A report in the Daily Telegraph reveals that 'Doctors have warned that the health service cannot shut down to patients not suffering from Covid-19 in the event of a second wave. Professor Neil Mortensen, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, has said the NHS must not to use the same sweeping closures of services that were introduced in March. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of council at the British Medical Association, told The Guardian that patients in need of diagnostic tests and treatments cannot be left “stranded” again.
“We cannot have a situation in which patients are unable to access diagnostic tests, clinic appointments and treatment which they urgently need and are simply left stranded,” said Dr Nagpaul. “If someone needs care – for example for cancer, heart trouble, a breathing condition or a neurological problem – they must get it when they need it.”
The warnings come as fears grow over the impact of a second wave on the NHS and Britain's care infrastructure. There is mounting evidence that the lockdown has caused many deaths through a lack of adequate healthcare. Figures released earlier this week show that the number of people dying in hospital is still low, suggesting many people are still not being able to access healthcare.
Almost 2,700 people have died every week - about 21,000 in total - because of the effects of the lockdown, official data suggests. Deaths from heart attacks rose by nearly 40 per cent during same period, according to a major study publish this week, provoking warnings that the Government's "Stay Home" message may have deterred thousands of patients in medical crisis from seeking help.
“The NHS must never again be a Covid-only service," Prof Mortensen said. "There is a duty to the thousands of patients waiting in need and in pain to make sure they can be treated."'
The government has been accused of having no coherent and reasonable strategy for handling Covid-19 but in fairness, as we have said before, most (not all) governments are doing much the same as the UK. This however is no excuse. The NHS is the biggest scandal waiting to happen. As we have again said before, the stifling bureaucracy that misrules the NHS covers up incompetence on an industrial scale. It threatens those who wish to do something about the wrongs perpetrated by its grossly inefficient, greedy management. Whatever the true scale of Covid-19, the panicdemic has brutally exposed the NHS as a self-serving, lumbering monolith that cares only for itself - and it has killed and will kill still more, regardless of any Coronavirus, including Covid-19.
It is this the government must deal with. Not by issuing arbitrary orders about covering faces with scarves, socks and t-shirts. Or by crippling the economy by shutting down life. But by getting rid of the overbearing and uncaring NHS management and transforming it into a real service that actually does deliver healthcare free to those who need it and when they need it.