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Desert Tale - No. 9 - Vol. 3

Scotlandís Health Care System Imploding

I could not understand why Dundee City Council staff prevented me from visiting my 94 year old sick mother at Bridge View Nursing Home, last April, for no apparent good reason other than spite because I am a writer who researches facts then prints them for the public to read. My family was going to celebrate my birthday, have a cake, and surprise my mother, whom I have not seen since last November when I was evicted for an unknown reason from the nursing home. But this celebration was denied by the Dundee City Council. Here is a perfect example of Big Brother interfering in family affairs, and government violating citizens’ rights. I have appealed to higher authorities for assistance. I demand to see my own mother, and she has a right to see her only daughter.

I complained to the court and to the government because I received an email stating that my mother would no longer be able to see a GP or Parkinson’s specialist, only a nurse practitioner; that her medications had been discontinued, that she would be tied to a chair with a lap belt, that they had no transportation to take her to the hospital, that I as her next of kin would not be allowed to participate in her life or make suggestions as to her medical care because they considered that “disruptive” because they had full guardianship, and control of her Social Security checks; and that I could only visit her at their convenience despite having to travel 6200 miles. If there was no caregiver available I would NOT be allowed to see my mother.

When I complained to the director of Social Services that as an American this was not acceptable to my mother or me, and in fact violated her human rights, she responded “everything was fine.” She was totally unaware of what was transpiring. A perfect case of one hand not knowing what the other department was doing; or even caring.

The Scottish National Health Care System (NHS) is in chaos. Scottish hospitals have lost 2000 nurses recently. The Scottish government has permitted the NHS to lose staff at an alarming rate, and the backroom administration staff has been reduced by 5%. The NHS lost 4, 162 GPS and dentists. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) confirmed the number of nurses was at its lowest level in several years, which is very bad for patient care, as I found out.

Health boards are trying to balance their books and make savings at the same time, resulting in cuts to the nursing workforce in order to save money on salaries. But with Scotland’s population getting older health care demand is increasing, which means a decline in patient care, and the NHS staff are over-stretched.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) promised to protect the NHS, but failed to do so, losing 2000 nurses. The nurses complained that they are being forced to bear the brunt of the SNP’s cuts. The NHS is trying to shift towards more community care and shorter hospital stays for the patient, and that these changes to the NHS workforce will be in conjunction with staff and rigorous workforce planning. Frontline nurses’ pay face pay cuts while NHS employees receive 100,000 British pounds a year. The highest paid executive was Tayside’s director of public health, receiving 190,000 British pounds per year. NHS boards in Scotland such as NHS Fife, do not determine pay rates, but follow national rules.

The recently elected Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) promised to protect the NHS budget yet their government is reducing the NHS’s budget by 319 million British pounds while some council chiefs have received an increase in pay of 25%, causing dissention and complaints.

In other words, their system is a catastrophe with nurses overworked, nursing homes understaffed, council chiefs skimming the top of the budget, and local government blackmailing me to remain silent or I “will NOT be allowed to see my mother.” Does this sound like a country that can self-regulate?

An associate medical director of primary care has stated that they cannot provide patients with an appropriate level of care due to a national shortage of GPs. No wonder my mother can’t see a GP. She is 94 and they are hoping she will die, and one patient less to worry about. Let’s push granny off the Tay Bridge!

Do we want a similar medical system? What about the patients’ rights? What about quality of health care? Their national health care system is not working, and we don’t want anything like it here. Write to your congressman: ‘we do not want a national health care system like in the UK which is imploding.’

Alinka Zyrmont
www.alinkazyrmont.com

 

Read other Travel Tales in the archives!