For the last two years my sister has been fighting with a brain tummor. For most of this year she has been undergoing chemotherapy in an attempt to finish off the part of the tummor that was unable to be cut out.
Over the Summer she did well but as the seasons turned so has her health. At the end of September she was notified that they intended to stop paying sick pay and she was going to be pensioned off. Now what this means is that she will be paid a lower sum than the half salary she is on and when she is terminal no need to pay her husband death benefit. Now in the private sector that is fine you have a free market, BUT my sister is a civil servant! As such she has always worked for the government, first as a nurse and now as an administrator in the prision service. The Civil Service had decided that her pension fund was not funded and so she has been forced to make additional payments for the last five years since returning to work.
This weekend my sister has been admitted into hospital with an infection that has caused here to feel unwell. As its the weekend the usual hospital does not have a bed available and so she has been put up in the local hospital on a medical ward. This means that rather than treatment by specialists she is being looked after nurses who have little understanding of her treatment. My brother in law is with my sister as much as possible as a contractor that means no pay! More importantly as my sister at present cannot speak, the tummor is growing on her frontal lobe, it is her husband and daughters who can help her. I spent this afternoon with them today and I although angre that hospitals cannot cope thanks to cronic underinvestment but also saw what a real family and love is all about.
And do you know what it is not about money, its about time and space, must go time to put my youngest to bed with a story and hot chocolate.