`Mass immigration and the National Health Service'
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA
When politicians debate the immigration issue they rarely look at the way the influx of millions of foreigners is affecting Britain’s infrastructure and, in particular, the provision of health care.
But the fact is that when you bring several million people into a country with an antiquated, creaking health care structure the inevitable result will be that the health care structure creaks ever more – and increasingly fails to provide an acceptable service for those who have paid for it.
The situation at the moment is that it is customary for those attending Accident and Emergency departments at major hospitals (there aren’t any Accident and Emergency departments at smaller hospitals) to wait between four and nine hours to be seen by a doctor or, indeed, anyone with any medical or nursing qualifications. Parents who have sat for hours with children who have broken limbs may feel that this level of service is unacceptable. So too may the relatives of stroke victims. There isn’t much point in obeying Government advice and seeking help the moment you notice the warning signs of a developing stroke if you then have to wait nine hours for someone to call out your name in the waiting room at the local hospital.
The basic problem is the same throughout the health service: too much demand for the services and facilities available. So, it is now customary in some parts of the country for patients to wait three to four weeks for an appointment to see a GP. Patients who are suspected of having cancer may wait six months for an X-ray which will decide whether or not they need treatment. (By the time they’ve had the X-ray it will, of course, almost certainly be too late for treatment). And patients wait two years or more for essential surgery that might have saved their lives if they’d had it in time.
These are the realistic, day to day, real human problems created by a rapidly growing population (many of whom do not speak English and are suffering from diseases which are not commonly seen in the United Kingdom) and a State controlled, bureaucratic health service. The result is that millions of citizens are suffering and thousands are dying unnecessarily. That is the cost of allowing virtually unlimited immigration.
And it is a cost which the politicians, commentators and show business luvvies who encourage immigration do not understand. They don’t understand it because they, of course, are not going to be the ones waiting hours, weeks, months and years for treatment. When they, or their nearest and dearest, fall ill they are seen in private hospitals where they are waited on hand and foot and where every investigation and every treatment is available without delay.
The truth is that the vast majority of the immigrations coming into Britain are not seeking asylum because their lives are threatened. They are not escaping oppression or tyranny. They are part of a mass migration process which, now that it has started, will continue for decades until the standard of living in Britain has fallen to that of their homelands. The millions are coming from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East and there are tens of millions more who are preparing to come.
(There is no little irony in the fact that some immigrants already believe that the quality of health care in Britain has now fallen below that which is available in their home countries. When they fall ill they head for home because they know they will receive better treatment in the country they left.)
There is a very simple philosophical question here: should we be allowing (and encouraging) migrants to flock to Britain so that they can improve their lot (even at huge cost to our own citizen) or should we be doing everything we can to help those people improve the quality of life in their own countries?
Meanwhile, as the politicians, the metropolitan liberal commentators and the tax avoiding show business luvvies campaign for unlimited immigration (and stigmatise those who object as racists), we should remember the untold thousands of tax paying citizens who cannot afford private treatment and who will, as a result of the over-stretched health service, suffer months of agony and die prematurely.
Copyright Vernon Coleman February 2016