The National Health Service

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Poll: Should the National Health Service be privatised?
Yes (4)
25%
No (7)
43.75%
In some areas (5)
31.25%
Toussaint
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Before I start, I'd like to say I love the national health service and what it stands for in the UK, it kept my father alive much longer than he would have been in his home country and for that I am eternally grateful.

Yet today as I hear the latest story of a chronic lack of finding or poor care at Staffordshire hospital or huge A and E waits, I am finding that in my mind the reasons for keeping it are increasingly becoming more ideological rather than based on reason, any attempt to breach the discussion of privatisation being outright dismissed.

The most frequent argument I have found against is that citing the American model and how people can't afford to get healthcare so they go without. Yet the key difference between the UK and the USA is that american political history is based on the desire to be independent and not be overseen by a tyrannical overseer, their political model is based on that.

Privatisation would solve a lot of the issues currently experienced by the national health service. Funding would no longer be an issue for the government, the profit motive, what a lot of people cite as an argument against would eradicate poor care; if you are dissatisfied, then go to another hospital, the motivation for profit would guarantee a quality service. As for crippling A and E queues, people wouldn't go for trivial reasons if they find they have to pay.

And the big issue, that of people not being able to afford healthcare as in the USA would be solved with a simple solution, state provided insurance. The money used to provide a creaking, bursting at the seams, underfunded model could be used to ensure that no one is unable to afford healthcare. Provision could be varied depending on the state of ones health, someone with a chronic hereditary condition would not have to pay for treatment, a smoker or obese person might find they receive less coverage.

In conclusion, I find that the reasons against privatising the national health service are motivated more by ideology than reason and that anyone who has these views are held back from expressing them due to the intense backlash they would face and that privatising the national health service would solve many of the issues it currently faces.

Bear in mind these are just my views and I would like to spark an interesting topical debate, my views aren't right or wrong just as I am sure someone who opposes these views is also neither right nor wrong.
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Ed's Balls
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#2
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#2
Well it did cost a woman $1m or so to give birth over there..
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Toussaint
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Ed's Balls)
Well it did cost a woman $1m or so to give birth over there..
What is your point?
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Ed's Balls
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Toussaint)
What is your point?
Not entirely convinced privatising the NHS would be a good thing (we are the envy of US citizens, after all). Although I suppose it would somewhat decrease immigration...
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Moosferatu
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#5
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#5
"Don't sterilize the needles, we'll be over budget"

If phrases like that don't fill you with dread, there's something wrong.

x of the budget went to shareholders, by the way. None of them care about your health. Their dividends look after theirs.
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Toussaint
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#6
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#6
But if the state provided insurance, you would still have healthcare free at the point of receipt, one would not have to pay to have birth except maybe if you have more than three kids or something. It would not be as it is in America.
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Toussaint
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Moosferatu)
"Don't sterilize the needles, we'll be over budget"

If phrases like that don't fill you with dread, there's something wrong.

x of the budget went to shareholders, by the way. None of them care about your health. Their dividends look after theirs.
The profit motive would incentivise providers to give a good service. And of course, regulatory standards would still apply.
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Moosferatu
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Toussaint)
The profit motive would incentivise providers to give a good service. And of course, regulatory standards would still apply.
I think most of all it would incentivise them to make the most money for their shareholders at any cost. Can't see those without capital and connections getting a good deal to be honest.

What regulatory standards? A privatised service will inevitably go hand-in-hand with a deregulated economy.
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Lisagee10
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#9
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#9
The only problem with privatisation is that the only people who tend to benefit are the big businesses. Do we really need to make them richer. You've got insurance companies in USA who are refusing to pay out for, what they feel is experimental cancer treatment, yet we will get such treatment for free in uk. Look how much home and car insurance companies try to get away with not paying up!


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Moosferatu
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Lisagee10)
The only problem with privatisation is that the only people who tend to benefit are the big businesses.
Pretty big problem when you think that the vast majority of the population are not sitting in the upper echelons with a wealth of social, economic, and cultural capital to command. The rest of us need looking after or we have barbarism. We need the strong to help us, not bully and terrorise us.
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Toussaint
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#11
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#11
People are so quick to cite the American model as proof of privatisations inherent flaws yet no one recognises where it has succeeded, Germany has a private healthcare service and you never hear the horror stories you find in America. Germany is proof that privatisation works. Sure, the profit motive will mean costs might be cut but it also ensures the provision of a quality service as they will want to attract people to their hospital or clinic.
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RF_PineMarten
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Toussaint)
Privatisation would solve a lot of the issues currently experienced by the national health service. Funding would no longer be an issue for the government, the profit motive, what a lot of people cite as an argument against would eradicate poor care; if you are dissatisfied, then go to another hospital, the motivation for profit would guarantee a quality service. As for crippling A and E queues, people wouldn't go for trivial reasons if they find they have to pay.
Yeah, no. It doesn't always work like that.

