Grantham Journal column: Appeal for NHS staff to fight ebola is reckless, says Peter Clawson

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.
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The current appeal for doctors, nurses and other NHS workers to risk their lives in Africa helping to fight the Ebola epidemic is at best reckless and at worst totally irresponsible.

That is my opinion as the overall health situation here in England is rapidly getting out of control.

Apart from the fact that hospitals like Grantham are already close to breaking point regarding staff numbers, recent events also suggest that would-be volunteers not only risk their own health due to the disease by going, but also the threat of being terrorist victims into the bargain.

Kidnapping and torture have just been part of the problem as far as Western aid workers are concerned. Now there is the increased peril of beheading and other abuse by organisations posing as freedom fighters throughout the developing world.

Why would anyone wish to face such atrocities when there are seriously ill patients at home who could die due to the current ‘slash and privatise’ policies of our own regime?

It’s not simply a question of charity beginning at home, but sheer common sense when our local needs are as serious as those abroad we wish to help.

Ask anyone working at Grantham Hospital and others in the area serving the local population and the vast majority will tell you, privately at least, that a major catastrophe could unfold if staffing and financial problems are not addressed.

Yet the Government insists that the NHS is ring-fenced, whatever that really means, and more money cannot be afforded. This at a time when billions of pounds are being wasted waging wars in other people’s back yards.

Yes! Islamic State and the like do need defeating once and for all, but not at the cost of even more English lives both at home and abroad!