State run healthcare causes enough problems as it is. But when it is run by a government in debt, who must cut their spending, there is inevitably going to be a staffing crisis.
In the news today, it was found that the UK has fewer doctors per 1,000 people than almost all other EU countries! In the report (Eurostat regional yearbook 2013):
- The UK had 2.71 practising doctors for every 1,000 people – fewer than countries including Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia.
- The UK ranked 24th out of the 27 European nations, only beating Slovenia, Romania and Poland.
So what did the union GMB say?
Enough is enough, there can be no more cuts to budget or staffing.
Why, in these sorts of articles (not just in the Telegraph, but in fact all other media outposts in the UK), do they not consider other options, such as splitting up the NHS into more manageable chunks, or privatising services such as GP practices to save the taxpayer and government money?
The only positive thing that has happened to the NHS over the past 10 years is the abolishment of 23,000 unnecessary admin jobs which are the types of jobs that are created when things are run by the government.
ps. will somebody please raid the guardian and destroy this horrifying meme which is designed to destroy the healthcare debate in the UK. Thanks =]
The National Health Service has already become too big, but has it now finally reached breaking point? Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA thinks it has, and I do too.
An article in the Guardian today discloses comments made by Dr Porter which include:
- An “arbitrary” straitjacket on the NHS’s budget by Whitehall is leading to job losses, recruitment freezes and inadequate care for patients.
- Forcing the NHS in England to make £20bn of “efficiency gains” by 2015 at a time of rising demand for healthcare was wrong and damaging.
He is, of course, exactly right. Making cuts to the 5th largest employer in the world is inevitably going to have a negative effect when the government is its only source of income.
The article goes on to quote the Department of Health:
- “The key thing to remember is that there’s effectively a policy that results in redundancies because the single most important policy determinant in the NHS is the spending limits on it imposed by the government.”
- “The NHS’s budget should be based on population growth and people’s health needs rather than arbitrary Treasury spending limits.”
Again, I agree with these comments. Where I start to disagree with Dr Porter, the DoH, Labour, the guardian, the BBC, and in fact, the majority of the british people, is on how to fix the NHS. We can’t throw more money at it (Unless you know someone who has a tree on which money grows) because our government is already spending too much (Not to mention the debt!).
If I had it my way, I would gradually reduce the NHS by replacing services with a true free market in which private healthcare companies can operate. This would drive down the costs of healthcare compared to the NHS and would save UK taxpayers £billions. In fact, in a previous post I described how the NHS could save 8% of its budget in one swoop by privatising GP services. Do you want to pay for people picking up sick notes for work off their doctor?
Anyway, this idea is probably impossible to achieve due to the media’s grip over the word ‘privitization’. The only real difficulty that occurs due to privatization is it means people would have to shop around themselves for the best bargin. It means they would have to get up off their backside and make their own decisions instead of being forced to pay for one price by the government.
People always say to me “You can’t be interested in politics, you’re not even old enough to have lived through any!” all the time. This is one of the problems with our society at the moment. People think that you cannot have your own political view unless you have either studied a politics course at university or are actively involved in the political system.
This problem intensifies when your views are not mainstream (Where mainstream means that you do not support one of the parties currently in government). I for one am an anarchist, and people often think that an anarchist is someone like Guy Fawkes who wants to blow up government. This could not be further from the truth. The definition is simply this:
Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful.
Now obviously there can be people who take this philosophy into their own hands and become extremists. But this happens with any philosophy, for example take the recent Greenpeace activists who proved they were terrorists when stupidly trying to board a russian oil rig illegally.
Holding the state to its actions is a key view of mine, and which I think should be second nature to everyone. Yet in this modern democratic world, nobody seems to even want to think this way. In fact, when things go wrong the only ‘right’ solution, people say, is for there to be more government, and more government spending. Yet government is bureaucratic, not value for money, makes many decisions without public consent (Because they think they know what is best for us) and takes money from people by holding a gun in their face.
A government can be compared to the NHS, which is also all of the things I stated above. Yet whenever I list problems with the health service in the UK, people always shout back at me “…but the solution is simple, the NHS should increase its budget and expand”. Once I try to explain that the opposite is true, and that it would perform more efficiently and effectively with decentralised bodies (possibly county level) which can compete against each other and that GP services should be privatised people look at me as though I hate the NHS and all the hard work its employees do on a daily basis (Dan Hannan has also noticed this phenomenon). IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NHS EMPLOYEES; it has everything to do with how the NHS is great at wasting money, not being accountable and being overly bureaucratic (and here).
However, things are looking up for my point of view. Here is what a recent YouGov report had to say:
YouGov’s 2013 ‘Healthcare Choices: NHS versus Private report’ shows the public would welcome the private sector taking a greater role in the provision of their health services. Also, (62%),believe the private sector has a role to play in reducing NHS waiting lists, with just over one in eight (13%) thinking it should not.
Hallelujah!! Now people just need to apply this way of thinking to government itself. As I have mentioned previously in this blog, socialism is the philosophy of failure and is the natural course of all governments around the world. People need to wake up and realise that less is more in terms of government.
The NHS is a taboo subject in the UK, even the most brave MP does not dare speak against it.
I saw a funny tweet earlier today from a labour party supporter:
The big tory lie: ‘We cant afford the NHS’. It has been in surplus for the past 5years and the treasury has clawed back £5bn
What the left don’t realise is the fact that the NHS making a profit is good news for the UK taxpayer. It is also good because that money can be used to reduce government debt.
I know this may be an unpopular view, but I think the UK could benefit from a private health service if it was part of a true free market. Also obamacare is a disaster before it has even started!