We can’t just keep throwing money at the black hole of the NHS | Daily Mail Online

NHS Job Shop: "Working for Health" i...

NHS Job Shop: “Working for Health” in Kentish Town. Closed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sarah Vine argues that George Osborne may be giving the NHS an extra £6bn a year but it is only a short-term fix to an institution that will not prosper if we continue to throw money at it.

Source: We can’t just keep throwing money at the black hole of the NHS | Daily Mail Online

I admire Sarah Vine for being rare amongst British journalists in stating the obvious  – that the UK’s public health service, the NHS, needs radical reform.

She is right to criticize politicians of all classes for falling to face the truth about the NHS.

Vine proposes introducing charges in the NHS – it’s a simple enough measure and would put the UK in line with the rest of the world.

The NHS is abused because it is apparently free of charge. The cost is hidden in taxation and other public services which are excluded in favor of throwing billions of pounds at propping up the NHS.

We all know stories of abuse in the NHS, especially by foreigners or non-residents turning up for free health care. Similarly, there are the Saturday night drunk who foul hospital casuality departments every week. There are the people who waste doctors time, so that the needy can’t get an appointment. Also cancer patients suffer from care that is far beneath standards in other advanced countries, like France or Germany.

I live in Cyprus and a few years ago, the government introduced charges for seeing general practitioners and bigger charges for specialists, plus charges for prescriptions. Overnight there was an amazing change. Previously, it was common to see people with large shopping bags of medication from hospital pharmacies. Hospital waiting rooms were seriously overcrowded and there was lots of jostling to avoid the queues. But the change in policy brought a sense of order and priority.

It is time for the UK to start introducing comprehensive charges for services too.

Charges would increase the NHS’s effective revenue but massive efficiencies in costs are also urgently need. Let’s see if there’s another brave UK journalist who will recommend how to cut the NHS’s costs?


Opinion – NHS on course for worst financial crisis in its history – Telegraph

English: Ex-London Transport Routemaster RML26...

English: Ex-London Transport Routemaster RML2635 (NML635), now something to do with the Daily Telegraph. Español: Autobús Routemaster (RM 2635) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: NHS logo

English: NHS logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Telegraph exclusive by Sarah Donelly, Health Editor, is not really suprising. The article reports that the NHS is expected to declare the largest deficit in its history, amid warnings that hospitals could run out of cash to pay staff within a year

Source: NHS on course for worst financial crisis in its history – Telegraph

The mainstream media in the UK continue to publish the same old stories. The right-wing press, like the Telegraph, cite the inefficiency of the NHS. Whereas, the left-wing press just demand more money. Under the previous Labour government NHS spending increased, providing higher salaries across the board but without flexibility or efficiency strings-attached. Now we read that junior doctors are ready to strike against reforms.

On a short-trip to London, I heard radio-staton, LBC, promoting the case that doctors as beyond challenge. This is politically charged nonsense.

Once upon a time, the NHS was the gold-standard of public healthcare systems – these days, the NHS is a deeply political organization, with powerful unions and archaic working practices. Measured against objective international measures of healthcare standards, the UK’s public healthcare system has been deteriorating alarmingly for years.

But politicians and the mainstream media are simply afraid to tell voters the truth. The reality is that the NHS is beyond reform. Despite the rhetoric of the hard-left, the UK cannot afford to keep throwing more and more money to prop up the NHS. The NHS has a variety of cancers eating away at its vital organs.

For four years, John Gelmini and I have been arguing for truly radical change. The NHS must be progressively scrapped and replaced by a best practice public healthcare system, modelled on the best in the world. As a former expert in delivering strategic change, in my judgement, this would probably be the world’s largest ever transformation project. The maths are clear – look at the projected incremental cashflows, demographics and risks – radical reform is better than throwing increasing tax-payer money at propping up an anachronism.

Surely, it’s time for global think-tanks and the international media to start looking critically at the UK’s NHS? Perhaps, the UK’s next public healthcare system will again become the world’s gold-standard?