Where would I be without the NHS?
A few ideas spring to mind:
1. Really, really dead.
2. In a substantial amount of debt
3. With a significantly shorter lifespan
All pretty bad places to be.
Free at the point of use, the NHS has been an incredible thing for so many people close to me and so many more than that too.
From the moment I got diagnosed the NHS has been right by my side, giving me all the support I need whenever I need it. Nothing seems to be too much. The nurses and consultants help keep me accountable to the changes I’ve been forced to go through and what it means if I don’t. All while working abhorrently long hours, supporting an overstretched and underfunded infrastructure. And while smiling…
What’s hardest of all for me to understand is the idea of having to think about affording my treatment. When I need more test cassettes, insulin or needles I order them through an app (Pharmacy2U for those that are interested) and a couple of days later they turn up at my office. At no point do I have to think of whether I can afford the insulin my body so desperately needs, the needles I need to supply that insulin or the testing casettes I use to understand how much of that sweet, sweet insulin I should inject.
Business Insider did some maths and worked out that, in America, being a Type 1 Diabetic can cost as much as $1,000 a month! In the article a mother talks about how it took her a few attempts to measure here T1D son’s blood sugar one night:
It cost $8 to check blood sugar that night. There’s nothing I can do about it.
The whole idea of this is so deeply shocking and foreign to me. It pains me to think of all the diabetics out there, not just in the US, that may go to bed tonight not having tested their blood, or not having injected insulin, because they can’t afford or don’t have access to the medication they so desperately need.
On the flipside, Diabetes.co.uk have information on what Type 1 Diabetes cost the NHS in 2012… £1.802 billion.
The NHS, prevents me from encountering these hardships in my treatment of my diabetes and I am unquestionably and eternally grateful to it and the people that work for it. Also, to those people who happily and generously pay for the NHS every month through taxation.
Where would I be without the NHS? Somewhere it doesn’t even bare thinking about.
So, please join me in wishing the greatest organisation in the world a very happy birthday!