacle in Iraq and therefore you can trust me as I don't tell lies) has announced that FROM NOW ON routine testing will be carried out by GPs.
Fine except routine testing is carried out by GPs (my Doctor has had more blood off me than Dracula could ever) under the existing formula and is therefore not a new initiative.

No, we went the type of testing for the population - of the sort that can be carried out by Bodyscan - to be made available for all.

Cloud Cuckoo Land you say, who is gonna pay for it?
We are !!

Except, we do it this way : Cancel Trident Immediately.

The £30-50 billion estimate for something whose only purpose is to kill people should be re-assigned to things which could improve the life of the ordinary person.

Tell me where I am wrong. Please do, Mister Brown.


Jose said...

You are not wrong at all, Merkin.You are hitting the nail on its head.

But...alas! Mr. Brown as all of his ilk are very far aloft and don't mingle with people of the street. Their wisdom is something eerie, something that has got nothing to do with democracy.

anticant said...

But we NEED Trident in order to take out some sinister teenage jihadist plotters in a backstreet bedsitter in Beirut - or Birmingham....

[And, of course, to put £billions into the pockets of armaments manufacturers.]

Merkin said...

Jose, many Cabinet Ministers mingle with people of the street - but they usually secure gagging orders to prevent us finding out.

Anticant, you are right, I forgot about Birmingham.

lavenderblue said...

Yes.Kill Trident.
And hope that the money saved gets spent for our good and not for wars.

Jose said...

Merkin, that may be in your country, not here and I bet not in any other country but Britain.

By the way, Anticant, how much does a safety prison cost building and how much upkeeping it?

You know today countries are run as corporations, otherwise we may have all that scum off our streets.

Merkin said...

Point taken Jose.
However, we can never be sure what has been censored precisely because it has.
And THAT must be the same in Spain, no?.
You are in the Canaries (lovely, I have been twice) but I suspect there are many things that went/go on in the Basque country that would surprise even you.
I may be wrong, it is just a hunch.

Jose said...

You've a point there, too, Merkin. To know what really happens around you must see it with your own eyes. Thanks the internet and bona fide correspondents we may grab a little sense of what's going on.

And thinking that we human beings have more or less the same capacity of reasoning.

Suzon said...

Hi all--nice to see you again,

Thanks for inviting me, Merkin. You might like to see an organisational chart for the UK. God, of the Anglican type, at the top. Sovereign next, then Privy Council. Then an elite of toffs and businessmen, with us (mere mortals) far below. The book is ready to go to the printer. It will divulge many secrets, but not my chocolate truffle recipe.

Now if only I can post this w/o crashing!

trousers said...

Good post Merkin, I've nothing to really add - except that, re yours and anticant's comments, I often wish I could forget about Birmingham.

Suzon! Good to see you!

Merkin said...

Thanks to all, especially Suzon - our latest visitor.
The economics of what is a relatively simple choice could be handled by any pensioner on a fixed budget who has to choose - eat or heat.
What seems easy to 'us' doesn't seem to occur to the politicians.
Wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Blimey Merkin, that´s a bit sensible, cancel an extremely costly useless weapon to pay for preventitive medicine which will save the NHS enough money to mean that we could afford twice as many nukes in the future.

I´m all for the privatisation of NHS service delivery IF it doesn´t lower quality or up costs, and as long as it´s still funded via central taxation or insurance that´s effectively the same thing.

Merkin said...

Can you have privatisation of the NHS without profiteering?.
The Private Finance Initiative in UK means we are going to be paying for a long time even as the level of service falls - as it currently is in many ways.
The numerous corrupt politicians and speculators are like 'pigs in shit' on that one.

Anonymous said...

I agree that much of the current semi-privatisation is a disaster, but it would be wrong to say that private provision is therefore disaster prone.

Equally, I would say that there is nothing wrong with profit necessarily, the issue is the healthcare delivered.

We see private pharmacies now, no one complains, and they are still able to administer NHS functions like prescription charges and what have you.

Private opticians are streets ahead nowadays, and they still give me free eye tests because I´m so blind.

It´s a complex question with complex answers, but I don´t see anything holy or inherently right about public provision over private provision, for me it´s simply not the point.

Merkin said...

It is often said that Communism went wrong when it was practised as Stalinism.
It could be equally argued that Capitalism as practised by the average City Slicker is not going to allow anything to trickle down to the less fortunate amongst us.
Pays yer money takes yer choice.
However, the PFI in Britain has been a fairly blatant and successful way of recycling our taxes into the hands of a few people 'in the know'.
Sure, lots of jobs have been created for those who are prepared to help administer the theft but patients have not benefited - even though government stats can 'tell' them they have.