I had a conversation with Keith Milner on G+ about Prof Sir Bruce Keogh’s suggestion that the NHS may abandon free healthcare. I thought I’d reproduce my response to Keith’s question because I know David Cameron the Prime Minister reads my blog.
Keith: “So what has changed that the model that has worked well for the last 60+ years is suddenly no longer sustainable?”
People are being selfish and not dying.
The problem with the NHS is two fold.
Firstly when it was set up in 1948 a lot of the population had met their maker thanks to Uncle Adolf and the Luftwaffe so it was primarily built around the 55 Million population size of the time. Obviously they factored in growth but remember we still had elements of the empire so nobody considered that anybody would dare to try and live in the motherland or that there would be the increase to the 64 Million that we have today.
The second factor is probably the more important issue, although it is in effect the old ‘Chicken and Egg’ conundrum. The NHS is too good at what it does as is the medical profession as a whole. Whereas a few years ago for example, being diagnosed HIV positive was an immediate death sentence these days it wouldn’t surprise me if you can get treatment across the counter in the local chemist for it. Living to the age of 80 is so common nobody cares and only the other day they was talking about how there are thousands of people 100 years of age in the UK. Keeping people alive eats up resources like pouring water down a black hole. The NHS is becoming a luxury, throwing money at it because “It’s the right thing to do.” could bankrupt the country if we’re not careful.
I’m no expert but education seems the route to take which nobody seems to suggest or try. Turning cases away from A&E that can be treated by your GP for starters. If sadly one or two pop their cloggs because they in fact should have been seen is just sadly something we’d have to accept and deal with. Bring back those Government education films, show them at prime time, explain how many of the ailments people call ambulances for could be dealt with by a walk-in centre or your local practices nurse.
The population doesn’t want to help the NHS all they care about is using it coz it’s free. If they had to pay maybe for initial treatment or say for the ambulance you watch A&E empty overnight and Doctors surgery’s fill up.