Kevin Day: It beggars belief people even need to save the NHS

Kevin Day
Kevin Day

I was to compere the launch of Pledge to Save the NHS organised by Sussex Defend the NHS.

This week I was due to compere the launch in Brighton of Pledge to Save the NHS organised by Sussex Defend the NHS.

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, and Nancy Platts, the Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, spoke at the Defend the NHS Rally attended by nearly 150 people at BHASVIC on Wednesday

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, and Nancy Platts, the Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, spoke at the Defend the NHS Rally attended by nearly 150 people at BHASVIC on Wednesday

Sadly, and ironically, I had to withdraw because of a family illness. A family illness that is being dealt with quickly and efficiently by the NHS - which is one of the very many reasons why it almost beggars belief that the people of this county and this country should even need to consider having to save and protect the National Health Service.

There is quite a simple moral point to be made here: no one should be allowed to profit from the NHS. Full stop. Profit is about business, not care.

As usual, though, in talking about the NHS, it's easier to give a personal reason why it's so important to retain it and spend the proper money on maintaining it and, where necessary, improving it.

My full name is Kevin Hunter Day because my life was saved at birth by Dr Hunter. It turned out he was Australian - which makes it hard to boo them when the cricket comes round (but I give it a go)

In the past six years, possibly because someone in my family may have been impolite to a magpie, the NHS has done more life-saving. My dad had a triple bypass (he was delighted, he's a terrible hypochondriac). My wife had breast cancer and an ambulance happened to be passing when I had a near fatal anaphylactic reaction to lime pickle.

And my Edinburgh show this year was based on why I saw humour as a fit way to cope with trauma when my wife was diagnosed with a new cancer and a tricky little bugger called Type AA Amyloid.

She's well now, because of the NHS. Because of the men and women from all over the world who work in our hospitals - because as letters to the Daily Mail point out, our hospitals are indeed filled with 'bloody foreigners' but most of them wearing a doctor's coat or a nurse's uniform or cooking the meals or wheeling the trolleys.

None of them is paid enough and all of them are making my wife better. She had operations, she had chemo, she had physio, she had Norovirus, she had mysterious infections - well, you get the picture. It was a nightmare, made even worse by me trying to make nurses laugh.

But through all of it we knew 24-hour help was only a phone call away. Clever, kind, sympathetic people were only a phone call away and they didn't invoice us.

Yes, I know we pay for the NHS through tax,  but believe me, I've taken more out than I've ever put in.DefendNHSPic2

And yes, I know as well that some people have had poor experiences, but the NHS is responsible for me being here to write this and Ali being here to check the spelling and my dad being here to be proud of everyone who is fighting to save and protect the most wonderful organisation.

Kevin Day is a stand-up comedian, comedy writer, and sports presenter.