The NHS as an example of Labour mismanagement

The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in England
NHS job website

The NHS consists of medical staff such as doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists etc who look after their patients. It also requires managers who allocate resources. Being as this is a state enterprise these managers don’t have to show enterprise or be efficient, they just have to spend money. So how many people does it take to spend our health budget?

Well here are the NHS numbers for the end of 2010: there were 721,717 professionally qualified medical staff and 380,605 clinical support staff. And to manage them there were the “infrastructure support” staff. All 233,342 of them. Of which 41,962 were designated as being “managers”. Yet there were just 141,326 doctors. So we pay for getting on for twice as many people to manage the health service as the number of doctors we pay for.

Most frightening of all, that figure of 41,962 “managers” is up by 16,706 since the year 2000 when there were 25,256. This is incredible we know that the 25,256 number was almost certainly twice the number that was really needed. Then Labour go and add an extra 66% so they can micromanage down to an even finer level of granularity. This is just pure profligate waste of hard earned taxpayers money.

And it is all unnecessary. Over thousands of year human societies have found the perfect mechanism for efficiently allocating resources. It is called the market and it works brilliantly. The NHS can still be a comprehensive service that is free at the point of delivery. This is fundamental. But what is needed is to take a very hard look at what all these infrastructure support people do and to replace them with internal markets wherever possible. Then we would have the nice option of either having a lot more money to pay for clinical treatment or of having less of our pay deducted in taxes.

2 Comments


  1. In my experience the markets will rip the gov off at every opportunity – all because the managers let it happen: they are so wrapped up in their bit of the NHS that they don’t know the true price of anything, and end up paying anything for it.

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