UK lags behind the rest of EU in cancer treatment | EurActiv

Macmillan Cancer Support Logo

Macmillan Cancer Support Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The is a powerful story reported by Eur Activ. It’s a recommended read. Check it out!

via UK lags behind the rest of EU in cancer treatment | EurActiv.

The article cites evidence from Macmillan Cancer Support. Let me quote:

In the UK, five year survival rates for a range of common cancers are trailing 10 years behind other European countries. Austria had better lung cancer survival rates between 1995-1999 (14%) than Britain had between 2005-2009 (10%).

Of course, this is not completely new.

However, ahead of the general election, where the National Health Service (NHS) will feature highly, it begs some debate. The NHS was once the gold-standard of public healthcare but these days, it seems to have its own form of cancer.

The UK has the strongest economy in Europe right now but the worst cancer survival rates. The NHS is complex and a function of many stakeholders’ all competing for influence, including:

  • Politicians
  • Bureaucrats
  • Professionals like doctors, nurses and scientific staff
  • Administrative and other staff
  • Unions, and
  • Patients

Under successive governments massive amounts of money has gone into the NHS but outcomes, like cancer treatment, fail to compare with the world’s bench marks. Of course, professional staff in the NHS are heavily unionized and are first and foremost looking after the interests of their members. Indeed each of the above stakeholder group is fighting their own corner. Sadly, patients and the quality of healthcare is at the bottom of the list.

This blog has consistently taken the view that the NHS should be scrapped and replaced with a world-class public healthcare system, benchmarked on Best Practice.

Let me ask an open question:

Is the UK’s NHS beyond effective reform? Should the NHS be scrapped and replaced with a world-class public healthcare system?


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