In search of an Olympics scandal – IOC kills NHS patients
THERE are 158 Days to go until the London Olympics. The race is on to find a story that will shame the IOC and expose the greed and corruption that lie at heart of the Games. So. The Observer presents:
Olympic VIPs take fast lane leaving patients at risk
The VIP fasts lands will are roads lanes closed to anyone but VIP badge holders, members of the cringeworthy “Olympic family”.
Daniel Boffey writes:
Sick and vulnerable NHS patients will be left stranded in ambulances in traffic jams while dignitaries and sponsors race past in a fleet of expensive cars on specially designated lanes during the Olympics, healthcare providers fear.
Games organisers have been accused of risking people’s health by banning the routine use by ambulances of the “Games lanes” introduced to ensure that VIPs can travel quickly to events. The decision to reject a request for access from NHS London, the capital’s strategic health authority, has led to a storm of anger.
Medical Services, an independent business that transports patients for the health service, and whose clients include the hospitals closest to the Olympic stadium, says it fears that the ill, including those on dialysis, will be trapped in vehicles as London suffers unprecedented congestion, with traffic on key routes expected to slow to a crawl.
Following consultation with the NHS, ambulances will be allowed to use the lanes when they have their blue lights on, but critics say there are many urgent journeys that cannot justify the use of blue lights. They can only be employed in a genuine emergency and those entitled to use them generally require special training.
So. A genuine emergency can use the lanes. It’s just that the non-emergency trips will have to sit in a bit more traffic then they usually do? Coul it be argued that teh Olympic Lanes will actually speed up emergency trips?
Leah Bevington, head of communication at Medical Services, thunders:
“This means that sick people, often elderly and frail, urgent blood supplies, oxygen, will all be made to wait in traffic with the rest of us.”
Like they do now?
“Congestion can be bad enough around London on a regular day so you can imagine that we are concerned that patients will be on a vehicle for much longer periods of time.”
The scandal is that non-emergency patients may have sit in traffic for a bit longer? Is that it?