The NHS is a shining example of what socialised medicine can do. The UK isn’t the best in the world, but it is extremely close to it. It’s a difference of inches rather than miles. It is a far cry from the USA whose massive spending is matched to a complete lack of service. In fact what we spend in the UK per person, per capita is actually pretty good value for money.
Well, what’s the problem with the NHS?
The NHS’s problem is that it’s big. Big organisations have big bureaucracy. That’s life unless you want to run an organisation through the method of crumping heads and shouting loudly at people until things get done. But the bureaucracy exists solely to meet the needs of the bureaucracy. It could do with some trimming of frivolous services and cost saving by usage of more efficient methodology. There are a lot of posts that have people who don’t really do anything and these can be repurposed to expand service.
The way to fix it is to not cut the salaries of doctors and nurses who make up the edge of the NHS. That is a frankly moronic way to do things. Doctors earn a fair wage, but it’s a crazy job. It’s a huge amount of skill and education that goes into making a doctor and it’s a lot of stress and indeed responsibility. Cutting the wages will just hurt doctors and create a system of unrest.
To put it into perspective. If anyone cut your salary, forced you to pay more tax, work longer to retirement and gave you a lower pension, would you accept it? Not really. Money may not be the prime driving force in medicine, but it does help the average doctor a lot. We aren’t talking football players, we are discussing people who work to keep you healthy and who do a job based on artifice, skill and knowledge.
The NHS is being dismantled. It’s being set up to fall. Private companies take over the running of the NHS while government cuts to doctor’s salaries combined with increases to retirement age and reductions to pensions will create an incentive for doctors to jump ship to the private system. A health system without it’s doctors (and indeed Nurses. I cannot speak for them as I have no idea how the system works for them) is like a knife without a blade.
The NHS will fall and we will see the rise of an american style system where the rich get to be healthy and the poor can only get medical care at personal cost. Private companies flog the idea that your rooms are clean and that nurses will treat you like a “person” implying that the NHS is filthy and that it treats you like a cow. Most people who think that have never ever met a real nurse or been inside a hospital if they think the NHS tolerates treating patients like cows is acceptable.
The problem is there is no hostile reaction doctors and nurses can take. It’s only money right? It’s not like lives are at stake. Doctors and Nurses cannot strike without harming patients so they cannot levy the ultimate sanction of a proper crippling strike.
This doesn’t affect doctors and nurses. We will always find work in the private sector for our skills, people will always be sick for the forseeable future. It affects our patients.