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Trading Lessons

The NHS is killing Britain as it wastes tens of billions every year !

Politics / NHS Dec 24, 2006 - 08:05 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Politics

The UK Labour government came to office in 1997, focused on reinvigorating the National Health Service (NHS), this they did with vigor where the annual NHS budget has grown from £34 billions in 1997 to the present days £96 billion ! A more than 282% increase !!!!

Given the surge in spending, you would expect everything to be happy in the NHS, with ample funds to go around, if so ? You would be badly mistaken. NHS trusts up and down the country are reporting budget over-runs and cut backs in beds available to patents as well as on staffing with demands for billions more money to be spent.


The NHS is killing Britain !

So what's gone wrong with the NHS ?
In simple terms, the Labour government threw money at the NHS, literally hundreds of billions of extra spending has been thrown at the NHS, and much of it has gone straight into wages to feed the NHS gravy train. The NHS employs well over 1,100,000 workers, right from nurses to GP's to specialists have all enjoyed pay rises in excess of 100% ! On top of this, extra bureaucracy & quangos have been created to manage output targets that were supposed to measure the success of the hundreds of billions of extra spending. As years have gone by the output targets have been curtailed to meet those that are 'easiest' to achieve, you could say for political purposes.

The net result of a 285% increase in spending is a meager 30% increase in output in actual health care gain to patients. The rest of the money to all intents and purposes has been wasted. And more importantly continues to be wasted , this in no small part has resulted the current government budget deficit of £40 billions a year. The sensible thing to do would be to realise that the NHS is out of control and to rationalise / privatise it into a more affordable institution that allows the country to balance its budget.

But this is not going to happen, why ? Because of the 1.1 million people on the NHS gravy train, which are predominantly labour supporters. Even Cameron's Conservative party in an attempt to convince this large pool of voters that they will continue the Labour parties programme of out of control NHS spending is declaring that that will not cut NHS spending.

Take General Practitioners (GP's)
The average salary today is £106,000, up from £40, 000 in 1997, an increase of exactly 265% ! and indicative of why the NHS has going wrong !. Nearly triple the wages for LESS work, as GP's cut back on actual working hours with more work offloaded to nurses and referrals to hospitals for diagnoses. There is NO justification for such a huge pay rise for less productivity. None at all !.

Whilst GP's perform less work for nearly triple pay, this has led to an amalgamation of practices into multi-GP practices, patients increasingly complain of poorer care and indifference from part-time GP's as patients are shuffled from one GP to another, its only after several visits spanning several months that a patient can expect their symptoms to be taken seriously. Even then they have to go through the referral bureaucracy and delays, as increasingly cheaper quicker target achieving conditions are first to be referred.

The GP's are increasingly given incentives NOT to refer patients so as to save costs, this has led to sharp drop in the number of consultations over the last year, as it becomes ever harder for patents to make appointments with 'part-time' GP's. Where in the past GP's would have seen patents, now routine inquiries as determined by reception staff are referred to visiting nurses. This leads to further delays in diagnoses as nurses and GP's and reception staff pass the buck between one another with regards why say blood work cannot be taken etc. The cases are numerous of symptoms being ignored by part-time GP's' this includes cases of people with life threatening conditions such as brain tumors being repeated told that all they have is environmental flu, with no attempt at proper diagnoses !

Ninety per cent of GP's have taken advantage of the new GP contract to opt out of the provision of out of hours care, such as in the evening or weekends, leaving primary care trusts to find alternate providers to fill the gaps.

Patients increasingly disillusioned by the poor quality of GP / NHS service are going to the private sector for diagnoses and treatment, which has led to a boom in the private healthcare sector. So patients end up paying twice, once in higher taxes to employ those on the NHS gravy train and then again for proper diagnoses and treatment.

The new contracts for NHS staff also included generous pension arrangements, which is expected to eat up around £13 billion of the total budget by 2007/08 and contributing towards the ever escalating cost of staff pay and the soaring government budget deficit. This whilst the private sector workers are expected to increase contributions towards their pension provision.

So when you next hear news reports of NHS trusts being strapped for cash, demanding ever more funding, remember that throwing more money at the NHS is akin to throwing money into a bottomless pit, where barely 30p is spent on patient care from every extra £1 spent ! Only the other day, it was announced a further £6 billions a year is to be spent on the NHS bottomless pit, with the gravy train passengers crying for even more ! Inline with previous performance it is expected that less than 1/3rd of this extra £6 billion will be plowed into patient care !

The time has come to seriously consider privatizing the NHS, to give the power back to the patient to go to which ever GP / hospital they choose to for diagnoses and treatment. Only then will patients receive the care and consideration they deserve. Until then the NHS will continue to literally KILL Britain as it wastes tens of billions every year !

By Nadeem Walayat

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The Market Oracle is a FREE Financial Markets Forecasting & Analysis online publication. We aim to cut through the noise cluttering traditional sources of market analysis and get to the key points of where the markets are at and where they are expected to move to next !To view articles, visit http://www.marketoracle.co.uk


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Comments

Leanne Daly
25 Nov 07, 13:47
NHS

My comment is in reference to privatization, is it possible to privatise the NHS? or is privatisation merely down to healthcare-the actual hospitals/clinics themselves?


smartbrains
29 Jun 10, 02:42
NHS refusal to give me drugs is death sentence

I don't believe it is correct to say that someone gets cancer "through no fault of their own". It is a bit naive to say that. This thinking is based on a lie propagated by the medical establishment and the pharma industry out to make as much money as possible from desperate people fighting for their life (via the NHS).

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