Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ringfence the NHS?

Yesterday I gave a very simple example of how the NHS could improve dramatically and would cost nothing to change. There is plenty of room for improvement. We have a highly sophisticated computer system that makes very sophisticated mistakes. Medical technology is putting up the costs but still we have appointments sent out to people who have died. The promise that we could walk into any NHS and all are details are there at the click of a button is just not there, and if it were then would it be a great advantage. Is it really worth the huge cost?

I am not convinced that the NHS deserves a ringfenced budget. I have taken a course with the Open University called Health and Disease, and there are people who argue that the NHS has done nothing to help the health of the nation. I do not take this view. If I am in an accident then I want to go A&E but I do take the point that many improvements in health are related to social interventions. Even the vast majority of physical illness is self-limiting - it gets better itself but we are finding more and more ways to treat injury and illness in a more expensive way.

I have heard a recent comment that 40% of GP visits are a waste of time. I well remember GPs complaining about the visits that they had to make. We can identify the use of individual swabs (see last Friday's blog). At least we have a better management system within the NHS, sorry, I mean more expensive.

Change the world

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