Archive for the ‘NHS Funding Crisis’ Category

NHS Funding Crisis.

Jeudi, juin 2nd, 2011

The National Health Service is facing a £20 billion-a-year funding black hole that will threaten its founding principles unless the Coalition’s controversial reforms are brought in to prevent it, the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has warned in the Daily Telegraph of 2nd June.This is a sobering message but is anyone listening?
Perhaps Minette Marrin writing in the Sunday Times (minette.marrin@sundaytimes.co.uk) has it right when commenting on what she describes as the horrifying findings of the Care Quality Commission report of last week, on the frequent abusive neglect rather than care of old people in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals. She thinks that the British public has got the NHS it deserves and sees it as the fault of the British voter and the British medico-political establishment.
As the current impasse between the government and entrenched interests within the NHS indicates, reform of the NHS seems almost politically impossible due to what Ms Marrin considers the inflexible, deeply held, quasi-religious beliefs of the public about the NHS. Nigel Lawson, a former (Conservative) Chancellor of the Exchequer, is widely quoted as having once said that the NHS was the religion of the British people, which perhaps explains why Tony Blair, a former (Labour) Prime Minister has said he believed in the NHS. David Cameron, the current (Conservative) Prime Minister in the Coalition government has also said that he believes in the NHS.
However, as Ms Marrin sees it, religion can be dangerous when based only on faith and not taking due account of evidence. On one side then we have the main article of faith of the NHS quasi-religious belief system that all medical care ought to be run as a state monopoly. At the other so-called right-wing extreme, it is argued that nothing should be run by the state. In between, there are for example the health systems of France and Germany where medical care is rated better. Perhaps as Ms Marrin suggests, the lack of constructive critics or whistleblowers among NHS employees is because there is largely only one health employer in the UK i.e. the NHS.