The sad news today is that a teenager from Scotland has died of flu. This comes hot on the heals of the Australian flu virus widely reported at the end of 2017. Whether it turns out to be the same H3 strain is yet to be seen. What is known is that advice has been circulated by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in terms of vaccination.
The British NHS has been on high alert since September 2017. This week UK news outlets have been running stories of the NHS crisis. Patients queuing in corridors and even waiting outside in the backs of ambulances as A&E is stretched to breaking.
I have never been a fan of Theresa May ever since she was Home Secretary. At the time I was a Police Officer and saw the effects of her heartless and demoralising cuts. It is obvious to everybody that her Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is only there for the fight. His brief would appear to be to create friction between the various health departments and bring down wages. By bringing about the lowest levels of moral the NHS has every seen, and the cancellation of 55,000 planned operations Jeremy Hunt has been rewarded by adding the title Social Care to his brief.
So how does this relate directly to everyday use of the NHS? I have a number of conditions pushing me up the list for the flu vaccine. Not least being asthma and type 2 diabetes.
In previous years, around October or November I have received a letter. The letter asked my to contact my local GP surgery to book a flu jab. This year no letter came. By the time we got to December 2017 I was starting to wonder what was happening and if I was no longer on the list. I contacted the surgery to be told that they could no longer send out letters but were indeed giving the jabs and I was high priority.
I am saddened that we have reached the stage where high priority cases no longer receive preventative measures due to something so simple as the cost of posting a letter. It hardly comes as a surprise therefore that with reduced notification of the vaccination program, the NHS is in a deeper crisis. I wait with interest to see the published figures for vaccination uptake.
For now I intend to keep warm and avoid crowds as far as possible.