Now, it seems as though there may have been something of a victory on that front.
Patients who pay for “top-up” drugs will no longer be denied free NHS treatment, the Government will announce next week.
In a major reversal of policy, the Department of Health will review the present rules, which ministers regard as unfair and a penalty for people fighting life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.
It will announce an end to the “co-payments” system, in which those who buy drugs that the NHS has deemed too expensive are made to pay for the rest of their care.
Hooray! But it is a decision that is long overdue and which has already robbed people of precious extra time with their families.
As Timmy says,
Thank the Lord for that: it always was a nonsense that if you were prepared to use your own money to add to your treatment you would then be denied the treatment you had already paid for.
He is rather kinder than I am: it was not a "nonsense", it was a quite deliberate policy predicated on a pathetic and evil idea of equality. You will remember, after all, the statement from the Department of Health?
The Department of Health said: “Co-payments would risk creating a two-tier health service and be in direct contravention with the principles and values of the NHS.”
That the bureaucrats have reversed their decision is to be applauded; that no one seems to have lost their job over this callous and (yes, I will say it again) evil practice is a disgrace.
Though it is welcomed, it is a somewhat hollow victory for Colette Mills and the late Linda O'Boyle, both of whom had spent a lifetime working for the NHS and might thus have expected some mercy...