Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Percipient NHS staff

Via Bishop Hill, Here's a revealinglittle report.
Less than half of NHS staff (46%) believe patient care is the top priority at their health trust, a survey has showed.One in four do not think their trust sees it as most important, while a further 29% neither agree or disagree.

As Bishop Hill points out,
Will anyone now stand up and argue that the NHS is of any benefit to the British people whatsoever. It's the same as every other bureaucracy - run for the benefit of its staff and the politicians who run it.

I won't, believe it or not, argue that the NHS is of no benefit: it is of considerable benefit to those who cannot or will not pay for their own healthcare, on the grounds that they get healthcare when they would otherwise not (under the prevailing conditions).

For anyone who has to pay for this socialist monolith—or, indeed, those conscientious staff employed by it—it is of no benefit.

12 comments:

Dave said...

The NHS, Education and Local Government are job creation schemes set up by the government solely for Guardian readers.
Surely everyone knows that?

Blue Eyes said...

I would be happy to part with the money I spend on the NHS if it was being spent efficiently. My preferred option would be to buy my own insurance and make a small direct contribution to an organisation which helps those who can't afford their own.

Anonymous said...

DK - you wimp!

"I won't, believe it or not, argue that the NHS is of no benefit: it is of considerable benefit to those who cannot or will not pay for their own healthcare"

Nonsense.
You're ignoring the fact that people would change their behaviour - and thereby get BETTER healthcare than they do now.

Read Bartholomew; even back in the 1890s, about 75% of the population paid for heathcare through some sort of private contributory scheme (usually linked to the hospital, or a friendly society, or even a union).

Of the rest, about 5% could afford to pay as and when they needed to see a doctor, and the rest had good charitable provision.

By the time the NHS was founded, the proportion having to rely on charity was even lower - and still dropping.

And the charitable safety net worked, unlike the NHS. Even the Labour Party's own document proposing the NHS could not say that anyone was missing out on heathcare; its objection to the old system was that it was "unplanned".

So to satisfy socialist "command & control" dogma we've moved from a system where about 15% of the population had to rely on pretty good charitable provision, to one where over 30% are still waiting for treatment over 4 months after being diagnosed.

And you won't oppose the NHS?

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Blue eyes - who should pay when the cost of treatment exceeds the financial contribution of individual health seekers ?

Look at tariffs for ITU, organ transplants (plus lifelong anti-rejection drugs), dialysis, etc - not cheap.

A percentage of the population are unable to contribute financially, perhaps because of mental illness, or because they are in a persistant vegatative state or because of a significant disability since birth - in this marvellous world of individual responsibility why should it be of any concern of mine if you, or anybody else for that matter, develops a rare cancer, say, that is expensive to treat but for which you have insufficient financial resources to cover treatment costs ?

Aonymous - if you think there is any comparison between health technologies in 2008 compared to 1890, or even 1948, then you know even less about the health scene than your post suggests.

Blue Eyes said...

Umm, I would buy insurance and as I stated in black and white I would *want* to contribute to the insurance for those who cannot afford their own insurance. I don't know how complicated that can be.

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Ahh, an insurance policy thats covers ALL possible contingencies (irrespective of the actual treatment costs) and at a reasonable price to boot, presumably ?

Lots of concerned staff, nice clean wards, efficient bureaucracy, in fact, just like the BUPA ads on the telly for those nice middle class families, eh ?

You say you want to contribute to others who cannot afford to pay for health cover, doesn't that sound dangerously like, gulp....."socialism" ?

Anyway, how much are you willing to pay given the steep increase in health costs (17% of GDP in the States, and still rising) - after all, those shiny new technologies, allied to burgeoning consumer expectations cost a bob or two, you know.

Yes, insurance companies, it's as simple as that apparently.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"You say you want to contribute to others who cannot afford to pay for health cover, doesn't that sound dangerously like, gulp....."socialism" ?"

Umm, well, it's charity, certainly; socialism, maybe. But there is a fundamental difference between coerced and voluntary giving, A&E.

I have no problem, for instance, if people want to get together, voluntarily, and live in little socialist communes. I'd think that they were insane, but that's their look out.

I have given money towards good things for a few bloggers; a couple of disabled ones and a student who needed money to be able to finish her course.

Does that make me a socialist, or someone who advocates charitable giving and puts his money where his mouth is?

DK

Blue Eyes said...

I can't afford to be charitable because the state squanders all my money on inefficient centrally planned idiocies, but given my money to spend how I chose I would give generously as would most others.

Socialists take a very dim view of humanity and assume that humans are greedy and therefore we need to be forced to be good. The opposite is true and it is in fact socialism itself which makes us greedy because we have to cling on to the scraps that we are generously allowed to keep by the state.

The idea that the NHS is the most efficient way of buying universal healthcare is a nonsense peddled only by people too closed-minded to see that there are excellent alternatives.

As DK often points out, the NHS spends most of its efforts looking after its staff not its patients. Time for a re-think.

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

"Socialists take a dim view of humanity", oh dear, blue eyes, you are starting to sound like one of those people who claim that if there was no (insert various) 'isms', then the world would be a far better place.

I must inform you that the feuding and fighting, in other words the destructive elements of human behavior long predates the various 'isms' - may I commend Fromm's, "The anatomy of human destructiveness" (1973) for a fascinating exposition of this phenomena.

To the question 'am i my brothers keeper' - the NHS says yes (by and large), while the profit driven insurers must consult the small print in the policy first.

Devil's Kitchen said...

All of these profit-driven businesses are so evil, aren't they? The bloody bakeries and tech companies and fruit farmers and...

DK

Blue Eyes said...

A&E you are doing exactly the kind of "there is no alternative" mental gymnastics that I have suggested is rather closed-minded! I didn't say anything about socialism or isms in general - I said that socialISTS (spot the difference?) take a dim view of humanity. Tell me it isn't so!

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Oh, there are alternatives blue eyes, and very expensive some of them are too.

Take a look at how much dosh the Yanks, Swiss & Krauts stump up for health care - the insurance gods are not easily appeased in these countries it seems ?

Just because there are a few policies on the shelf it does not necessarily imply 'real' choice, especially if the word Hobson cannot be excluded from the equation.