Friday, 11 October 2013

In Praise Of The NHS

Article printed in Walsall Advertiser, Thursday 10 October 2013

Adam - before his accident!

Two weeks ago my wife and I suffered every parent’s worst nightmare, when our seven year old injured himself and we had to rush him into A&E.  Fortunately his injuries weren’t serious, but he had lost his two front adult teeth, and so we were sent to Birmingham Dental Hospital.  Within minutes of arriving we were seen by a young dentist who put a very distressed seven year old and his parents immediately at ease.  The care that we received that day was second to none.

Living in the UK we are extremely fortunate that we have a national health service, which is free at the point of use.  At the time of writing this article, the US government is in a partial shutdown after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget. The main sticking point is how much money the US government should spend on healthcare.  Healthcare in America is extremely expensive, and many of the poorest Americans cannot afford health insurance.  For this reason President Obama introduced the Affordable Care Act (nicknamed ‘Obamacare’) to extend healthcare to those who cannot afford it, so everyone has medical insurance.  The Republicans are however opposed to this Act, because they believe the country cannot afford it.
Whilst the NHS is not perfect, and does come in for a lot of criticism, it is an institution that we should be justly proud of.  For sixty-five years it has met the health needs of the nation.  As one expat living in America said, “People in Britain don’t realise how lucky they are to have the NHS.” 
When I visit people in hospital I am always impressed by the professionalism, dedication and care of those that work in the NHS.  We should acknowledge the amazing work they do, and pray for them and the NHS, so that it will continue to be there for whoever needs it.  
Creator God,
We thank you for the gift of health services in our nation,
Freely available to everyone no matter their background, income level or need.
Give your wisdom to our government, health professionals, and advisers as they seek the right reforms.
Bless our health service to thrive, to prosper, and to heal.
Bless our doctors and nurses to care, to excel, and to bring healing.
Bless our nation to understand, to thank, and to honour those who seek to bring us health.

Amen.