By SimplyLogical
3 years ago

National Wealth Service

After WWII, the UK decided it was going to be a welfare state and that the well being of its citizens was paramount for future prosperity. There followed a period of intense activity where various safety nets were devised all with the aim of caring for people in times of hardship or ill health. Healthcare became free at the point of use and nobody need worry about having the means to fund a hospital stay or undergo an operation. There were plenty of other initiatives too. Free school milk, welfare clinics to advise people about health matters and free GP surgeries where minor ailments could be diagnosed and referred. It seemed we had reached a utopia.

The theory was simple. Each citizen paid a small amount from their wages each payday and this went into the general pot. The healthy paid toward a time when they needed care and subsidised the sick. It was a kind of insurance policy against illness. In fact, the money people paid in was even called National Insurance. A part of the cash was put aside to pay everyone a pension when they reached retirement and nobody need ever worry again. There were also a range of benefits for disabled people.

What a shame it wasn't that simple. The net value of National Insurance began to be eroded by politicians who diverted the cash elsewhere as it was increasingly seen as a good way to keep the general taxation percentages low. Then the immoral realised that by claiming to have a "dodgy back", they could spend a lifetime being supported by the state with reserved parking outside the door of their favourite out of town shopping centres where they could lounge around all day in their tracksuits. This meant lower heating bills because they were warm in the shops and even air conditioned on the rare hot days in the UK.

It wasn't just back problems that boosted the number of registered disabled, there were any number of other ways that one could ensure a life of all inclusive paid disability.

Even through the Government raids and this erosion of cash, money was swilling about in the National Health Service (NHS) to an extent where it was a good life for all. Health workers couldn't strike for more pay, but that didn't matter. They simply sacked each other every couple of years, then re-employed themselves on twice the salary a couple of weeks later as contractors or consultants performing the same role.

Speaking of consultants, even the medical consultants were at it. All one needed to do was to set up a clinic and see private patients mixed in with the NHS ones. Nobody knew who was who, but the private patients got seen within a few days of referral, the NHS ones waited weeks, but they all sat in the same waiting room on the day of their appointment.

Management undoubtedly turned a blind eye to this because "its only a few quid" and you and I continued to pay to heat and light the consulting rooms, pay the consultant's salary and at the same time see the waiting lists lengthen as more and more people pushed to the front of the queue with the aid of health insurance companies.

We know that hospital managers have a blatant disregard for financial diligence from the recent revelations over "Health Tourism". For those who are unaware, it works like this. A person falls ill in their own country. They may get a diagnosis from a charity doctor, they may not. The net result is that they know treatment is required. The solution is to get a bucket shop flight to the UK as cheaply as possible, then rock up at the nearest A&E hospital and tell them you feel a bit poorly. Anything from an ingrowing toenail to cancer treatments are then at your disposal.

Except they shouldn't be. The rules are that if the UK has a reciprocal agreement with your country, they will pay. If not, the patient needs to pay. In order to make this work, the hospital managers would need to ensure that each patient's nationality was checked on admission to establish entitlement. Payment could then be arranged as appropriate.

This, it was said, was an infringement of the patient's human rights and hospital managers up and down the country refused to do this.The consensus seemed to be that this was just a few million sterling and anyway the NHS was vastly underfunded. More money being poured in was the answer in their opinion.

This apparent disregard for the value of public money is astonishing.

There is a wise saying which goes, "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves". I find myself wondering if this applies to looking after the millions and the billions will look after themselves? I strongly suspect that it does and, if so, we should spend a "few quid" printing this motto and having framed copies screwed to every NHS manager's office wall.

In fact, perhaps we should even print it on their consultancy fee payment advice notes. In bold and underlined. Maybe using friendly Comic Sans font so they don't feel too outraged.
3 years
ze2000 I have so many complaints about the NHS... But not about the workers, the problem is the mismanagement and the waste of the institution.
I always heard that NHS was great but nowadays I would barely give it a 5/10, you have pointed out many of the reasons why.
3 years
3 years
Ekram Nice article
3 years
3 years
Lutfur1 Once it was the national NHS now it's nearly drowning
3 years