The Name – NHS
Following on from Part One, I wish to breakdown the name of the system and discuss each word and its appropriateness. After all, according to the Trade Description Act (1995), you are not allowed to name a product or service in the UK that may be misleading. Is the name NHS misleading?
Let’s have a look.
The word ‘National’ is very appropriate for the system as it is a nationwide system, albeit, there are a few different policies across the four home nations of the UK. Also, according to statistics, some areas seem do receive better care than others, which has been termed ‘the post code lottery’.
The word ‘Health’ is a very interesting word to use. We are bombarded consistently by our media about our ‘health service’ and we take it for granted that what we have is a ‘health service’. But is this true?
Well, what does health mean?
Health means functioning at our best physically, mentally and emotionally. Optimal physical functioning means being energetic, active, full of vitality, free of aches, pains, illness and disease. Functioning optimally mentally and emotionally implies that we are cheerful, optimistic, enthusiastic, eager, free of stress, kind and loving, and having peace of mind.
As you can see to be truly healthy requires physical, mental and emotional wellness. So my question is, do we achieve (or even improve) ALL these areas of health after medical intervention?
According to the American Medical Association, western healthcare is the third largest cause of death (after cancer and heart disease) with 225,000 deaths in the USA and 200,000 in China and 40,000 in the UK per year. These figures are based on medical intervention in accordance with established guidelines killing the patient. This does not include mal-prescribed medication or any form of negligence.
Is this suggesting that all medical intervention is bad? It is clear that there are some things that the medical establishment are good at and not so good at. They are excellent at accident and emergency and keeping you alive when you are close to death.
There are some amazingly hard-working and conscientious professionals that work in the NHS and I believe most are doing their best.
However, where the NHS fails to be effective is in preventing and treating chronic degenerative diseases. Unfortunately today, chronic degenerative diseases are gripping the majority of our nation and are causing most deaths, in particular cancer and heart disease.
The UK has the worst record on Cancer rates in the world despite the statistics you hear in the media and despite the ever increasing amounts of money invested in its ‘cure’. Cancer survival rates are calculated on a 5 year survival rate. What this means is if you survive 5 years and 1 day, you are a success on the statistics even if you die on that day. Should cancer survival mean you survive to live a ripe old age and not die of cancer soon after or from the medications you were given?
The truth is that more people in the UK contract cancer and more people die each year from cancer. How is that a success?
The reason the NHS fails so badly is because the focus is not on ‘health’, but on ‘life preservation’ or ‘disease maintenance’. Life preservation may not sound too bad and it’s great in accident and emergency situations. However, life preservation does not guarantee health.
In fact, life preservation and disease maintenance are very profitable for the pharmaceutical companies. After all, any successful business relies on two things to generate large income, a large client base and repeat purchases. So here we have the perfect business. Tell people they need to take medications to keep them alive whilst they remain unwell as long as possible so you can sell them more medications.
Cancer alone is a $200 billion a year industry. Most people find it impossible to believe that any company would put our lives at risk just to make a profit. The tobacco and fast-food industries are known to do it, so why not the pharmaceutical companies?
If we look at cancer further, do you think that what caused someone’s cancer has gone when the medical treatment is stopped? That’s like letting a blind man drive your car and thinking that getting the panel work fixed every time he crashes is dealing with the problem. The problem is letting someone who can’t see drive your car. No matter how many times the body work gets fixed, it’s not gong to stop him crashing the car.
Cancer is not caused by a chemotherapy and radiation deficiency! It is caused by a deviation from the body’s natural levels of balance, known as homeostasis.
The challenges Doctors face are many. Firstly, they often have very little time with each patient. Secondly, how easy do you think it is to teach patients to change their lifestyle, to give up alcohol, caffeine, sugar, white bread, to start exercising, to go to bed earlier? Thirdly, Doctors aren’t taught about health in their university courses. The syllabuses are predominantly pathology and pharmacology. The majority of most Doctor’s degrees (and most medical research) are funded by pharmaceutical companies. They have a big say in the curriculum of the courses and to the research papers that are published in medical journals. When research findings do not enhance pharmaceutical sales, they are normally never published.
In addition, Doctors are not taught the truth around vital subjects such as nutrition. So how can they possibly stand a chance to teach health?
Health is something you have to invest in yourself to be able to achieve. It is like a bank account. You invest by eating well, exercising regularly, drinking good quality water, getting adequate sleep, having loving, enjoyable relationships and avoiding toxins and excess stress. You spend health by eating poor quality food, drinking alcohol and caffeine, staying up late, working in a job or staying in a relationship that doesn’t serve you and consuming toxins which are everywhere in today’s environment.
You can’t expect to keep withdrawing from your heath account and expect to stay healthy. Eventually, your health overdraft, loans and credit cards so to speak will be maxed-out and this is when you will need to seek professional help.
The saying goes, “you can’t give what you don’t have”. The life expectancy of Doctors in the USA is 10 years less than the national average. So would you want to go to seek help from a sick person to learn how to become healthy? Look outside any hospital in the UK at any time of day and you’ll see a long line of ‘health professionals’ smoking outside the front door.
So it is a ‘health’ service, a ‘life preservation’ service or even a ‘disease maintenance’ service? I’ll let you decide.
In Part III, I’ll be discussing the validity of the use of the word ‘service’, so stay tuned.