“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.
Then he put the man on his own beast, took him to an inn and took care of him.”
Luke 10:34 – the good Samaritan.
Government should ensure that essential services and adequate health care are available, not to fund every possible service.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the important role of Government in securing and protecting the health of the nation. We are full of admiration for the frontline NHS staff and care workers who put their lives at risk for the sake of others, as surely as our military personnel do in warfare. It is no exaggeration nor misplaced language to speak of waging a war with this invisible enemy. Centuries of scientific and medical advance since Christianity liberated Europe from superstitious religion has borne fruit in an integrated society with a health, welfare and an educational system, which leads the world and is the envy of many countries. We are thankful to God for this and for the dedication of those who have promoted it. It is therefore alarming to hear our news media selecting out survivors who are more ready to acknowledge the god of luck than Jehovah Rapha “I am the Lord that heals”. Africans are more likely to render thanks to God than native Britons. Luck is acknowledged in news reports without batting an eyelid, but to mention the eternal God of creation and providence is not acknowledged, such is the secular state of our society or at least of its media.
The National Health Service
The Christian Party supports the concept of the NHS as a safety net of health care provision ‘free at the point of need’ for UK citizens. We value the dedication and skills of health care workers and wish to protect them from the mental, verbal and physical abuse of them and their service.
This abuse is further complicated by limited resources, and the allocation of these limited resources requires proper stewardship, particularly relief from costly over-management, the elimination of waste and the exercise of greater efficiency. The nation became acutely conscious of this during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
There is further abuse of the NHS from its being expected to act as the safety net for dangerous sports and activities. The time has come for the NHS to recoup costs through insurance for road accidents, mountain rescue, cosmetic surgery, etc.
The Christian Party’s border control policy will address benefit-tourism which abuses the NHS. We expect adequate health insurance for anyone entering the UK.
Just as oil revenues have not been used for an ‘oil fund’, as Norway has done, the time has come for the government to ensure that National Insurance is properly ring fenced to build up future funds for pensions and the NHS. It is a disgrace that current pensions are not paid from past funding but from current funding, and this is not sustainable with a falling workforce and a growing pensioner base. Similarly, duty from alcohol should be allocated to the health budget, and a proportion of road tax to road safety initiatives and to health costs from road traffic accidents, etc. We believe that ring-fencing creates greater accountability and exposes grandiose, inefficient or favourite schemes.
We will address over-management and promote clinical directors to solve local issues and address the low morale in the workforce.
NHS grants will be reviewed and targeted to essential services.
The pressures for privatised health care are recognised and are appropriate for non-essential aspects of personal health goals. Health tourism should be clearly recognised as such, and immigration procedures, visa requirements and holiday insurance should include valid and appropriate health insurance for easy reclaim by the relevant NHS treatment centre.
The Christian Party recognises that the first demand on the NHS is from the natural wear and tear of life. We all need medical attention as part of the normal course of life.
A second demand on the NHS arises from irregular and illegal behaviour. The Christian Party notes that alcohol and drug abuse impacts disproportionately on the expenses incurred by the NHS for medicines, Accident and Emergency (A&E) and other medical services. The drunken thug who starts a fight and ends up in an A&E department requiring numerous stitches, or the drug-influenced driver who causes a pile-up on the motorway sending some to their grave and others to intensive care needs to be addressed. The mountain climbing expedition and dangerous activities need medical insurance to cover the possibility of the need to be airlifted to hospital from a mountain peak.
Prevention is better than cure. In terms of acknowledging and developing personal responsibility the Christian Party supports initiatives for preventive programmes with regular health checks. It will seek to extend these initiatives to promote ownership of one’s health care. Private programmes, such as dental care, should be made tax deductible.
A third and increasing demand on the NHS is from mental health issues, only now being identified belatedly as important for the individual, for society and for the workforce and productivity of the nation. It is a pity that only economic considerations have forced it upon the attention of national government. Christianity has addressed it for millennia as of primary importance for personal wellbeing. The Christian Party will promote a new and open debate about the false promises of liberty that have resulted in anxiety and unnecessary bondage of spirit (2Peter 2:19), with young people questioning even their identity, the very bodies in which they have been born, the unreal expectations of celebrity culture. The stress of secular society with its fluid morality and moving goalposts leaves many people exposed to the whims of the latest media storm.
The incessant drive to question one’s very identity, through social media and the educational system, brings a new and unnecessary level of anxiety to young people, undermining the stability of truth young people should be given as they grow into maturity. Disrupting the natural instincts of young people is like uprooting plants before they have been stabilized, undermining the confidence that has been demonstrated in stable family units. The more broken are these homes, and the more secular is the ideology imposed upon young people, the more social media will be able to disrupt their lives even further.
Personal wellbeing and social services
Core attention is being given to personal wellbeing as being a measure of a nation’s prosperity in addition to its GDP. Indeed, GDP is affected by the wellbeing of workers and the friendliness of the workplace.
