Faith. A word. Such a small word, but such a huge meaning. It can mean complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Total trust. It can also mean strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. Again, total trust.
One thing faith doesn’t have: The burden of proof. But it can adapt.
I have faith in my parents. I have faith that they will always help me. They will always be there, in body or in spirit. I have faith in my family, whether or not they support me. I have faith that, if I ever find myself in real trouble, they will be there for me.
What I don’t have is faith in my government. Once upon a time I did. Once, I had faith in the government. I worked for them, keeping their secrets, working out why things went wrong and fixing them, helping design new systems to help protect the public, and so it went. Then I left government employ and worked in the private sector, doing pretty much the same thing. For nearly thirty years I had faith in our government, through the Maggie years, Major, Blair, et al.
Then I transitioned. Then, everything went to hell and exploded.
Only then did I find out how badly the NHS has been underfunded. Only then did I find out how badly the government treats it’s sick and injured. I’d seen news reports, read the papers but still hadn’t believed it. How army veterans are left to die. How patients are left in corridors on beds because wards have been closed. How elderly patients die because there are not enough nurses to look after them. Not in the name of money but, in the name of performance. Numbers. Percentages. Figures. These measurements should ever only be used in industry, not health. Never.
And it’s still going on….
When did leaving patients to die in a hallway mean that ward deaths being lower were a good thing?
When did sending unfit patients home mean that curative rates were higher?
When did halving the number of GP’s reduce patient numbers?
I live in an area where the influx of people means that GP surgeries that were designed to cope with 60,000+ people now have to deal with over 100,000 plus people. We used to have a hospital that could have coped with that number of people, as it was a Military hospital with a massive and brilliant A&E unit, but that was shut down and now the nearest A&E is six miles away. A heart attack can kill a person in 60 seconds. From Aldershot, our nearest A&E is 6 minutes away, on a clear road.
I never noticed any of this (except the closure of the hospital, which I opposed), until my transition, until I needed to use our local NHS services.
It was then I lost faith in our government.
In the US, the idea is “government for the people, by the people”. It doesn’t seem to work there either. Here, it seems to be “government for the people, by the people with the most money and the best connections”.
It seems to me, the doctors don’t matter, the nurses don’t matter, the patients don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the bottom line. The money.
If that is the case, then the government and me are going to have a serious problem, and I suspect I am not alone.
I have absolute faith in the doctors, nurses and other workers in the NHS. They shoulder the burden of proof and display it and I have trust in them. Absolute trust. I just don’t have faith in anyone else.