How do you solve a problem like the NHS?

1. Even before Covid the NHS was probably the most important call on public expenditure that was ‚’ring-fenced‚’ for increase while others were suffering decreases, at least in real terms. Part of this derives from its perceived reputation as a ‚’national religion‚’ and another part from its role in providing for basic needs like treatment for illness for the poorest in a capitalist society with many inequalities. The underlying problem lies in the unrelenting increase in demand for many years to come which is mostly born out of positive results for society ‚’ the increase in population in general but specifically people are living longer albeit with health conditions requiring NHS service.

2. Since Covid the NHS‚’ hold on public expenditure has increased dramatically. It has been on the frontline of the fight against Covid and of receiving appreciation from the public. The government has given it billions of pounds extra with few questions asked. Just one example is the Track and Trace operation which has reportedly cost billions of pounds.

3. How could government and society in the UK reduce its expenditure on NHS/health in real terms and build a model that this could be sustained for the long-term? How indeed do you solve a problem like the NHS?

4. One school of thought would bat this away with the objective fact that other Western societies spend more as a proportion of GDP on health. But they do not adequately examine if NHS and its work are exactly comparable in the health conditions, processes used and outcomes delivered. The result of not solving a problem like the NHS is that other deserving causes have less and we do not examine if NHS is using money well. In other words, others suffer and we have an inefficient holy cow.




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