It might work with some things, like where unhappy customers are able to take their "business" elsewhere or not buy the "product" at all until quality improves.

This is not the case for healthcare. There is a captive market, and private providers would not have much need to improve anything about their product, at least not how pro-privatisation people like to claim. Quality will only improve if there is a realistic chance of consumers not using the product.
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Swanbow
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Toussaint)
The profit motive would incentivise providers to give a good service. And of course, regulatory standards would still apply.
Yeah, like the railways?

Private providers would have a virtual monopoly in their area if they overtook an NHS trust. There would be no competition. When customers can't go to a competitor the incentive to provide good service decreases. Cost cutting measures such as lower pay would lead to a further demoralised staff, putting the care of patients at risk. Expensive medicines and procedures wouldn't be offered due to the cost of providing them, and the fact that they would still make a loss even if paid through a government insurance scheme. Regulatory bodies and standards would only go so far, until they are castrated by political football in Westminster, as we have seen with Ofgem.

The private sector has a role to play in public health. However it shouldn't be expanded to a full privatisation of the the NHS. In America healthcare in a private system makes up 17% of GDP. In the UK with a public healthcare system it makes up 9% of GDP. I don't care if it was still free at the point of use, it would just balloon and take up a disproportionate percentage of our GDP. Great for quarterly growth figures and shareholders, terrible for long term sustainability and in all probability patients.
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illegaltobepoor
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#14
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#14
The NHS is the last state ran institution and proof that Socialism can work if everyone contributes.

Don't trust any right-wing MP because they have a burning desire to destroy the NHS.
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SotonianOne
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#15
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#15
I am entirely in favour of privatising the NHS with small-scale subsidies to the poorest.

I also believe that people on the minimum wage should have a joint workplace health insurance.
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MatureStudent36
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Lisagee10)
The only problem with privatisation is that the only people who tend to benefit are the big businesses. Do we really need to make them richer. You've got insurance companies in USA who are refusing to pay out for, what they feel is experimental cancer treatment, yet we will get such treatment for free in uk. Look how much home and car insurance companies try to get away with not paying up!
One could argue that the only people who benefit from nationalised industry and services are those who work within it as they have no chance of getting sacked.

There's pros and cons against private versus nationalised. The argument goes that private sector will always strive to improve as their are commercial factors at play. Nationalised institutions don't. Come in under budget in a private sector job and you'll get a job well done. Come in under budget in a public sector job and you'll get chewed up. I know of many cases of exorbitantly priced agency staff being recruited on a short term basis by organisations like the NHS just to spend the money in the budget.

The mantra of 'privatisation' is bad tends to be pushed by those more worried about their jobs than the end service.

There's numerous cases of nationalisation holding back innovation. That's not because nationalisation holds it back. It's because nationalisation promotes a conservative culture of lack of change.

The NHS is a wondrous organisation, but it's not unique. It provides universal healthcare to the population of the UK. It is however not the only country in the world that offers universal healthcare.

Every country in Europe provides universal healthcare yet all of them bar the UK mange to achieve it, in many cases to a higher standard, with a different funding model that many in the UK would claim to be privatised.

Look at how Europe funds their healthcare needs. A mixture of public and private funding. Public and private healthcare providers.

The NHS isn't being privatised. It's being asked to meet ever increasing needs as politicians in private are finally realising that the year on year increases in health spending are unsustainable.

And as an FYI, 70% of the UKs populations involvement with the NHS comes through their interactions with GPs. GPs are merely privately employed doctors subcontracted out (privatised service provider) that models been in place since the inception of the NHS in the 40s.

Read up on BUPA. That's a private healthcare provider. Can you show me how much their shareholders (the owners) received last year or the year before in dividends (profits)
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MatureStudent36
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#17
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#17
(Original post by illegaltobepoor)
The NHS is the last state ran institution and proof that Socialism can work if everyone contributes.

Don't trust any right-wing MP because they have a burning desire to destroy the NHS.
GPs are providing a privately operated service.
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SotonianOne
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#18
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#18
(Original post by illegaltobepoor)
The NHS is the last state ran institution and proof that Socialism can work if everyone contributes.

Don't trust any right-wing MP because they have a burning desire to destroy the NHS.
If NHS is meant to be the epitome of Socialist success then **** me it fails more than fascism
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