Sunday, 27 March 2011

Politicians and the NHS

Baroness Murphy blogs on the NHS 'reforms':
Given the recent Ombudsman’s report about the quality of care for older people, which everyone acknowledges is poor/ disgraceful in many NHS hospitals, and the lack of improvement we have seen with massive investment, I find the idea that the NHS does not need to change difficult to accept.  Could it be that doctors have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo?  (A doctor speaks!)
This wonderfully highlights the problems with politicians and their view of the NHS (and she's an ex-doctor). First, like so many others who utterly fail to look at the evidence, she makes unsubstantiated claims about how the investment under Labour hasn't translated to increased 'productivity nor outcomes' - this is just untrue in the latter case (and irrelevant in the former case*) - but is a standard trope trotted out to argue against increased funding of the NHS (because, you know, our health expenditure, at the mid-to-low end of the European scale, is clearly so profligate). Secondly she makes the mistake of thinking that because you think something must be done then what you're proposing to do is going to improve things - unfortunately there's just no evidence to say that the governments 'reforms' are going to do any good, and plenty of reasons to believe this thoughtless vandalism of the NHS is going to fuck it up big time, as even the most timid of GPs could tell you.

Could it be that politicians just don't know what they're talking about when it comes to the NHS?

* A large part of the increased funding for the NHS went into improving the historically low pay of employees like nurses (which by definition will adversely affect productivity) and in disastrously badly managed GP pay negotiations (which also resulted in less activity for a given amount of money, and thus decreased productivity. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why do people trying to save their NHS always blame doctors in UK? There are two kinds of doctors, one who support the people in power and encouraged reforms and commercialisation and others who don't. Similarly there are two types of nurses, one who are caring and lovely to work with and the others who failed to make the grade to be trained as doctors.

Labour reforms for supported by the wrong type of doctors and nurses have managed to kill NHS.
I may be the only doctor on earth who say we have no treatment that cure nor can we say we know how to save life but I can tell you promised to alleviate pain and suffering. We can tell you what makes you ill and offer solutions.

Please stop blaming doctors and start thinking why and who are responsible for the situation we are in.