home Internet and social media, My Thoughts #welovetheNHS – America, the NHS and social media

#welovetheNHS – America, the NHS and social media

In the last two days something special happened on Twitter. Again. Twitter users in their thousands have this time rushed to defend the NHS against American critics of Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms. The Guardian reported that ‘US critics have accused the service of putting an “Orwellian” financial cap on the value on human life, of allowing elderly people to die untreated and, in one case, for driving a despairing dental patient to mend his teeth with superglue’.

But literally thousands of people on the social networking site, Twitter, have come to the NHS’s defence. Using the hashtag #welovethenhs, which allows messages on a similar topic to be linked, people have been posting their experiences and amazing messages of support.

What the Hashtag, a site which tracks trends, counted 20,575 tweets (messages) using the #welovethenhs tag, with 10,909 contributors. And that’s just as of 9:30 today – the numbers are going up. I’ve posted five so you can get an idea, but if you get the chance or need some cheering up, take a look at the rest.

karmadillo I love the NHS because baby Enso (& possibly me) would not have survived labour without them http://bit.ly/zlEOz #welovethenhs
_garys #welovethenhs When my dad’s heart began to fail we were told he wouldn’t last a week. The NHS gave him an urgent bypass and saved his life.
benjamincohen: I have to use the NHS every week because of having Multiple Sclerosis. It has its faults but it’s still great #welovethenhs
deanzielinski: #welovethenhs Without the NHS my uncle would have paralysis to his right leg and be in a wheelchair. He now stands and is a paramedic.
deanzielinski: #welovethenhs -may not be perfect, but you can rely on it when you are in need, no matter what your financial status is. We are spoiled!

Social networking sites, like Twitter, get accused of being a pointless waste of time. But to me this highlights one of the great ways they can be used; they hold people to account, they allow ordinary people to speak their mind and counter lies. The stories people have told in 140 characters about the NHS have been genuine messages of support from regular people. It’s been amazing.

And yes, I work for the NHS, so I may be biased towards thinking it’s something that should be applauded. But it’s nice to see it regardless!

*This was originally posted on my old blog BeanHeartBatman*

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