An anatomy of inclusive growth in Europe | Bruegel

This report from European think-tank Bruegel is a recommended read. It highlights that contrary to many perceptions, income inequality in the EU has fallen over the past two decades. and in the EU as a whole, and in most EU members, absolute poverty is rare and income inequality is low. It notes that strong welfare states have offered protection against inequality. However, it’s necessary to read to report because there are significant exceptions.

Source: An anatomy of inclusive growth in Europe | Bruegel

Surprisingly, more children of low-educated parents obtain a high level education in the UK & Finland than in rest of EU. I worry that pumping people through higher education should not be an end in itself. Education and training needs to be matched to demand. More importantly, the quality of tertiary education must improve against international benchmarks. Sadly, politicians have often meddled and not followed a robust strategy, so there remains enormous waste in public spending on education – it is too bureaucratic and under the influence of left-wing & liberal educators, and of course, powerful trade-unions resist change and reform.



Opinion – Recovering the cost of NHS treatment for overseas patients – National Audit Office

UTAR PBB Debit Card

UTAR PBB Debit Card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read first hand the NAO’s report on recovering the cost of NHS treatment for overseas patients. Alarmingly, the report concludes that the amount recovered has increased but NHS hospital trusts remain some way from complying in full with the requirement to recover the cost of treating overseas visitors.

Source: Recovering the cost of NHS treatment for overseas patients – National Audit Office

My wife and I have travelled extensively and from time to time require medical care in foreign countries – without exception, we must produce pre-screened credit or debit cards to cover payment BEFORE we are able to see a doctor.

Sadly, the NHS is full of so many broken processes that it cannot collect effectively debts from foreign patients. If the NHS were outsourced, you could be sure that this lapse would be immediately reversed.

Let me ask an open question:

Do you think that the NHS will ever be able to offer proper value for money, focusing on front-line services and largely elimination bureaucracy? If not, is that a viable alternative?