Thursday, June 26, 2008

The NHS: the politicians think it's fucked...

The NHS: we know it's fucked, the politicians know that it's fucked, and at least I'm honest about it...

... they just won't tell you that, apparently. The IEA have just published a new book—Sixty Years On: Who Cares For The NHS?written by Dr. Helen Evans of Nurses for Reform. I haven't read it yet, but the IEA's Prohibitions book is thoroughly excellent, so I imagine that this one will be pretty good too.
Significantly, the study lays bare for the first time the private views of a large number of the country’s most senior health politicians, policy advisers, academics, journalists and professionals.

Containing a series of devastating blows to the NHS as it prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the research shows that when speaking off the record a substantial majority of Britain’s health elite no longer believe in nationalised healthcare.

Yeah, you can bet that almost every one of our bastard politicos has private health insurance (and charges it to expenses too, I'll wager).
While the NHS is itself now charged with being ‘inequitable’, ‘two tier’, ‘rationed’ and ‘costly’, a majority also believe it is too ‘monopolistic’ and want to see a much greater role for private funding arrangements—which could include personal health savings accounts.

Looking at private funding arrangements versus the state, an overwhelming majority of respondents surveyed (65%) believe that because people’s healthcare is unpredictable, some of its costs will increasingly have to be covered by private sources: ‘government arrangements such as taxation cannot do it all’.

As it happens, I know Dr Evans vaguely; her husband is Dr Tim Evans of the Libertarian Alliance (thoroughly sound chap); anyway, having dropped her an email, Dr Evans (who is, would you believe, a libertarian nurse: who would'a thunk it), was kind enough to give me a (no doubt, stock) quote:
“As people’s expectations increasingly outpace what the state can deliver, and as nationalised healthcare loses the battle for hearts and minds, behind the scenes our opinion formers are starting to seriously consider market alternatives.

With NHS dentistry collapsing before our eyes, ever more voters having private medical insurance, private health cash plans, or simply self funding for private surgery, the political class is under pressure to think anew. Already, in many of their minds, the NHS is dead. They won’t go on the record and say as much, but that is privately what they think.”

Anyway, you can download the text for free [PDF], so why not do so. As a leader of a party which consistently and honestly answers that, yes, we would abolish the NHS, I am going to have a squint at it over the next couple of weeks: I might get an idea or two...

It will, at least, be a stick to beat the politicians with; especially as the Tories had the temerity to send me an email not only encouraging me to "wish the NHS a happy 60th birthday", but also to read their Health green paper.
David Cameron has launched a Green Paper which sets out how a Conservative Government will create a health service that is "truly the envy of the world."

Oh, great! Yet another bit of buggering about with the NHS, yet another reorganisation and yet another set of fucking targets.

When will these cunts learn that the biggest problem in the NHS is the fact that the government keep buggering about with it? It's like the NHS is a particularly itchy, pus-filled spot on the face of the body politic and they just can't resist scratching it. But they never make it better: it just discharges a whole load of putrid chyme, swells some more and hurts until it gets scratched again.

Tosspots, the lot of 'em...


Anonymous said...

The problem in just about everything is that the government keep buggering about with it.

The NHS would work, and work far better, if doctors ran it and all the administrators were taken away to be used in medical experiments. Everyone knows administrators (and politicians) feel no pain because they have only rudimentary nervous systems just like any other parasite. So we'd save money on anaesthetics and please the animal-loving weirdie beardies at the same time. Result!

I'd have trouble paying for private healthcare at the moment - but if there were no income tax then I could do it, no problem. I could also pay a private bin-collecting firm, a private water-supply company, and so on.

Scrapping the NHS scares people, but scrapping income tax at the same time means they'd have the money for private care. You need to link the two whenever you bring up the NHS.

What about the chavs though? We need them in reasonable health in case there's a war. Cannons must, after all, be foddered. Perhaps a scaled-down free-clinic system but only for non-self-inflicted illnesses?

This needs thinking about by people who know more about the details than I do, but the gist is clear. Things work better without continuous poking and fiddling.

But then, poking and fiddling seems to be the government's speciality. In all senses of the words.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems with having such a gargantuan money-eater like the NHS is that increasingly more and more legislation has to be passed to "protect" it from being used.

The government passes laws to stop people smoking in various places. It isn't that they really want people to avoid smoker-related diseases (though the loss of anyone likely to vote NuLab is regretted) it is more the pressing need to cut costs by having fewer ill people cluttering up the hospitals.

People are selfish bastards, falling sick as they do. The NHS wuld be so much easier to manage if it could eliminate the patients.

Old Holborn said...

In the interim, could someone PLEASE leave the real price tags on every single bit of NHS stuff the public sees?

I see utter mongs shuffling their way to the GP's to pick up boxes of "medication" or "dressings" that will rot in the garden shed whilst A&E nurses use X-Ray machines to warm their coffee up.

If a daily dressing costs £12.99 or a foam neckbrace £37.99 then fucking well let the patient know how much public money they are wasting.


Anonymous said...

Keep the NHS but stop the government running it - simple really. Another lot of meddling when they Cons get in realy isn't going to help us. Especially since labour has spent the last 11 years re-inventing the Cons old policies but made it worse.

NHS managers are not to blame either. Healthcare is complex beast and does need management and administration - doctors are an expensive way of doing this, though of course, they should be able to "lead" to organisations.

Waste Old Holborn is a massive problem - doing what you say has been tried but does have some unintended negative consequence, though I reckon it's worth a go.

Dr Evans has hit the nail on the head though. Expectatins are high, treatment is complex and expensive. Tax is loathed. Something somewhere has to give.

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

If NHS cost £100 billion per year, and tax take is about £500 billion per year, does this mean if we stopped state funding for healthcare we could drop our tax by 1/5?

All that extra money to put into a compulsory insurance fund, just like we have to insure our cars if we drive.

Surely too simple to be workable, eh politicians? Ah, you would have nothing to do then!

Unknown said...

"The NHS would work, and work far better, if doctors ran it"

Are you fucking kidding? Doctors?

NHS Fail Wail

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