Woman's message to those who helped her after 'very rough time'

Whether they have enjoyed "amazing service" or been on a waiting list for months, Scousers truly value their National Health Service.

With an election around the corner, the NHS is a key issues for voters - particularly as it faces enormous pressure and challenges.

In Liverpool today, we asked people how important the NHS is to them. The responses all suggest that people truly cherish the country's health service but are frustrated with the series of issues it faces from long waiting lists and staff shortages.

For many people who have been unfortunate enough to need to rely on its services, the NHS is something held very close to the heart.

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This is certainly the case for Mo Mertakkas from the Wirral. She told the ECHO: “I have had a very rough time, but the NHS has changed everything, it’s an absolutely fantastic service, the best in the world.”

She continued: “I cannot praise my consultant and her team enough for the work they do. It’s been amazing to go through my journey and come out the other end smiling.”

Mo's daughter added to her mum's sentiments, stating: "NHS staff deserve footballer's wages."

Although it is good to hear Mo’s positive experience with the NHS, many people are not as lucky.

For example, Matthew Taylor from Southport told us: “I’ve been on a waiting list for many months for a jaw operation. They’ve got the brace, they’ve had it ready for me for months, but they just don’t have space to fit me in.

The 25-year-old explained: “Going private would cost me £13,000, so I’m a bit stuck.”

Despite his disappointing experience waiting for surgery, Matthew stated his unwavering support for the NHS model: “It’s important to have free healthcare at the point of use but the waiting list are way too long.”

22-year-old student, Rhys Thomas, explained why the NHS is, in his opinion, the most pressing issue in the run up to the July 4 vote.

He said: “The NHS surely is the number one priority for whoever the next government is. You can see over the last 14 years or so, the mismanagement, the waiting lists.”

He continued: “It’s something you should have to rely on, free of charge. Whereas now if you fall ill or injured, you’d probably have to worry about that but also if you’re actually going to be seen and receive the treatment which should be expected in the NHS.”

A student dentist, who wanted to remain unnamed explained the strain that dentists are under due to underfunding of the NHS.

They said: “Dentists don’t have enough time per appointment to see and treat patients in the way they’d like to, which means the level of care goes down.”

They continued: “NHS dentists often have 20 or 30 patients in a day, by the time you get to your 30th patient of the day the level of care will go down because they’re fried basically.”

It is apparent from the discussions we had with people that the NHS is something that people want to see flourish, we did not come across anyone who advocated for privatisation. People in Liverpool want an NHS that works for them and is free at the point of use.

This sentiment was encapsulated by Christine Bathe who said: “The NHS is a very important institution and its absolute suffering now from years of neglect and hopefully come the election that things will start to improve.”

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