Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Cost of the NHS

A report today finally reveals the financial drain on UK resources the NHS actually is.

An eye-watering £2000 per household is needed annually in increased tax to fully fund the NHS. It shows the cost of the NHS would become unacceptable.

If this doesn't sparks a long-needed great debate on what the NHS is for and the things it can do and the things that are out of it's reach then nothing will.

I've long said the NHS is over-reaching in certain areas. For instance cancer treatment, where phenomenally expensive drugs are being used to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients. Note this is not cure: this is eeeking out the life of someone for a couple of months at a cost that can reach tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds for the more exotic drugs.

To me this is not something the NHS should be spending money on. As sad as it is that the people have cancer, it is right that they are getting tens of thousands of pounds to prolong a life that is already terminal for a couple of months instead of using that money to cure or repair an illness?

For instance that could fund several hip and knee replacements, totally transforming the life of a person for decades.

My own personal opinion in that situation is that I would not take the treatment for the greater good of others.

Being such a huge consumer of health products should surely enable the NHS to strike deals with suupliers? Given the vast consumption across the country a national procurement department should be able to negotiate better/cheaper supply of item the NHS requires.

Don't forget the endless lawsuits that the NHS has to settle because of negligence claims. They slurp up almost half the NHS budget. Doing things better with fewer mistakes will gain the NHS a huge portion of the busdget that should go towards care instead of lawyers.

Forget privitisation, because in the long run that increases costs. But there is more to be done to leverage the size of the NHS against the costs the global corporations want to slap on it. Any purchasing manager worth their salt should be able to do a better deal given tha size of their health authority. I say should, but many don't. That needs to change.

As does the mentality that the NHS can rely on an ever-expanding purse and bottomless pockets. There will come a time when the public will start to question the expense.