The latest example of the creaking bureaucracy that is the NHS is the shocking case of pensioner Margaret Dixon, whose operation has apparently been postponed seven times; I have not heard or read anything to indicate that the basic facts of her case are in dispute.
Health Minister Dr John Reid accuses the Conservatives of playing "a political game", whilst the best that Number 10 can come up with is that it is wrong "to elevate one case into a generalisation about the health service". To both Dr Reid and Mr Blair I say - balderdash!!
From my own personal experience I know that delays and procrastination in making treatment available are pretty common, and this seems specially the case in matters relating to elderly pensioners; my own mother, who has never been a Tory voter (*) so far as I am aware, is currently awaiting a date for a relatively simple procedure to relieve the chronic hip pain she suffers from. At the consultation she had last December she was told it was highly likely that the injection she requires would be done in mid-January, then when that didin't happen she was told it may be by the end of February. She is still waiting for news as to when it is going to be - meanwhile the pain continues! (* She thinks the sun shines out of Charlie Kennedy's a..e, but that's another story - he is, after all, her local MP.)