Friday, 14 August 2009

Only the NHS can save us now

We're all waiting in trepidation in the UK for the winter version of swine flu- particularly as we will only have the NHS to protect us. The Americans are discussing our NHS at the moment as they discuss whether to switch over to that type of health system (have they never watched the film Sicko?!). It's a tough call unless you're one of the millions of Americans too poor to get health insurance. The NHS has many problems but it's still good to know that if I fell ill as I typed this blog I could walk into a hospital and get sorted for 'free'.

Anyway, back to swine flu and the latest figures show a continuing fall in the summer swine flu outbreak. Yesterday's statement by the Health Protection Agency (never going to win a Plain English award) says that 49 people have now died from H1N1 in the UK and "gives an estimate of 25,000 (range 15,000 – 60, 000) new cases in England in week 32 compared to an estimated 30,000 cases in the previous week. The estimated number of new cases has decreased in all regions and age groups."

On TV last night was reassuring footage of the new vaccine being tested on patients in the Midlands. It didn't make it clear whether people would be forced to have the vaccine. However, the BBC website is voicing the concern of some experts about the rushing through of the vaccine. Generally though, the assumption of the TV news is that of course people will rush to get the vaccine - why wouldn't they? I think they might get a bit of a shock!

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