Can the NHS be saved? Watch

Carlylean
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When I survey the situation, and the disasters that have ensued in the NHS over the past few years, including major issues like staffing, overwork, incredible waiting times and strike action, I am tempted to hang my head in despair at the state of the NHS.

But there's no way it can be privatised. An overwhelming majority of Britons want the NHS to remain in public hands. But the only way to make the NHS sustainable, in my opinion, is to drastically raise taxes. If we want to benefit from high-quality healthcare, it seems only fair for us to cough up a little bit extra. But our country seems to have a weird aversion to paying taxes. And then I compare our situation to the Nordic countries, who have no problem paying high taxes in exchange for good-quality state services. Which gets me thinking that our entire model is in bad need of reform to a more German or Scandinavian system.
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username2808800
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(Original post by Carlylean)
When I survey the situation, and the disasters that have ensued in the NHS over the past few years, including major issues like staffing, overwork, incredible waiting times and strike action, I am tempted to hang my head in despair at the state of the NHS.

But there's no way it can be privatised. An overwhelming majority of Britons want the NHS to remain in public hands. But the only way to make the NHS sustainable, in my opinion, is to drastically raise taxes. If we want to benefit from high-quality healthcare, it seems only fair for us to cough up a little bit extra. But our country seems to have a weird aversion to paying taxes. And then I compare our situation to the Nordic countries, who have no problem paying high taxes in exchange for good-quality state services. Which gets me thinking that our entire model is in bad need of reform to a more German or Scandinavian system, because pure Thatcherism isn't working.
The NHS needs partial privatisation while maintaining universal access. Partially subsidised healthcare works best,
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quasa
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weirdly enough me and a couple of mates (1 is a trainee GP, the other is a trainee psychiatrist in london) about reforms that need to be changed. all of us unanimously agreed that the NHS needs to become semi-privatised but at the same time a lot of government measures (in particular to self-medication) could end up increasing hospital admissions.

We agreed that GP appointments, referrals and prescriptions should all be charged for BUT we all had differences of opinions. apparently it costs £10 to refer a patient to a hospital and tbh I fell patients should pay to be referred (if they can afford it). my doctor friends + some GPs I know agree that patients should be charged to see a doctor but we all disagreed on how much (my friends were saying £10, GPs were saying £5 and I think it should be £1-2).

also prescription costs were something we disagreed upon as I said £2.50/item and the docotors were saying £5-8/item.

If you look at prescriptions tbh, most of the people who have prescriptions dont pay for it (something like 9% pay and the NHS gets £900 million). If you dropped it to £2.50/item and made everyone pay (although have exemptions such as extreme poverty / polypharmacy of more than 5 items/month and being a certain age), the NHS can easily make over £2 billion back/year. On top of that, stuff like contraceptives, gluten free products, and non-controlled pain killers should be NHS blacklisted as they a) work out cheaper for patients and b) would save the NHS money.
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asiangcse
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I agree with the points above about privatisation. But the British public have an uproar whenever the words privatisation and NHS are mentioned in the same sentence. They automatically think we're going to turn into the American system. They have an emotional attachment to the NHS, many of them have given birth in NHS hospitals, experienced deaths of loved ones, I'd be impressed if any political party can convince the public. It's the closest thing to a national Religion.
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Carlylean
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(Original post by asiangcse)
I agree with the points above about privatisation. But the British public have an uproar whenever the words privatisation and NHS are mentioned in the same sentence. They automatically think we're going to turn into the American system. They have an emotional attachment to the NHS, many of them have given birth in NHS hospitals, experienced deaths of loved ones, I'd be impressed if any political party can convince the public. It's the closest thing to a national Religion.
That's why I think it might be more pragmatic to simply raise taxes, but the public don't like high taxes either.

Looks like the NHS will simply have to collapse of its own accord before anyone does anything.

The fruits of democracy.
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asiangcse
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(Original post by Carlylean)
That's why I think it might be more pragmatic to simply raise taxes, but the public don't like high taxes either.

Looks like the NHS will simply have to collapse of its own accord before anyone does anything.

The fruits of democracy.
I think the the public should start to learn more about the NHS, educate them, hopefully then they can have realistic expectations about the system rather than treating it as the crown jewels of our country which should never be touched. It doesn't help that the political parties treat the NHS as some sort of political football.
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quasa
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(Original post by asiangcse)
I think the the public should start to learn more about the NHS, educate them, hopefully then they can have realistic expectations about the system rather than treating it as the crown jewels of our country which should never be touched. It doesn't help that the political parties treat the NHS as some sort of political football.
educating is one thing. having people who actually want to pay attention is another.
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quasa
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(Original post by Carlylean)
That's why I think it might be more pragmatic to simply raise taxes, but the public don't like high taxes either.

Looks like the NHS will simply have to collapse of its own accord before anyone does anything.

