What makes this all the more powerful is that it comes from someone who doesn't hate the NHS, but who can see the need for extensive waste-cutting measures and reform. Birrell has his own ideas on that front – which he mentions in the article – but the concluding paragraph gives you the thrust of his argument:
There is little more worth adding, apart from to say that this is exactly the kind of informed, considered article that we should be paying attention to. The spat on Twitter may not have permitted such shades of grey, but perhaps we should be grateful that it's prompted this wider, more meaningful debate.“
"Like the health secretary, I am an Everton fan. And like Andy Burnham, the national health service and Everton are among the most cherished institutions in my life. My daughter is still alive, for which I give thanks to the support, dedication and friendship of many in the health service. But it is precisely because I am such a fervent admirer that I believe it is so shameful that the NHS is allowed to limp on in its current state. For too many people, especially many of those most in need of its help, it is something of a disaster zone. The NHS is a sick institution, and cheap political point-scoring will do nothing to solve the problems. We need to find a cure."