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 How can we improve the NHS?

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Number of posts : 62
Age : 47
Location : Solihull, England
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: How can we improve the NHS?   Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:51 am

What do you think of the NHS in the UK? Should it remain in public hands, or be privatised? What can we do to improve things? Do you think that it needs improvement, or is it fine as it is?

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Number of posts : 102
Age : 47
Location : Birmingham, UK
Registration date : 2008-07-23

PostSubject: Re: How can we improve the NHS?   Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:15 pm

The NHS is one thing that the British are extremely proud of, and rightly so. It has been around now for 60 years, and despite a few attempts to break it down by certain governments, it has managed to survive pretty well so far. Personally, I believe that this type of system should be exported to cover the whole world, providing free health care to all. I think it disgusting that people should be charged for health treatment in any country, and medical treatment should never be dependent upon the ability to pay.

There are certain people in British politics that would prefer that we would move away from free healthcare in this country and towards a system of healthcare based on the American model, where profit controls treatment.

The NHS will always be a large expense to the country, but a worthwhile one. It is never going to be a profit making organisation, no matter what is done, and I don’t believe it should be expected to be. However, successive governments have done their best to cut costs in the NHS as much as possible, which I consider to be a bad move, as cutting costs on medical treatment always carries the risk of putting lives in danger, and no amount of cost-cutting is worth a life lost.

One of the great problems that the NHS faces nowadays is constantly reducing budgets while costs are constantly rising. One of the greatest sources of costs to the NHS is the cost of drugs and I find it disgusting the way that drug companies continue to charge the NHS such huge prices, when they should actually be providing the NHS with drugs as cheaply as possible, if not at cost. For them to try and make profits out an organisation created to save lives is disgusting in my view. One of the results of this poor budget control is that medical treatment is often compromised or shifted from department to department because they don’t want to waste their budget money on minor matters.

Another problem that the NHS faces is the interference of governments and administrators playing politics with it. I believe the NHS should be run by medical people who know what hospitals, doctors and the various services involved in the NHS really need. By having interference by all these other parties, too much red tape and useless procedures are put in place that prevent the medical staff from doing their jobs how they wish.

If any politician tried to overtly privatise the NHS, the public would raise an outcry (not that the politician would probably take much notice of such an outcry, but he would at least certainly be thrown out at the next election), so most attempts on the life of the NHS take part covertly and behind the scenes. As such the NHS seems to be dying a “death of a thousand cuts”.

The government is fond of saying how much they have increased spending on the NHS in recent years, and this is true, they have increased spending on the NHS by a good deal, but unfortunately this spending has been diverted to the wrong areas and wasted to the greater extent, leaving the actual parts of the NHS that needed the money worse off than before.

I do realise that the running and funding of the NHS is not an easy issue, with practically unlimited demands for money and resources from a severely limited pot, but I still feel that it could be handled better than it is.

One thing that worries me about the future of the NHS at present is that the Conservative party are showing in the polls as being more trusted by the public on the subject of the NHS than Labour is, and (cynical as I am) this worries me as possibly leaving it open to real danger should the Conservative party suddenly decide to do a U-turn and revert to previous policies on the NHS.
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