The fruits of democracy.
slight problem with taxes however is that there is no guarantee that the NHS will receive additional benefit (that and public would be annoyed like you said).

look at my taxes for example (or when I last paid tax), around 28% of it went towards health and that was the biggest beneficiary.

in contrast my parent's council tax, :11/12 was pocketed for use by the local council (for doing dodgy work and mishandling services / acting like total idiots) and the remaining 1/12 was for the police. people complain about the police in my area (bedfordshire ie worst in country) being useless / underfunded yet they can have their budgets easily doubled or tripled by redistribution of taxes.
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3121
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Privatisation is the reason most NHS trusts are now in debt. I think British people would pay higher taxes if it went to the NHS but lets be honest, we all know most of it will be reallocated.
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3121
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(Original post by fleky6910)
The NHS needs partial privatisation while maintaining universal access. Partially subsidised healthcare works best,
It really doesn't. I dont know where you get this from? Partial privatisation is what got NHS into debt and led to today's crisis. Public borrowing would've much more efficient than PFIs. There should be little to no profit motivation in healthcare
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Arran90
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Something that is rarely ever mentioned in discussion and debates about the NHS are the medical devices found in hospitals. These range from large and complex machines like CAT scanners to small ubiquitous devices like infusion pumps and electronic blood pressure machines found on many wards. Many of these devices in use today did not exist in the NHS of 1970s or were very rudimentary in comparison. They enable the NHS to provide the services that it provides today but they are very expensive to buy.

Is technology a curse or a blessing for the NHS? Can the NHS be saved through new technology or will new technology eventually destroy the NHS?
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ScottishBrexitor
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My plan to save the NHS is to change the UK healthcare system to a German style multi payer system with two choices of healthcare: public or private. Public will be the NHS which has children, students, pensioners, individuals earning under £45,000 per year eligible for it. Those over the age of 18 would need to pay 20% contribution towards their healthcare, GP appointments must have a £10 charge. Private system the same as the US healthcare system which of course would be regulated by the Ministry of Health to ensure they follow British standards. Only UK citizens can use the NHS meaning EU/Foreign citizens living here are ineligible to use it until they get citizenship. I think this is the best way forward.
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Cherub012
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(Original post by zayn008)
It really doesn't. I dont know where you get this from? Partial privatisation is what got NHS into debt and led to today's crisis. Public borrowing would've much more efficient than PFIs. There should be little to no profit motivation in healthcare
I don't think you understand what he means. The NHS was never partially privatized. There are only moments when the NHS had used private companies for their services and resources. The money for this still came from NHS funding.

I think what he means is make the NHS semi-privatised in a way that part of the costs come from the consumer and part of it come from the state. I think this is how France does it.
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Cherub012
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(Original post by Carlylean)
That's why I think it might be more pragmatic to simply raise taxes, but the public don't like high taxes either.

Looks like the NHS will simply have to collapse of its own accord before anyone does anything.

The fruits of democracy.
So we tax the **** out of the richest 1%, after we prevent them from avoiding tax in the first place.
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Arran90
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It's common knowledge that automation kills jobs but if technology existed where the NHS could replace half of its nurses with machines at a fraction of the cost of the staff salaries and still provide the same service to patients then would it be a good or a bad move?

The amount of money spent on the salaries of staff in the NHS who look after medical devices and computers is a drop in the ocean compared with what is spent on the salaries of nurses and consultants.
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TheAnxiousSloth
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I think the government should stop spending millions of pounds on random crap like changing the way our money and passports look, and instead put this money towards the NHS. That would be a good starting point.
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quasa
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(Original post by Arran90)
It's common knowledge that automation kills jobs but if technology existed where the NHS could replace half of its nurses with machines at a fraction of the cost of the staff salaries and still provide the same service to patients then would it be a good or a bad move?

The amount of money spent on the salaries of staff in the NHS who look after medical devices and computers is a drop in the ocean compared with what is spent on the salaries of nurses and consultants.
nurses would be impossible to replace tbh.

pharmacy staff on the otherhand would not be but would involve companies spending millions per pharmacy + even then you still need technicians for loading drugs into machines / final checks + dealing with weird quantities which requires additional measurement.
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username2808800
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(Original post by zayn008)
It really doesn't. I dont know where you get this from? Partial privatisation is what got NHS into debt and led to today's crisis. Public borrowing would've much more efficient than PFIs. There should be little to no profit motivation in healthcare
I disagree , I shall allow my experienced colleague on health explain Gladstone1885.
He will do a better job than I.
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3121
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(Original post by Cherub012)
I don't think you understand what he means. The NHS was never partially privatized. There are only moments when the NHS had used private companies for their services and resources. The money for this still came from NHS funding.

I think what he means is make the NHS semi-privatised in a way that part of the costs come from the consumer and part of it come from the state. I think this is how France does it.
This already happens at the dentist and for prescriptions, but consumers already pay taxes so why should they pay added costs?
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Cherub012
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(Original post by zayn008)
This already happens at the dentist and for prescriptions, but consumers already pay taxes so why should they pay added costs?
Because the NHS is dying. We can reduce tax and introduce subsidized payments like this.

And for a lot of people, the amount you pay in tax doesn't amount to how much you cost to the NHS.
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