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Britain's public health service at 75: On life support?

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By Jitendra JOSHI

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Like Sunak's parents, immigrant staff were pivotal to the NHS's early growth, helping to remake the face of Britain itself in the decades after the war.

And then came Brexit and all the foreign staff left leaving an under-staffed under-funded (Hey, wasn't Brexit supposed to result and a large infusion of funds saved from not contributing to the EU budget???) husk of it's former self.

Golly, it's almost as if the morons, xenophobes and goobers (Side Note: It is heartening to learn that America is not the only country with total idiots in power at times.) who came up with the debacle that is Brexit didn't quite think this all the way through. Or maybe worse, they did and they just didn't care?

12 ( +27 / -15 )

the last time a Brit government did anything for the people, my view.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

It was founded three years after World War II by a pioneering Labour government on the principle that everyone should access top-quality healthcare funded by general taxation, free at the point of care.

Meanwhile in the gud ole US of A medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy and homelessness.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/14/health-insurance-medical-bankruptcy-debt

But at least the Republicans stopped those Obamacare death panels right?

The US has borrowed so much from the UK and I reckon we could use this too.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

We can lay blame for the woes of the NHS firmly at the door of the totally incompetent Tory party. Oblivion beckons for this bunch of over-privileged ne'er-do-wells.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

The current crisis was all basically Cameron's fault - he backed down and gave the xenophobes the vote for Brexit to happen... and a slim majority won that vote. Foreign workers booted out, families torn apart, alliances shredded, public services gutted... and the NHS left searching for more staff to bring the queues down. Brexit was the worst thing to happen to this country, but the xenophobes and racists don't care... they want us back in the 1950s.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Of course, some Tories seek to benefit from undermining the NHS, having links to private (often US) companies that don't like the fact the NHS can buy in bulk and hit their profits, insurance companies and hallucinating think-tanks that imagine just a little more economic fundamentalism is required for paradise on Earth.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Of course, some Tories seek to benefit from undermining the NHS, having links to private (often US) companies that don't like the fact the NHS can buy in bulk and hit their profits

Yes it's ironic that the same conspiracy goobers who squeal about Big Pharma are the same people who actively work against a National Health System.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

We can lay blame for the woes of the NHS firmly at the door of the totally incompetent Tory party.

Really @Moonraker. And which party left the country effectively insolvent and unable to fund anything by the 2010 election came around leading to years of unavoidable austerity? Just too easy to blame the Tories isn't it?

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

Lack of proper investment by successive governments. The healthcare should have been funded by the oil and gas fields which Thatcher sold off. Norway is the best example.

Overworked and underpaid staff. Too much is spent on management. Several family members were highly qualified RN nurses but they all left because of overwork and pressure.

A newly qualified Band 5 NHS nurse now earns £28,407.

The Royal College of Nursing estimated in 2021 that the average annual salary of an NHS nurse is £33,384. The pay rise introduced across the NHS in 2023 means that the average is probably now closer to £37,000.

The highest is a band 9. £114,949.00 per annum.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

oh - Brexit? You mean most of the middle aged, Pie-eating, Bitter drinking LABOUR voters that made up that small idiotic majority that voted for it. A mistake to have the vote, yes, more of a mistake top trust people with such an important decision. And if you really want to blame someone, blame the puppet Clegg and whiny little Lib Dems who will hopefully never be trusted with any power again.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Lack of proper investment by successive governments. The healthcare should have been funded by the oil and gas fields which Thatcher sold off. Norway is the best example.

So, you blame Thatcher,major and then THIRTEEN years of a Labour Government. Good, Pleased you see both sides of the argument.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

It a deliberate act of managed declined. Understaffed and under funded for more than a decade. The long awaited NHS workforce plan pays lip service to retaining staff (no mention of pay) and wants to cut the quantity and quality of nurse and doctor training. Workers will be given enhanced roles (more work without extra staff or pay) and nurses and midwives will be banned from taking second jobs, many of whom do this to make ends meet as their pay doesn’t cover their outgoings. More people will leave, fewer staff means reduced services, longer waiting times, more staff burn out and sickness and more leavers etc. More nurses leave the register because of burnout and work life balance than due to retirement. Managed decline in order to push through privatisation.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

oh - Brexit? You mean most of the middle aged, Pie-eating, Bitter drinking LABOUR voters that made up that small idiotic majority that voted for it

A larger percentage of Tory voters voted Brexit than Labour, LibDem or SNP voters by huge margins.

