You could hardly make it up. Most people were delighted in the Olympic Ceremony to see medical staff, who had rehearsed in their own time, dancing in a celebration of the NHS.
It is now rumoured that Jeremy Hunt, then Culture Secretary, tried to ban this as ‘inappropriate’.
He is now Minister in charge if the health service. The justification for his appointment is, apparently, ‘communication skills’.
The health service has been given an impossible cuts target, probably £5 billion. This will cause unavoidable hospital closures, with already a few taken over by private profit companies.
Already the new BMA leader, Dr Mark Porter, has revealed GP practices are to be offered £4 per patient to restrict tests and hospital treatment.
There are now long, enforced waiting lists for surgery for knees, hips and cataract, but with pressure to use private health companies for those who can pay.
Many multinational companies, including G4S, are hoping to buy into the NHS brand. Most people believe this is the principle we pay, through taxation, when well, for other people’s care, with the collective contract that we will receive the same when we are ill.
We have lived with this for over 60 years. Now hospitals can make up to 49 per cent of beds available for private patients, there will be strong pressure for people with the ability to pay to do so, out of desperation.
Then will come health insurance, the cause of so many American bankruptcies, with a shoddy, or even no treatment for those who cannot afford it.
Jeremy Hunt is only the public face for this sea-change in one of the best features of British life.
We must support all opposition in the last few opportunities when the changes are implemented.