The NHS

During Prime Minister’s Questions today (starts: 34:07) Jeremy Corbyn used all his questions on the subject of the NHS. Not only that but a vast majority of his MPs did like likewise; which would seem to suggest that this was part of a concerted campaign by the Opposition with a view to ‘inconveniencing’ the Prime Minister. Nowt wrong with that as it is the job of the Opposition to so do; and in any case if any Prime Minister needed to be ‘inconvenienced’, it is her.

That the NHS has become a ‘sacred cow’ (or milch-cow where the taxpayer is concerned) is common to all political parties; and the question has to be asked: why? After 70 years why do they consider a system/policy, a worthy idea at its inception,  is not one well past its ‘sell-by-date’? In making that statement, one can take into account immigration and the birthrate involved, the increase in birthrate of the indigenous population, coupled with the rate of increased tourism.

This increased burden on taxation for the inhabitants of this nation cannot continue regardless of the misguided wishes of our political rulers. As I wrote in early 2013, where rail fare increases are concerned, said increases are based on the EU ‘idea’ that user  pays. Well, if user has to pay for rail travel, then why should the user of the health service not also have to pay for health care?

Originally published in the Basler Zeitung, a Swiss daily newspaper, this translation  is by the author. From this article I quote:

The most sacred of sacred cows in the UK is the NHS. Almost all British hospitals are state-owned, almost all doctors are contracted by the state, almost all health expenditure is tax-funded. There is little room for choice or competition. It is not exactly a recipe for success. The system stumbles from one crisis to the next. Survival rates for cancer and stroke patients are among the lowest in the developed world. Long waiting times and crude rationing of care are fixed features. Yet: every time a government tries to introduce a bit of competition at the margins, all hell breaks loose. Opponents claim that this is an attempt at “privatisation through the backdoor”, and invoke the bogeyman of the US system. This is enough to choke any attempt at reform. The Swiss system shows that a healthcare system based on choice and competition can work exceptionally well. The Swiss system offers ample choice between insurers, insurance plans, providers and delivery models. Admittedly, the Swiss system is expensive, it possibly requires stronger incentives for cost control. But it has nothing in The most sacred of sacred cows in the UK is the NHS. Almost all British hospitals are state-owned, almost all doctors are contracted by the state, almost all health expenditure is tax-funded. There is little room for choice or competition. It is not exactly a recipe for success. The system stumbles from one crisis to the next. Survival rates for cancer and stroke patients are among the lowest in the developed world. Long waiting times and crude rationing of care are fixed features. Yet: every time a government tries to introduce a bit of competition at the margins, all hell breaks loose. Opponents claim that this is an attempt at “privatisation through the backdoor”, and invoke the bogeyman of the US system. This is enough to choke any attempt at reform. The Swiss system shows that a healthcare system based on choice and competition can work exceptionally well. The Swiss system offers ample choice between insurers, insurance plans, providers and delivery models. Admittedly, the Swiss system is expensive, it possibly requires stronger incentives for cost control. But it has nothing in common with the Mad Max dystopia that the British public associates with market-based health care.common with the Mad Max dystopia that the British public associates with market-based health care.

Way back, in November 2011, I wrote about direct democracy (an article which became the kernel for the introduction of The Harrogate Agenda); and in respect of health care, stated:

In the UK, our politicians spend untold £millions on maintaining their sacred cow – aka the National Health Service. It is generally acknowledged that Switzerland probably has the most successful system of health care, one based on an insurance system and choice. It is obligatory to have health insurance, but anyone has the right to choose from whom they get it as there is no state monopoly. The provider could be an insurance company connected to your line of work, it could be a trade union-run insurance co-operative, or even a private company. This obviously means that there is competition to provide the best possible health care for the lowest possible price. In turn these insurance companies have some choice over which doctors and hospitals they use, resulting in a further downward pressure on costs as those doctors and hospitals have to compete to offer the best facilities and treatment at the lowest possible price. Those Swiss citizens who are classified as poor receive credits which enable them to select which insurance provider they wish.

As the article in the Basler Zeitung asks, if Switzerland can do it, then why not the United Kingdom?

Referring to the article from 2011, read the sections about education, welfare and law and order -please? This article began with two quotes, followed by the opening paragraph – which I now reproduce:

“All governments are more or less combinations against the people…and as rulers have no more virtue than the ruled….the power of government can only be kept within its constituted bounds by the display of a power equal to itself, the collected sentiment of the people.”

Benjamin Franklin Bache, in a Philadelphia Aurora editorial 1794

“The people should know when they’re conquered” (Quintus). Would you, Quintus, would I” (Maximus)

Gladiator

Over the decades politicians have gradually usurped power from the people to the point where we are now; one where it seems that when considering any aspect of our lives, we are first cajoled, then hectored and, if it becomes necessary, ordered how to lead our lives by politicians; aided and abetted by their sycophant quangos, fake charities and the like. It cannot be denied that the usurpation of power is still ongoing, especially when considering this country’s membership of the European Union. Whilst the last successful military invasion of our nation was by the Normans, since when others have tried but none have succeeded, a country does not have to be taken over militarily, it can be done politically – the result, it can be argued, being identical –  and in the latter case eventually the people rebel when political rule becomes totalitarian, or authoritarian, in control – as it eventually does.

Well, we sure have been ‘conquered’ politically!

Whether it be health care, education, law and order (you name it) when will the people finally rebel against what is no more than ‘authoritarian rule’?  Just how much more will they take before they finally do? How much more of this ‘authoritarianism’ will it take before the people say: enough is enough?

Perhaps the foregoing never will; perhaps our political class have already ‘conditioned’ our minds – and continue to so do through their control of our education system – that we have become ‘enslaved’.

How many decades did it take for the slaves in the  United States to gain their freedom?

How many years will it take the people of the United Kingdom to free themselves from the control to which they have been accustomed through the indoctrination of those they have elected, but who in turn consider themselves the people’s ‘rulers’?

We are continually reminded by all political leaders that: it is about making sure people are in control – and that the politicians are always their servant and never their masters(David Cameron: 12th May 2010), in which case it is about time that our political class lived up to their words!

Just saying…………………………….

Note: this article has been amended from that originally published due to errors on the part of the author.