Way back at the start of July, the Daily Telegraph ran an article on excess cancer deaths caused by non-treatment due to the Covid-19 scare. It estimated that this figure was around the 35,000 a year mark and that fatalities would continue for a number of years, due to the nature of cancer itself. A figure of 200,000 excess deaths was not deemed unreasonable.
Government scientists are now telling us the “Second Wave” of Covid is now a threat and it seems a good time to look into how lockdown measures and media scare stories have affected the health of people suffering from other conditions.
In the early part of the lockdown, there were repeated calls for people not to go to hospital unless absolutely necessary. “Save the NHS” was the rallying call as Nightingale overflow hospitals were hurriedly assembled at great cost, never to be used.
It seems this use of main stream media was a little too effective. According to the Lancet – the well-respected medical journal – there was a “substantial” fall in the number of patients brought into A&E departments with acute coronary syndromes and there also followed a reduced number of cardiac procedures.
Hospital admissions fell from an average of just over 3,000 a week to just over 1,800 – a 40% drop. Even by the end of May, the recovery in those numbers was still around 2,500 – an 18% fall. The Lancet concluded that the difference in the figures at this time is likely to have generated “increases in out-of-hospital deaths and long-term complications of myocardial infarction and missed opportunities to offer secondary prevention treatment for patients with coronary heart disease.”
Just in that period alone, a further 10,000 people sadly lost their lives or an opportunity to have relatively minor treatment resulting in a greater quality of life. Ongoing figures will continue to be analysed.
It is a classic example of how a government-led health service is designed only to fail. A free market would have seen different institutions cater for different conditions as supply and demand dictated the best usage for such. Local areas could have prioritised need based on local “pandemic” levels and carried on treating regular patients, particularly where infection levels were low. They would not have been restricted by “one-size-fits-all” diktats from Matt Hancock.
How many more must die before the NHS ceases to be a political football, kicked around by two archaic tribes either side of the red/blue divide? Clapping outside front doors may have seemed like a nice gesture at the time to many people, but was like a slap in the face to those patients who couldn’t get the critical care they needed.
Martin Day – Party Secretary