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Doom-mongers are wrong about the NHS

Want to hear some good news? Of course not. Only bad news sells papers, attracts viewers, gets clicks. Good news is for freesheets and council newsletters. Young people raise cash for puppies? Pass the sick bag.

Want to hear some good news? Of course not. Only bad news sells papers, attracts viewers, gets clicks. Good news is for freesheets and council newsletters. Young people raise cash for puppies? Pass the sick bag.

Small wonder then that when it comes to the NHS the outlook is gloomy. Watch the news or read the paper and you might imagine health care had gone into reverse.

In the past month I have read that nurses can no longer nurse, doctors are moving to the Middle East and mental health care is allocated by lottery.

The NHS, I hear, is groaning under the sheer weight of sick people. The young are obese and have diabetes, their parents are alcoholics and their grandparents can no longer recognise themselves in the mirror.

We are all iller and older, an ‘expert’ declared on the telly. Drugs no longer work and no one could afford them if they did. Quite soon, antibiotics will be useless and we will all die of the sniffles. And did I mention our hospitals?

According to the local rag, the hospital up the road is bankrupt. Waiting times have gone through the roof, emergency services are like a monkey farm and the corridors are filled with patients abandoned on trolleys.

Go in for a routine knee op and you will come out minus an arm and a leg. Talking of which, have you seen what they charge for parking? That’s if you can find a space.

Imagine my concern then when a pal told me his mum had had a stroke.

‘And you know what?’ he said. ‘The hospital was superb. Honestly, they were brilliant. Everyone was amazing. They couldn’t do enough. Really impressive. Fantastic.’

I glanced at him to see if he was joking. But he had tears in his eyes.

Me too. It was a sense of relief, I suppose. That and the sudden realisation that good news – real good news – can sometimes be… well, good.

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