To listen to the language being used to describe the NHS at the moment, you’d think we suffer under a third-class health service, only able to look in wonder at the miracles achieved in the rest of the world. Tory Euro MP Dan Hannan is one of the worst offenders, repeatedly bashing the Health Service, even describing it in an American national news interview as a ‘sixty year mistake’.
In fact, the opposite is true. Our NHS is actually the envy of the world. A 2010 report by US healthcare think-tank The Commonwealth Fund compared healthcare systems in 7 developed countries. The UK came second overall, and top in areas such as efficiency, access, and effectiveness of care.
And far from being a bloated top-heavy bureaucracy, the NHS manages to achieve this astonishing feat by spending the second lowest amount per head of population. We get a world-beating service for just £1,800 per person per year.
It is a fantastic success story, and the last thing the Health Service needs is the Coalition’s top-down reorganisation and privatisation.
The NHS needs financial security, sensible management, and a big ‘thank you’ to all of its staff.
Anything else is just playing politics.