How is well is Britain’s National Health Service working?

The UK has a two-tier health care system, just like India does. One tier is private, the other is public. The British system is called the National Health Service (NHS). Everyone has to pay into the NHS, but only some people are treated. Since the government is paying for all NHS service, the decision about what will and will not be covered is not left to individuals. The state decides what gets treated or not.

British journalist Melanie Phillips writes about it in her latest column.

Excerpt:

…central government should not be making such decisions in the first place. It is wrong for a politician or some Whitehall bean-counter to say people can’t have IVF or the latest drug to combat Alzheimer’s.

Whether or not these things are efficacious or worth the money is a calculation central government should not be making. It should be no business of the state to tell us what treatments we can and can’t have.

But as long as the Government controls the purse-strings, it is entitled to make up the rules. What’s wrong is that it does control the purse-strings. It’s our money, and we should be entitled to decide how to spend it.

For we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Government cannot be trusted to spend it properly. We know about the serial computer debacles.

We know about the huge profligacy and waste, with the idiotic non-jobs of ‘diversity outreach co-ordinator’ and such-like.

We know that in both health and education, gazillions have been poured straight into a black hole. We know that, while the extra money has undoubtedly brought about some improvements in the NHS, most of it has been wasted.

She also talks about the problem of choice in education in the same article.

Be careful who you trust your money to. Maybe you should be handling these decisions yourself, instead of putting your faith in strangers who get paid regardless of whether you get what you want, or not. Government-run services are not like the free market. You pay and then you pray with government-run social programs. When you buy from a private business, they have to meet your needs, or they go out of business.

UPDATE: Neil Simpson has a good article linked in his round-up about how single-payer health care will require that services be rationed.

One thought on “How is well is Britain’s National Health Service working?”

  1. ‘It is wrong for a politician or some Whitehall bean-counter to say people can’t have IVF or the latest drug to combat Alzheimer’s.’

    That is why NICE do it.

    ‘Whether or not these things are efficacious or worth the money is a calculation central government should not be making.’

    That is why NICE does it.

    Happily in America, nobody can stop people getting the latest drug to combat Alzheimer’s, even if it is not efficacious.

    Like

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