From the sublime…

In the past, it was always difficult for travellers and gypsies to obtain health care due, very often, to the transitory nature of their lifestyle.

Under new NHS guidelines, however, ye olde pendulum appears to be about to swing to the other extreme. Now classed as an ethnic minority, travellers and gypsies are to be fast-tracked.

GPs are being told to see any travellers who simply walk in without an appointment, even if all consultation times for the day are full. Not only that, but the time allowed per consultation is to be around 20 minutes whilst the normal average is 5 to 10 minutes. In addition, the families of such ‘patients’ will also be permitted to enter the consultation room.

The guidelines have been introduced because, under race laws, gypsies and travellers are defined as minority ethnic groups and the NHS is obliged to consider their ‘special needs and circumstances’. Failure to do so could result in problems with violation of human rights or race relations legislation.

It is hard to imagine that there is no (sensible) middle ground in such circumstances and that things have to be one extreme or the other, or even carried out as a form of ‘appeasement’ or through fear of ‘repercussions’, be they legal or political.

Everyone should be entitled to proper healthcare under the NHS, but it should surely be based upon medical need and not ethnic background, skin colour, religion or any other irrelevant criteria.

People who have paid taxes all their lives, contributed to the NHS, could feel justifiably aggrieved if, in their moment of need, they are denied treatment or suffer a delay in gaining treatment when the only reason for it is someone’s misguided adherence to political correctness.

As doctors and nurses become more and more embroiled in the tick the box target culture so obsessively pursued by the current version of the Labour party, it becomes more difficult more and more difficult for doctors to carry out their basic purpose, namely to heal the sick, and for people to get a timely appointment in the first place.

Another obstacle in their joint paths, one which challenges the basic concept of the NHS to provide equal treatment to the needy without reference to exterior criteria such as race, creed or colour, is probably not what the health practitioners were looking for.

Equality is defined as : The state or quality of being equal.

So how is it that equality, in whichever sphere it is applied, be it medicine, religion, race, sexuality etc has come to be defined as: The elevation of one section of a community to an elite, protected status affording preferential treatment.

The only situation one could envisage where anyone would reasonably justify preferential medical treatment over other, equally needy individuals in the queue, would be in the case of servicemen injured in the line of duty.

The new guidelines apply to Scottish gypsy travellers, Welsh gypsies, bargees, circus and fairground showmen and new age travellers.

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