Another super post by Alex today
Did you read Rita Skeeter’s recent story on the increase of cauldron burns due to a new brand of auto-heating cauldrons?
Did you know last month alone there was 127 new cases of Dragon Pox?
If you didn’t, I don’t know how you missed it! Caring for a young witch or wizard with dragon pox is not an easy task!
A green and purple rash and sparks from the nostrils is quite serious! Especially when the young are involved. One accidental sneeze and the curtains go up in flames!
Every world is full of illness and ailments, I haven’t even mentioned Black Cat Flu or Mumblemumps!
In the wizarding world a lot of things can be cured quickly and simply like when Harry broke his arm playing Quidditch, well ok maybe that was not so simple as Lockheart accidentally vanished his bone! But as Madam Pomfry said “mending bones is easy”, it’s just a quick spell. A bit like us going to a pharmacy to buy paracetamol for a headache.
But just like our world some things require something a little stronger than a quick spell or some simple paracetamol. We have hospitals and so do witches and wizards. They have the fantastic St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
If you ever get the chance to visit, it really is a must. Seeing Dragon Pox first hand is something not to be missed!
St. Mungo’s is located in London and was founded by the infamous (in the wizarding world) Healer Mungo Bonham back in the 1600s.
Harry once asked Ron if the people treating the sick were doctors to which Ron replied “doctors? Those Muggle nutters who cut people up? Nah, they’re Healers”.
Ron’s perception of Muggle doctors might be slightly warped but that is because he has no experience of Muggle doctors or Muggle problems, same as I have little (real) experience of Dragon Pox – only what my dreams show me.
But that aside St. Mungo’s is a fantastic place. Any witch or wizard can walk in off the streets and get help and treatment at no cost – just like our NHS hospitals, treatment is free at the point of delivery. No credit checks, no paying up front or having to waste time finding insurance paperwork – and that really is a good thing when you have a very nasty cauldron burn or are struck down by Vanishing Sickness – an illness that causes the infected persons body parts to vanish one by one. Any time wasted doing a credit check or looking for the right paperwork could lead to them vanishing completely!
Families find comfort and safety in St. Mungo’s. A parent can stay with their child while they are treated for Dragon Pox often saving their home from fire damage from those flaming sneezes!
And the same goes for our NHS. Parents are supported to stay with their sick children. They are made to feel welcome. No child should have to suffer a hospital stay without the comfort of a familiar face. No adult should have to worry when they break a bone tripping up an uneven step how much that plaster cast and x-ray will cost.
But unlike the wizarding world we often (well some of us at least) take what we have for granted. We do not worry about what will happen if it is no longer free or becomes privatised (more than it already is!)
The system may not be perfect, waiting lists might be longer than we’d like but it’s better to wait because the NHS is busy than to not even be given the option to wait because you simply do not have the money to pay for a consultation.
St. Mungo’s offers a universal free service where all witches and wizards are equal. Priority isn’t given to those with more Galleons than the next. Although I am sure Lucius Malfoy would prefer it that way! The Weasley family are far from rich but they are good people. Without St. Mungo’s they may not be with us now! Arthur especially after his injuries battling in the Ministry Of Magic while guarding the prophecy.
Without St. Mungo’s Neville’s brave parents who stood up to Death Eaters would not have a place to be cared for. Katie Bell would not have been saved from the curse she got from the locket she found.
Spattergroit’s highly contagious purple pustules or a bad case of common Piles. St. Mungos is there for all its community and that is reason enough to protect and be thankful free help and treatment is possible. And if St. Mungo’s can last from the 1600s till today and beyond surly our own NHS that has only been around since the 1940s can last many many more years so our children’s children can grow up in a safe community where they know, if they need it medical help it will be there, free of charge and without question for them.