On this day a year ago
As blogged previously, I am all in favour of the NHS principle of “free at point of use”, but the fact is that the NHS, as it is (i.e. not in theory), is simply not working. Not working properly, and scarcely working at all.
It may well be that more money is required, but even now the NHS consumes nearly half the governmental budget (I see 44% as the proportion).
It may well be that nurses should be paid more. What about doctors? I see that GPs are mostly paid over £100,000 a year, some over £200,000, and for a service that is now lamentably poor.
As for hospital doctors, though the most junior (in the first year) receive only about £32,000 p.a., that rises rapidly to over £50,000 and, for consultants and surgeons, well over £100,000.
Ambulancemen (paramedics), (and women), get more than nurses, and do (from what I have seen) a very good job indeed.
As said, nurses and paramedics have a case for wanting more pay, but I cannot see it as morally correct for them to strike, leaving patients without care, even with some kind of skeleton service still running.
As for the NHS generally, it plainly needs to be changed to a service that genuinely puts patients first.
In the past decade, I have seen enough (though not as patient) to convince me that the maladministration in the NHS has to be rooted out. I should say that that is the main problem, not the staff as such, and not money as such.
Few people would want the UK to have an American-style health service, though it also has merits, which I saw when my first wife (an employee of the U.S. Federal Government) needed urgent surgery— and had it within a day or so of being admitted to hospital, and she was admitted the same day that she experienced pain bad enough to seek help. In the UK, that surgery would probably have taken weeks if not months to organize.
Likewise, I recall that my first wife was advised, on another occasion, to get a scan, and was given a choice of five hospitals within a 20-mile radius of home. The same year (1990 or 1991), King’s College Hospital in South London, a major UK teaching hospital, had to have a public appeal to buy a scanning machine, and that appeal ran for several years.
Again, the wife of a friend of mine in New Jersey was paralyzed after a woman driving a car in a supermarket parking lot (at only 5-10 mph) drove into her bicycle. Thanks to being heavily insured, my friend’s wife was able to stay at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center, where the Superman actor, Christopher Reeve, spent time a few years later [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Reeve#Hospitalization]. An excellent “facility”, as Americans say, and in heavily-wooded and peaceful grounds.
Still, the American system, under which about 40%-50% of the population are uninsured or under-insured, is unjust, and not what we in the UK would like to see.
There are, however, alternatives. The French system, for example (which I have also seen a little) seems to be far better than the NHS and, to take just example, has done away with “wards”— patients almost all have their own rooms, or shared rooms, and have done for about 40 years.
A friend in Brittany when I myself lived there (pre-2010) suffered from a heart condition and had already been treated by the NHS. On seeing the French specialist for the first time (taken the 50-mile journey to Brest and 50 miles back by taxi, at State expense, incidentally, rather than having had to drive himself), he was asked what medication he was presently prescribed, and replied. The French consultant raised his eyebrows and said “I think that we can do a little better than that“…
We are often unaware to what extent the NHS rations healthcare; the more advanced techniques and drugs available elsewhere are often not available on the NHS.
What we need is to keep the “free at point of use” principle, but ring-fence an “NHS tax” from income tax, so that those monies are usable solely for and by the NHS, not diverted to “aid” for the Jew Zelensky’s dictatorship, not diverted to other projects or services etc.
Also necessary (to some extent), along with better administration, is attitudinal change in some staff.
I recall seeing that idiot in the hat shouting through a megaphone, in Whitehall, when I was last in London: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2022/06/30/diary-blog-30-june-2022-including-impressions-of-a-trip-to-dystopian-london/.
If they really received the full ration (call me a cynic…).
What use is SIS/MI6 when it has neither the will nor the capability to bump off Shamima Begum and her sort? Especially when it also failed, inter alia, to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran, failed to predict the Falklands invasion, failed to predict the fall of socialism (inc. the Soviet Union) etc.
It’s “FERBER“, not “FABER“…(get it right…).
American. Don’t know if lawful in the UK. If lawful, should not be.
Some suggestion that the Ferber website was hacked some time ago. May or may not be true.
The wildlife emergency in the UK must become a government priority.
From the newspapers
“The NHS has been accused of ‘wanting less and less’ to do with patients after it advertised a series of remote-only GP roles for £85 an hour.
The work from home job offers general practitioners a three-month contract with the chance ‘to provide online digital consultations’ via video or phone calls to patients, with pay of just under £3,000 a week or almost £13,000 a month.
It comes amid mounting evidence that ‘telemedicine’, while convenient for doctors, can be ‘disastrous’ for some patients.”
Probably because the virtue-signalling Guardian readers, while pleased to have a copy of one or two “Jack Monroe” books prominently displayed on a kitchen bookshelf, are certainly not going to actually make, let alone eat, her swill.
I shall look forward to that. All the online “grifters” should be rooted out. Ausrotten!
Seems to be a genuine and worthwhile cause: https://www.gofundme.com/f/depher-cost-of-living-support-uk?qid=a6d81c76d0fb2349f78e7a06652165a6