Mental health and the availability of social services is affected by the lack of self-worth in many people, beginning with the family and continuing in our schools. Poor parenting, bullying at school and in the workplace are all symptomatic of the inability of secularism to address the human conscience in the way that Christianity does. Knife crime and murder devastates families for years and these arise from the lack of accountability that Christianity teaches.
Huge resources are spent upon de-radicalisation programmes that fail to address the murderous beliefs in gang-culture, terrorist groups, cults and false religions. False religion needs to be addressed by the Christian religion, not by funding modified forms of false religion in the false hope that incremental changes will produce permanent results. Rather, these sanitise false beliefs in a manner similar to counterfeit money imitating real money.
It is not the role of the government to promote religion, but it is the role of the government to identify beliefs that promote violence and disrespect to others. It is not the role of the government to ban such beliefs, but it is the role of the government to promote Christianity that counteracts such beliefs. It is not the role of the government to promote untested programmes that confuse young children in schools about their gender and sexuality in a secular attempt to impose new and confusing beliefs on young children through a mandatory state education system.
Education in the UK has forgotten the contribution of Christianity not only to the curriculum but to the wellbeing of the individual and to society itself. Young people ask what is meant by the contribution of Christianity and what it is like ‘to grow up in a Christian society’. Understandably such a society is unable to assess its value.
With the loss of self-worth taught by Christianity, even high-achievers at school can become suicidal with the adverse impact upon themselves, their family and friends, mental health services and NHS budget. This needs to change. Secularism has failed our young people and our society, failing to develop personal and individual self-worth except through identity politics.
The Christian Party will promote this urgent debate in its educational programme.
The original purpose of the NHS was to provide good medical care. With the growing burden on the NHS budget, there is an urgent need to cut back on non-essential services. The Christian Party disagrees that a publicly-funded service should provide abortion on demand, sex-changes, IVF treatment and liposuction except in life-threatening circumstances. Such services arise from a secular belief in personal autonomy without accountability to others. The Christian Party urges the Department of Health to review surgical treatments to decide which are core and essential, and which merit payment by private health insurance.
Treatment of economic migrants on the NHS
In keeping with the Christian Party’s immigration policy all new economic migrants will be required to purchase and maintain health insurance for the duration of their stay in the United Kingdom. Evidence of such health insurance will be a visa requirement. Allowing health insurance to lapse will invalidate migrant visas and work permits. Health insurance companies will be obligated by law to inform the Home Office when a migrant’s health insurance policy lapses with evidence that timely warning was received by the migrant.
In the absence of intergovernmental arrangements between the UK and an immigrant’s host country of origin, working immigrants will have access only to basic and essential NHS facilities and they are required to work for five years in the UK before being eligible for citizenship and benefits such as child allowance. Similarly successful asylum seekers should be placed in the same circumstances.
Health and safety regulations
Health and Safety Regulations can be taken to extremes. Life has its dangers and while it is proper to avoid recklessness, we cannot avoid risk. The refusal of safety workers to rescue a person because their equipment was not vetted for the task is an example of the fear of litigation overcoming common sense.
Regulations incur both compliance costs and the cost of regulators. The cost in terms of unnecessary fear of litigation and morale at work is illustrated by the case of Helen Slater who was told by Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to remove her crucifix necklace because it posed a health and safety risk. Hospital officials claimed the crucifix could be used as a weapon. We have little evidence that common sense is returning to UK regulations and procedures, which may be illustrated by the inability to remember and implement the copious recommendations in various public enquiries.
The Christian Party believes that parents have the right to know what medical treatments their underage child receives, and the right to decide what medical treatment their child receives when medical options are available, so long as the sanctity of life remains paramount at all times.
Patient rights and information
The Christian Party will work on areas that continue to trouble patients, such as the postcode lottery for the availability of medicines, growing waiting lists, access to a local doctor, and the time available for consultations with health care professionals. We aim to improve patient compliance and satisfaction with the service of their local health provider.
Nationalism, devolved government and political expediency
We disapprove of nationalists, devolved governments and political parties making the NHS a football to serve separatist or political ends. The NHS featured prominently in the Brexit debate and it is time for a less partisan approach to the NHS especially when the coronavirus pandemic has exposed serious shortcoming in forward planning and preparation for what were known risks. The fact that General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, said that distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care staff was the single, greatest logistical challenge he had faced in his 40 years of service demonstrates the need for fundamental review and it is the canary in the coal mine. The Christian Party believes that a clinically-led review is necessary to address governance, priorities and funding of the NHS.
Christian party members of parliament will:
- Make private health insurance a visa requirement for migrants.
- Oblige private medical insurers to inform the Home Office when a private medical insurance policy linked to a visa is allowed to lapse or expires.
- Review Health and Safety legislation and reduce them to more appropriate levels.
- Give parents decision-making rights regarding the medical treatment of their underage children.