Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Because you're worth it

I'd just like to say a big thank you to the nice people at Aviva Private Health Insurance for believing in me. Their latest letter to me kicks off with a massive complement 'You deserve private medical treatment', it says here. Presumably there are also worthless losers out there who don't deserve private medical treatment, but here, in black and white, on the corporate headed paper of a firm of private health insurance experts, is official confirmation that I'm seen as one of the elect, a worthy member of an exclusive meritocracy. Well done, me!

Admittedly, it would have been nicer to receive a personalised complement, rather than one addressed to 'Dear Sir/Madam', but I still like to think they must think rather highly of me.

Mind you, the further I read on, the less select and exclusive this deal sounds:

In just a few words, we'd like to show how you can benefit from prompt treatment, excellent care and comfortable surroundings. After all, we think that's what everyone deserves if they're unwell - we're sure you agree!

No I bloody well don't! You told me I deserved private medical treatment. Like I was someone special. I had visions of reclining in my exclusive private room with deferential doctors addressing me in respectfully hushed tones, as attentive nurses flitted about, mopping my fevered brow and feeding me grapes. Now, all of a sudden, it's 'everyone' who deserves 'prompt treatment, excellent care and comfortable surroundings'. If 'everyone' deserves what you're selling, how the hell am I supposed to differentiate myself from the valueless mass of paupers, plebs, scroungers, scumbags and scamps who aren't fit to have private medical insurance and deserve only to die in a ditch?

No, that won't do at all. When even private health care providers get sissy-bleeding-heart-liberal notions about what 'everyone deserves when they're unwell' (regardless of ability to pay), we're clearly living the 'nightmare of socialized medicine' that America's Teabaggers have been warning the world about. It looks as if that Jeremy Hunt's* going to have his work cut out in his new job as the National Health Service's dismantler-in-chief.

*Seriously, just when I thought my opinion of Jeremy (cough) Hunt couldn't possible get any lower than it already was, I find out that he thinks homeopathy can make a positive contribution to NHS health care. Git.


Update - it's worth reading Ben Goldacre on Hunt. The man who's now health secretary called for the National Health Service to be dismantled back in 2009, showing that he's got just as much of a barely-hidden agenda as he did when he was supposed to be the culture secretary, objectively overseeing media ownership. I already knew he was a homeopathy nut, but Goldacre's concise summary of why this matters should be tattooed, in large, unfriendly letters, on Hunt's forehead as a warning to others:

To be clear, a Health Minister who believes in magic sugar pills is like a Chancellor who believes - literally - in money trees. Or a Transport Minister who believes in perpetual motion. 

I didn't know he was also on the extreme end of the anti-abortion spectrum and has spoken out against hybrid stem cell research, but that hardly bodes well.

Hunt's hardly got his feet under his new desk, but the warning signs couldn't be any more obvious, short of the new appointee responsible for the welfare of the NHS actually turning out to be a skeletal individual in a black cowled robe, carrying an hourglass and a scythe.