The National Health Service is an important feature of British life. Established in 1947 it aims to guarantee universal health care based on peoples’ needs and not on the ability to pay.
The NHS is something that makes us remarkably proud to live where we do. We tend to criticise the NHS and kick the hell out of it on occasion, but if other nations do likewise then we rally around in its defence.
Following remarks branding the NHS as something “evil and Orwellian” by US Republicans then an amazing online campaign spung up in its defence on Twitter. The #welovetheNHS campaign was so successful that the social-networking service was overloaded and apparently crashed.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife joined in the campaign as did John Prescott who sent a “tweet” directly to Barack Obama linking to a YouTube message. But actually it was the thousands of other messages on Twitter that made the campaign effective – it was a show of virtual solidarity for something that people feel is valuable!
The NHS is not perfect and locally organisations like the East Riding of Yorkshire LINk and the Hull LINk have been set up to involve people in bringing about about improvements to local services – however the ethos of providing for peoples’ needs irrelevent of their ability to pay seems to be non-negotiable.