Huge.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Please refer to the social grade of leave/remain.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/518395/brexit-votes-by-social-class/

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

theResident

Lack of proper investment by successive governments. The healthcare should have been funded by the oil and gas fields which Thatcher sold off. Norway is the best example.

> So, you blame Thatcher,major and then THIRTEEN years of a Labour Government. Good, Pleased you see both sides of the argument.

I think my comment was quite clear. "Successive governments". I have already informed you I don't vote Labour. The lack of investments goes back many decades. Thatcher sold off the oil and gas for a quick penny. Norway was so much wiser.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Millions of ex-pats like me who have been out of the country for more than 15 years can no longer use the NHS. I'm required to have private insurance when I visit.

I am happy I live in a country with a good affordable healthcare system which I can testify to after four years of cancer treatment. The Japanese system works much better than the NHS.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@wallace - Absolute rubbish. I have visited the Doctor on a number of occasions with no problem on the NHS. They will never turn anyome away with an NHS number. And - in all fairness you should have kept your NI payments up to date which has not been a lot of money for the 30 years I've been doing it. That window finally closes this July.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

,,and I'm happy that I can use the NHS, JHS and have private coverage. You should be more organised.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Funding constraints: The NHS has experienced financial pressures due to rising healthcare costs, an aging population, and increased demand for services. Funding constraints can impact staffing levels, access to care, and infrastructure investment.

   Waiting times: Lengthy waiting times for certain treatments and procedures have been a concern within the NHS. This can be attributed to resource limitations, capacity issues, and increasing demand.

   Staff shortages: The NHS faces challenges in recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals, leading to workforce shortages in certain areas. This can impact the quality and timeliness of care.

   Complex bureaucracy: The NHS is a large and complex organization, which can result in administrative inefficiencies and challenges in coordinating care across different healthcare settings.

Maybe time Big Pharma needs to contribute to the NHS.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Please refer to the social grade of leave/remain.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/518395/brexit-votes-by-social-class/

Fair enough.

Doesn’t change the fact that Tory voters were more likely to vote leave by an enormous margin.

If only Labour voters had voted, Brexit would have been dead in the water. If left to the Tory voters, it would have been a Brexit landslide.

Why you chose a small percentage of the leave voters ( some blue collar Labour voters ) is a bit strange.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Brexit's got naught to do with it. Canada's health service under Liberal Trudeau is in the same state of crisis, and no Brexit nor Tories there. The main factors - common to both countries -- are the pandemic, spiralling costs, staff shortages and growing populations.

Japan's system, by contrast, is running nicely. The pandemic effect was milder here and the population is shrinking. On a busy Monday morning yesterday at 9am in Tokyo, I got a blood test, doctor's consultation and picked up my medicine. The whole process - handled by large all-Japanese staff teams -- took less than an hour and cost me 880 yen. I was able to freely choose the time and date of my follow-up appointment for results. For these appointments I typically spend no time waiting.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Do you lose NHS if you move abroad?

If you're moving abroad on a permanent basis, you'll no longer automatically be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules. This is because the NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. You'll have to notify your GP practice so you and your family can be removed from the NHS register.

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/moving-abroad/planning-your-healthcare/

How long do you have to live in UK before you can use NHS?

If your stay in the UK is 6 months or less, you do not need to pay the immigration health surcharge. If you have a valid EU or Switzerland-issued EHIC or are a Norwegian citizen with a valid Norwegian passport, you can access medically necessary treatment during your stay.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-eu-and-efta-nationals-living-in-the-uk

Am I still a UK resident if I live abroad?

