It is very disappointing that David Cameron will not speak the truth about the National Health Service, Britain's centrally-planned Socialist medical system. There is no reason to suppose that Socialism works for health care any more than it does for any other productive endeavour. As someone who has experienced the tail end of socialised health care in Poland and Russia, I am certain it does not.
Two stories in my own recent experience, affecting a family member and a colleague, illustrate the point. The family member was called in for a knee operation this Christmas, having had problems for some time from a work-related injury. When opened up, the NHS surgeon decided it was more serious than he thought and did not proceed. As the patient came round, he was told by a nurse that the surgeon would come to explain. He then saw the surgeon walk by. The nurse stopped him and reminded him of the patient waiting. The surgeon, coat and backpack on, said impatiently "tomorrow". The patient was kept in pointlessly overnight (further ruining his Christmas) to be told that he needed an artificial knee joint; that these lasted only 10 years and that the NHS rationing policy was not to fit them to younger people as they would only need replacing. He could come back when he was 60. Asked about 15 years of pain and disability, he was told "we will give you painkillers." Naturally, my family member has decided to "go private" and we are looking into the possibility of flying him to Poland to get it done more cheaply.
The second story is in course of happening now. A colleague presented to hospital in Britain while on Christmas holiday, having injured a rib. She was in serious pain and concerned that somehow the injury might have affected her lung, having suffered last year from pneumonia. She asked for an x-ray and was curtly told - "That's for us to decide, not you". She was given painkillers and went home. Determined to return to work and encouraged by my comment that she would get better healthcare in Russia, she flew back. Presenting to a clinic today, having run out of painkillers and finding herself still in serious trouble, she was immediately x-rayed and told she has water on her lung and is in danger. The private clinic here is arranging urgent treatment. I have my fingers crossed for her. In one sense she should never have travelled to Russia in such a condition. On the other hand, had she relied on the NHS, I don't like to think what trouble she might have been in.
Socialism sucks. It has caused nothing but chaos, political opression and economic degeneration wherever it has been tried. No Conservative leader should be advocating it, in whatever circumstances, however limited. Far from being the "envy of the world", as Britons are brought up to believe, the NHS is a filthy Socialist shambles which is costing many British lives and impairing many more.
Cameron's defence of "our" NHS and promise to adhere to its founding principles is a farce.