Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
31 March 2017, 07:44
When this caller said he had hardly ever needed the NHS so shouldn't have to pay for it, Darren Adam launched into this passionate defence of our healthcare system.
Darren was discussing NHS chief Simon Stevens' comments that waiting lists will be longer to ensure that A&E and cancer care is improved.
Jay in Harlow said that he had only used the NHS for two minor procedures and doesn't see why he should have to pay for it when he doesn't need it.
But Darren launched into a wonderful defence of the NHS, explaining exactly why it is there in the first place.
He said: "I hope you never have to use it again, plainly. But the point of the National Health Service is that it is, in all but name, a socialised insurance system and the point of insurance is that it gives you peace of mind in case you ever do find that your circumstances change and you have to make use of this particular service.
"And I go back to the founding principles of the NHS, the letter that was sent out to everyone in this country back in the late 40s, the NHS will provide you with all medical, dental and nursing care. Everyone rich or poor, man woman or child can use it or any part of it. There are no charges, except for a few special items.
"There are no insurance qualifications, but it is not a charity. You are all paying for it, mainly as taxpayers and it will relieve your money worries in time of illness. Now it's great that you as a 31-year-old have only have had to use it a couple of occasions.
"But you might find yourself needing to use it at some point in the future, perhaps on many occasions. It might even save your life one day Jay. Secondly, it is an insurance scheme and by definition everyone pays in and everyone benefits.
"That is the joy of it, that's the principle of. It's not a charity, we are paying for it but no one has to pay at the point of need in health care is not determined, or access to health care is not determined according to how much money someone has in their wallet or their purse. What's wrong with that?"