You can live abroad and still be a UK resident for tax, for example if you visit the UK for more than 183 days in a tax year. Pay tax on your income and profits from selling assets (such as shares) in the normal way. You usually have to pay tax on your income from outside the UK as well.

https://www.gov.uk/tax-uk-income-live-abroad/uk-resident

To use the NHS you need to be registered with a GP which requires an address.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Because that small percentage was the difference as it turned out. A horrible mistake - when you consider its cost the working class the most.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

You know @wallace. I pay my NI, and provide an address.

You must be the ONLY person that doesn't bend the rules a little.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

theResident

,,and I'm happy that I can use the NHS, JHS and have private coverage. You should be more organised.

In Japan, I'm very organised with my healthcare but do not need any private health insurance. We are already well covered. My cancer op in 2020 required a hospital stay of 7 days in a private room where my wife also slept with a kitchen and bathroom. The total cost was a little less than ¥150,000.

So you have a UK address and are registered with a GP?

And - in all fairness you should have kept your NI payments up to date which has not been a lot of money for the 30 years I've been doing it. That window finally closes this July.

So are you saying you have lived abroad for 30 years so have no vote?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

But we were going to get 300 million every week or what ever to fund the NHS. And we must reduce immigration but on the other hand increase the immigrants from Africa, India, pakistsan, and Asia to fill all the post in the NHS and other jobs. Because we cant be bothered to invest and train a nurses, train GPS in the UK, or a doctor. Cause we can pinch them from other countries. (cause it was cheapr) You will be seen by a doc, you will see a nurse, and you will be treated , but one thing about the NHS is, it work for the people, not share holders,not dividends, and not to deny you care. Pre-condition..no problem. we will help. No trolling through your medical history to look for that small detail so we can deny you a claim. Your won't go bankrupt. Its not perfect. But if you had a choice between the UK or the USA, then i'd pick the UK every single time. Remember! the real death panel is the insurance company denial, you just cost too much to look after.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes,I have been here for 31 years have no vote in the UK, correct..But I am a member of the Conservative Party and DO have a vote in Leadership elections. Your point being?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

theResident

You know @wallace. I pay my NI, and provide an address.

> You must be the ONLY person that doesn't bend the rules a little.

No, I do not. So you lie and provide a fake address probably of a relative. So what about the all-important vote?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

theResident

for the misuse of the NHS and the electoral register are crimes.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn06940/

6 ( +6 / -0 )

JeffLeeToday  05:00 pm JST

Brexit's got naught to do with it.

Right! NOT directly. but I guess when you take money of the whole economy, and the whole country is poorer, thats not going to have a knock on effect? Of course it is! if your economy is shrinking, smaller, and you've cut everything to the bone because of austerity, then you can't put in AS MUCH as you would like. Some countries in the UK give every patient free medication. ( at the point of need) before we hear the "its not free argument". We all know its paid for by taxation.We all undertand that, but we know, if we are sick, we will be treated. No questions asked. We managed to pay it also via the sugar tax and alcohol tax. Patients are triaged, and treated, not treated on the basis of.....You got the money?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I will always respect and remember,my life as an extremely premature baby was saved by a doctor from India,and my heart condition monitored and eventually eased by staff mainly from Bangladesh and Pakistan,my father cared for by dedicated nurses from Eastern Europe and The Philippines,and so on,and so on.

The NHS relies on our Commonwealth and our connection to the world.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Sumi Manirajan, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's junior doctors committee, accused Sunak's Conservative government of failing to value doctors.

> "And what that leads to is doctors leaving the country, going abroad, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and actually it's the public that loses out," she told AFP at a protest rally by striking doctors.

Now we know that this guy's statement and accusations are made up.

No British doctors are heading to Canada! And we know that because Canada is losing Doctors left and right over it's failing health care system and better pay elsewhere.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Obviously I do not have a vote. No - I provide an address of a flat I own, which I also use for other 'things' to maintain a credit record in the UK etc. I also pay UK tax on income from property rental there. So,not a fake address and not that of a relative. So, there you go, I don't feel I am taking advantage whatsoever.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

theResident

Yes,I have been here for 31 years have no vote in the UK, correct..But I am a member of the Conservative Party and DO have a vote in Leadership elections. Your point being?

