As New Labour's obsession with privatisation spreads like a virus through the NHS, it is beginning to affect us as workers as well as patients.
A senior conductor on Central Trains has been forced to retire on ill-health. It was either that or the company would sack him for breach of contract. No matter that a routine operation would have enabled him to return to work.
The company wouldn't hold the job open until he had got to the top of the NHS waiting list. Nor would it pay for a private operation. (Not that we approve of private healthcare, but if they wanted him back at work that much …)
This guard has lost his job through no fault of his own, but because the Health Service lacks resources and his employer lacks humanity.