Friday, 27 August 2010

Why Is The NHS Considered 'A Sacred Cow' - Time For The Abattoir?

The Guardian reports on suggested changes, apparently let 'slip' by Andrew Lansley, to the NHS Direct telephone line. Discussing the proposed 'trial' of '111' the report states:
"People can dial 111 to get health advice and information about out-of-hours GPs, walk-in centres, emergency dentists and 24-hour chemists."
 So why can't people dial their 'out-of-hours' GPs for health advice and information? Why cannot information about 'out-of-hours' GPs, walk-in centres, emergency dentists and 24-hour chemists be published on local authority websites and advertised in the local press? Why are we spending £123million on a 'service' which could be provided for £millions less? What is the point in providing a 'service' that is supposed to offer medical advice with fewer 'trained-medical staff'? How can the Department of Health state that the new service will be cheaper, yet also admit they have no idea of the actual cost?
"The NHS has been told to find up to £20bn of savings by 2014, even though the health service is due to see rises in its budget in the coming years. This is because of the increasing demands from an ageing population, new drugs and lifestyle changes such as increasing obesity."
The 'problems' 'highlighted' are not just due to the reasons given, but also due to the increased population, - an increase due in no small measure from uncontrolled immigration from EU member states? Do, by the way, note that the latest 'scare', obesity, is also introduced into the discussion!

For far too long we have been 'blighted' by both the LabCon parties, when it is their turn to 'govern', introducing 'ideas' - and ideas without any foundation - which conform to either adherence to the latest 'pressure group' that has caught the government's 'ear' or the imposition of an 'idea' that it would seem some political 'wonk' has had - or is the brainchild of a minister.

What has been the result is that successive governments have 'tinkered' with the system, only for those plans to be overturned by the next government 'incumbents'. As the ideology of both parties is at such variance, it has resulted in 'squat-diddley' at the end of the day.

Of course, this has resulted in a situation whereby we are also attempting to maintain a system, designed 65 years, ago to work in the modern world - an ideology akin to continuing to run our roads whilst ensuring that every vehicle is preceded by someone carrying a red flag! Encapsulated in this ideology is also the idea that the NHS is a 'sacred cow', one whose operating system cannot be altered. It should be recalled that the same 'operating idea' was also held when considering British Rail and British Leyland - to name but two - and all the other 'state-owned' institutions that politicans have 'dreamed up'.

Can this problem with the NHS ever be resolved? The short answer must be in the negative as we have a cat's chance in hell (or a wheelie-bin) of ever so doing whilst we remain a member of the EU. Yet another pressing reason why we should get the hell out of the EU – and also get some serious thinking done about a growing 'time-bomb', which if unresolved, will surely bankrupt our country.

Just thinking, on a quiet Friday night.................


Anonymous said...

Healthcare has been ring fenced from cuts for no other reason than to avoid the Torys being seen as the Nasty Party. The same goes for the appallingly wasteful Overseas Development budget - that's the budget where we get to send £800,000,000 to India for urgent stuff like Climate Change mitigation while their own government spends Billions developing a nuclear arsenal.
Both budgets are incredibly wasteful and an honest politician would make these the first areas to slash. Not much chance there then.

Chuckles said...

Abbatoir? Knackers yard, surely.

Cut some more said...

You have identified two huge budget issues that every politician will avoid due to perceived complexity.

EU-and I would argue UN. I have no idea why some politicians think it a good idea to allow supra-national talking shops to dictate policy. Get out at the soonest, too expensive.

NHS-I disagree somewhat with your analysis, I think it would be a very good idea to return to the original concept of coverage to avoid disastrous expense in the case of illness, but there needs to be a defined scope of coverage. Gender re-assignments, boob jobs, and coverage for non-insured would be gone. Coverage for exempt procedures would be available in a parallel private system.

As I said both controversial and therefore will not be addressed by todays wimpy politicians.

Witterings From Witney said...

Anon: Agreed.

C: Heh!

CSM: Good point and no problem with your idea re items like gender reassignment etc.