So we both have no say or responsibility for what happens in the UK elections or who is in government.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

...and as I am not on the Electoral register, I don't think you'll find I'm breaking any laws that anyone would bother to pursue as I do indeed pay tax on UK income AND pay my NI.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

theResident

...and as I am not on the Electoral register, I don't think you'll find I'm breaking any laws that anyone would bother to pursue as I do indeed pay tax on UK income AND pay my NI.

Good. Do whatever you need. Getting the UK pension will help out your Japanese one. I have always played the straight road.

I'm not personally bothered by the NHS because I'm not there enough so private cover is cheap. But some family members, like my son, have been waiting 2 years for an operation.

My cancer was discovered here and after 4 months I had an operation. My brother in New York said the same op there would have cost more than $10,000.

But it is a shame to see the once great NHS fall into such despair.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Just too easy to blame the Tories isn't it?

Yes, theResident, it is actually but then I am not a self-proclaimed member of the party (or any) and so can see more objectively. If you pay the dues you have to justify that behaviour to yourself. Stop paying and see.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The real problem of the NHS and other counterparts like in Canada is simple.

1- it discourages people to go to local private doctor's offices. People think that the big hospital is better and will fill the ER waiting room, ect... Creating long waits and higher cost.

This then creates the vicious cycle of private doctor's offices closing, increasing more going to big hospitals longer waits and around we go!

2- the systems have gone far outside their original scope, to get involved in far to much social engineering projects instead of focusing on medical issues.

3- they dropped the early system of preventative medicine to now be reactionary. Try tell someone they are obese and risk getting reported, try saying weight us causing a problem, risk disciplinary action.

Basic health issues that are major part in keeping cost down are no longer done or are seen as " discrimination" towards those that claim non medical facts and what makes them feel good are actually what matters.

unfit population

But we cannot say what that means, it is politically incorrect to say, obese overweight is unhealthy, 26%. In the UK are obese another 37% are overweight and I don't mean a kilo or two.

But don't point that out use the mysterious "unfit".

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

wallace: And maybe I won't be bothered by your age (genuinely no offense intended)- but having taken the opportunity to continue paying my NI at the minimal rate entitling me TO a UK pension has been prudent and as you say as I honestly don't know whether I will stay here or return to the UK, in which case I would able to slot back into the system pretty easily.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The healthcare system for the over 70s in Japan is excellent. The maximum charge per month for a hospital stay is only ¥35,000. The maximum drug charge per month is ¥12,000.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wallace....

Millions of ex-pats like me who have been out of the country for more than 15 years can no longer use the NHS. I'm required to have private insurance when I visit.

I've been out for 35 years and have used the appalling service provided by the NHS on several occasions.

Never once have I been asked about residency.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Mr Kipling

Wallace....

   Millions of ex-pats like me who have been out of the country for more than 15 years can no longer use the NHS. I'm required to have private insurance when I visit.

> I've been out for 35 years and have used the appalling service provided by the NHS on several occasions.

Never once have I been asked about residency.

The 15 years is an error. Once you live in another country you have to de-register with your GP. Most hospital visits except for ER require a letter from your GP.

So, I expect just like theResident, you are at least continuing to pay your NI and tax on your British income. If not, then you are gaming the system.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Here is an example of cost getting out of hand under certain universal systems.

We all know the Japanese system is also in trouble due to aging population.

The UK also including " unfit" as the article put it

So the Japanese system added extra charges for showing up at large hospitals where overhead costs are higher.

Example, the large hospital that my heart surgery was done at in Tokyo followed me for a litt over 2 months after my being discharged.

After that time I was given a list of private cardiac clinics to continue with, my ECG, blood test, prescriptions are now done in one of these.

If I had insisted on continuing at the large hospital, I would need to pay a surcharge and higher fees because the 30% I pay is based on a higher base fee.

