Reforming the NHS

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The NHS is woefully inefficient and not all that good at what it does, it needs radical reform firstly to give people good medicine and secondly to give taxpayers value for money. Yet many vested interests are against such reform, they are perfectly happy with the current set up and have no interest in improving things. Against this the government is being forced to introduce their reforms gradually, over years. All this achieves is to delay the inevitable.

The problem with health provision is that the demand is infinite. We could all have our personal physicians following us around, as the Queen Mother did, but this really isn’t practical. So health provision has to be rationed. Worldwide it is rationed by limiting budgets, by insurance companies and by medical professionals themselves. In the UK it is rationed by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) limiting what doctors can do and by those doctors limiting themselves. It is impossible to run a health service without some form of rationing.

All this matters because the population bubble that is the baby boomer generation is now getting old and putting increasing demands on the service. So we really need more honesty about what it can do and what it can’t do. But this is something we are not hearing.

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