AA Gill


Ex-smoker gets lung cancer then blames NHS for not being able to fund his treatment. Doesn’t bother to ask why the tobacco industry isn’t helping to pay for it?

He’s dead now though, so it’s good news for people and baboons everywhere.

AA Gill

I haven’t read the full piece, but was be blaming the NHS as such? Or just pointing out the system we have means some people don’t get the possible treatments due to cost-effectiveness?

He was a great writer. Probably a total git, but a great writer.


Not really sure he’s blaming the blaming NHS, as hyg says maybe just pointing out some
Flaws etc.
Didn’t always agree with him but always read him, excellent writer


Cost effectiveness is a necessary evil when providing free healthcare. It’s a horrible thing but someone does have to look at the statistics of how many lives will be saved and at what cost, then determine whether there is enough public money to pay for it.

Is prolonging a 60 year olds life for five years worth more than prolonging a 10 year olds for three? I don’t have an answer for that.

My problem with Gill is that his alternative seems to be private healthcare. Great if you have the money, awful if you are poor. He fails to acknowledge that as an ex-smoker, private health insurance companies would simply not have covered him or instead charged a premium so high he couldn’t afford it anyway. So the treatments he complains the NHS can’t pay for would not have been available to him anyway.


Nice to have you back, Cliche.

Think i’ll stick to a simple RIP. After all, people dying is quite sad.




My parents get The Times, so I’ve read it. He talk about the NHS problems, but makes no reference to the cash starving, or creeping privatisation. And that way leads to people blaming foreigners, which to be fair he isn’t doing, but it leaves the problems open for interpretation. I wish people would give the whole picture. To be fair, in his position I doubt that was foremost on his mind. Anyway, I thought Mary Beard’s tweet about him was good and I’ll leave it at that.


I know it’s not nice to be mean about the recently dead, but this specific paragraph riled me:

“(She said) ‘You’re supposed to be with me down in chemotherapy. I saw your name. Why are you up here?’,” he wrote."‘Well, it turns out the chemo isn’t working’. Her shoulders sag and her hand goes to her head… I think she might be crying."I look away, so might I.“You don’t get that with private healthcare.”

I work in a both NHS/private healthcare environment, my shoulders sag on an eveyday basis and it has nothing to do with the way people pay for their treatment. Turns out, people die in private healthcare too. Cancer doesn’t care if you are being funded by the nhs or privately.


Deary me. Stay classy. Imagine someone being angry and upset they aren’t eligible for a life extending treatment when they’re on the way out. Cost effective rationality might just go out the window when you’re dying, eh?