Happy Birthday the NHS. It is now woven into the fabric of Society. Few can remember how it was before. It is not without its problems, as one might expect from such a large organisation but today was one of celebration. We learnt about its birth in 1948. We learnt about the relationship between doctor and patient then and how this has changed over the years. We had a reading from Ecclesiasticus in praise of heath workers and God given medicine. We heard a story of the Good Samaritan from the Gospel of Luke, himself described by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Colossians, as a physician – one who heals. We heard Imam Sohayb, from the Craven Arms Mosque, describe the emphasis that Islam puts on heath and the wellbeing of the human mind and body and that the body needs spiritual nurture.
The service sheet listed some facts about the NHS countrywide and in Herefordshire. The first was that the NHS treats more than 1.4 million patients a day. The other facts lead off from that staggering figure. It is a formidable challenge that is never complete. Thank goodness that illness is not a financial worry for individuals on top of their illness.