A Mum’s Facebook post about free Calpol and other first aid essentials for children has gone viral this week. The BBC have talked about it and opinion is massively divided on it.
So I thought I’d chuck my 2 pennies into the debate! Firstly, the mum who started to hoo haa wasn’t completely accurate in her summary of the scheme.. but that aside, lets consider the ethics.
The NHS is on its’ knees. There are too many people needing too much of the already too over stretched resources. And that is why I won’t be demanding my ‘right’ to free Calpol for my kids.
I would never describe myself as wealthy. Like every family I know, we struggle month on month to meet the financial demands of a young family. We make choices as to what to spend our money on and what not to. Some months having a teething toddler and a Year R’r with a habit of bringing home the latest virus from school, means that we plough through Calpol, Neurofen and other child related pharmacy essentials at an alarming rate. And I can’t lie, there have been times when, two days before payday, we’ve needed more and we’ve been scrabbling around for the change to buy some.
But despite this, I won’t be joining the stampede to the chemist to get it for free.
And it’s for the simple reason that, heaven forbid that anyone dear to me should ever need critical treatment for an accident or illness, I want there to be money in the NHS to pay for that!
So to anyone who’s thinking, ‘I’m entitled’ I’d respectfully ask that you stop and think. the NHS is on its’ knees already. People regularly get declined vital treatments or get given a less effective care pathway because budgets are so tight. You might think that your bottle of Calpol won’t break the NHS, but what if EVERY parent of EVERY child in this country thought that way?
We are incredibly blessed in the UK to have access to a free health service and, politics aside, it’s down to us to be responsible in the way we call on that service in order for it to survive.
So, if you can afford chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks, ciggies, Sky TV, a lotto scratchcard, false nails, fake tan, hair extensions or petrol for your car, a bottle of wine or any other ‘essential’ that you could survive with less of, then you can sure as hell pay for a bottle of medication for your child!
Let the people who genuinely live in food and heating poverty with their children benefit from it. They’re who the system is for.
Just because you CAN get it free, doesn’t mean you SHOULD!