Dr Zara Aziz: In this election we need to ask 'who will do right by the NHS?'

We seem to be standing on a precipice: as election day draws near it still feels like we have limited options before us.

I remember several past elections both big and small - I used to leaflet as a child with my father who was a Labour councillor and election nights were always the highlight of our childhood days when we could stay up till late and watch excitedly as constituency after constituency was called.

That was then. The current state of the Labour party is painful to watch and the sceptre of annihilation on election day seems all too real. Even my father, the most staunch of supporters, feels uncertain.

Their pledges stem from la la land – yet the aggressive politics of the Tories feels even more unpalatable and downright cruel. How low can they get? If a public sector pay freeze, gaping holes in NHS funding and escalating workload wasn't enough, the Tories, sniffing a landslide, want to push for even more mind-boggling reform.

Social care, already on its knees, faces huge reform, such as with proposals to abolish winter fuel payments, inevitably causing more misery, and increased red tape through a complex, means-tested processes.

In the last two years I have met many patients unable to pay for their necessary prescriptions, basic food and clothing or even the bus fare to go to hospital for urgent hospital appointments.

Are we too going down the path where health and social care becomes a privilege and not a basic human right?

Theresa May said she would create a fairer society. But she is no egalitarian and has steered us further away from any vision of a fair or equal society.

As they prepare for mock elections at my son's school, he is enthused about the whole process. It takes me back 20 years when I stood holding placards at a party rally. He is undecided, but earnestly evaluating every party manifesto - without the cynicism of his parents.

Lacklustre this election may be but it has divided families and professions alike, including our own. But we need to ask ourselves this question.

Who do we trust?

Who will do right by our society and the NHS?

The result on 8 June is by no means a foregone conclusion: after all who predicted Brexit and Trump?

  • Dr Aziz is a GP in Bristol

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