A Sustainable National Health Service

Posted by: on Aug 13, 2014 | No Comments

Like a guest on Jim’ll Fix it , our collective attitude towards the NHS is an abusive one. When individuals get something free their cognitive reasoning values it less than something consciously paid for. Like the abhorrent Jimmy Saville, the abuse is consistent, repeated and from all directions: Inflated drug prices and predatory pricing, telephone number salaries, a growing number of cases of medical fraud and health tourism, endless layers of management and bureaucracy, not to mention the overwhelming tide of an ageing demographic, all conspire towards a terminal condition.

Only a change of mentality can put this honourable institution on a sustainable course. Those good people providing the care, who chose the enlightened path of altruism should not suffer in any change, instead the adjustments required lie elsewhere. We should stop asking what can I get out of the NHS, instead consider the NHS an emergency service whose company you want to avoid.

It seems some people treat their drug-guzzling as a badge of honour. That certainly suits the Big Pharma cause but not the sustainability of the NHS budget or our wider finances or in fact, the lifestyle choices of the patients. If we were collectively tested for performance enhancing drugs by British Athletics, we would receive a life ban and permanent exclusion. As has been recently reported, maybe we should open our eyes to the hidden benefits of Aspirin et al and ignore the pleadings of a profit-centre promoting a new, unproven wonderdrug.

When conceived in 1948, its budget was today’s equivalent of £9bn. The NHS budget in 2012/13 was a staggering £109bn, the size of the overall government deficit. David Cameron, to his credit, has tried to grasp this political nettle but without an adjustment in our collective attitude to the service the changes required maybe foiled by the vested interests.

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