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Guardian’s view on Covid and NHS: ministers in denial of impending crisis | Editorial




Caccept and contrast the following sets of statements, the first from Westminster. According to Health Secretary Sajid Javid: We do not believe that the pressures currently encountered by the NHS are unstable. On the contrary, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, says the health service is on track to change the nearly $ 6 billion investment game. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister urges the public to take a strong blow against Covid. That, he says, is our way through this winter.

From the first line, the NHS looks very different. The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson, says A&E departments are already struggling to cope, even before we reach the depths of our second Covid winter. NHS Wales chief Dr Andrew Goodall warns the coming months will be among them the hardest we have ever encounteredWith the country’s top gynecologist, Dr. Edward Morris, concerned that the rise of the coronavirus poses a direct threat to maternity wards, with canceled surgeries, redistributed specialist staff and an already overwhelming load that continues to build.

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that politicians live in a universe parallel to NHS professionals. There is more to this than ministers who dared to face it for television cameras, examining a few points at the bottom of the glass and declaring it half-heartedly. In the same week that Mr. Sunak submits his spending review, he and his colleagues are embarking on another round of Covid showing no urgency or seriousness he seeks.

Last week, after nearly 50,000 people a day sat down with Covid, Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg laughed at the idea that he could make a mask in front of parliament. While the government of which he is a part advises that face masks be worn in crowded places, the leader of the Commons claimed that the Conservatives enjoy a lot polite, fraternal spirit to meet. None of his cabinet colleagues has so far denied that statement, though if the number of cases increases, he will no doubt be quoted again and again.

Throughout this crisis, this government has displayed only an angry acceptance of wearing masks, social distancing and the rest of what are called non-pharmaceutical interventions. Ministers have placed all their eggs in the vaccines listed on the basket, without preparing for what happens when immunity from serums disappears. And Mr. Johnson has always preferred to make dealing with any crisis an issue that someone else solves. Lack of gasoline? The fault of the drivers. Empty supermarket shelves? Stores have to pay more for staff. Covid? Personal responsibility. What is happening in the meantime or what is the role of his government are questions that need to be removed.

The Prime Minister will no doubt tell about the billions that his government will pour into the NHS, but the big problem is that few of it will help treat Covid. Cash will not be available after this brutal winter has passed and much of it will be spent on buildings and equipment. However, the Health Foundation projects what the NHS needs 4,000 more doctors and 17,000 nurses each year just to clear the 5.7 million patient waiting list.

Throughout this pandemic, the government has urged the public to protect the NHS, a reflection of the appreciation and love in which it is held. Now would be a good time for ministers to follow their advice, spending the amounts needed where it will do well right away and tackling this virus with the seriousness it deserves.




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