So a visit to my local cardiologist is ¥1,000 out of pocket but the large hospital that would be ¥3,000 for the same service.

Logically I chose the local cardiologist.

But in countries like the UK no such incentives exist so everyone runs to the more costly large medical centres.

Then we have the yearly health check in Japan it is far more comprehensive than most universal healthcare systems if they even have one (the NHS does but it is very limited).

So a quick way to cut cost would be to figure out how to stop people from wasting the system and doctors time and money by going to the large hospitals and ER when a local clinic or doctor's office will be less costly to the system and do the job just the same!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

theResident

so when in the UK does your foreign wife use the NHS?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mr Kipling

Wallace....

I've been out for 35 years and have used the appalling service provided by the NHS on several occasions.

Never once have I been asked about residency.

Recently you bad-mouthed people for much less.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Wasn't Boris running around screaming that after Brexit, NHS will be billions of pounds better of? All those busses with huge advertisements promising huge benefits for Doctors and Nurses after Brexit. What happened????? Did the Brexiters made a mistake trusting Boris??? Was the whole Brexit idea a fascist anti EU ploy to turn UK in to a backward banana republic???

YES!!!! IT WAS!!!!! Now enjoy the fruits of you stupidity BREXITERS, you are in control of your country!!!!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Wasn't Boris running around screaming that after Brexit, NHS will be billions of pounds better of? All those busses with huge advertisements promising huge benefits for Doctors and Nurses after Brexit. What happened????? 

That he was!

And then like literally everything else he has ever said or done in his life, it turned out to be a bald-faced lie.

It's almost like the Tories should have know Boris for the liar he has so obviously been his entire life and MOREOVER should have looked at America and realized the damage that can be wrought by someone with utterly no morals of any kind.

Go figure.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Brexit?

Drop the toxic political gibberish.

The realty is apron us, the fact that budgetary restraints, no UK government could possibly borrow the vast sums necessary to finance a pay rise the clinical staff, consultants, Junior doctors, nurses are demanding.

This is before we walk through, step by step the management economics system mayhem.

There are more than eight middle financial management levels and a host of irrelevant costly IT systems groups and expensive useless development teams.

The covid track and trace is evidence enough of a cesspool of failure and wasted taxpayers expenditure

That is before we get to .....

Costs of expensive new drugs threaten financial sustainability of NHS while pharma industry lobbies for increase on medicines spending

https://www.lse.ac.uk/News/Latest-news-from-LSE/2023/f-June-2023/Costs-of-new-drugs-threaten-financial-sustainability-of-NHS

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

“Free” but I had to wait 18 months and now have a permanent disability.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

EFD

The changes that could have sustained the NHS needed to have been implemented over twenty years ago.

I studied at the LSE, and my lectures, mentors and tutors battered me to death on my huffing and puffing political posturing and blame game over who, or which government is responsible.

The NHS has, putting it mildly, reached a point of no return.

It is unfit for purpose.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Brexit? 

Drop the toxic political gibberish.

No, it's absolutely unavoidable.

We send the EU 350 million a week.

Let's fund the NHS instead.

The Brexit red bus. A pack of craven opportunists appealing to our emotions and goodwill for the NHS just so they could commit one of the greatest acts of hubris in the last hundred years.

Nobody has benefitted from Brexit, least of all the NHS.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I experienced both sides of healthcare. I was an engineer at the Whittington Hospital, Archway, London. A very large public hospital caring for about 500,000 people living in Islington and Haringey as well as other London boroughs including Barnet, Enfield, Camden, and Hackney.

Following that I moved to a private Harley St hospital called The London Clinic. Mostly very rich patients. Back then just a bed cost £1,000 per night. Many patients were paying £500,000 to £1,000,000 for their treatments. Everything was first class with only the best available staff earning big money and benefits. We had work time restrictions so we could only work for 2-3 hours per day. They also provided us with three first-class meals every day. So if you have the money you do for private healthcare, otherwise you have the NHS.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Paustovsky, the Boris Johnson bus promising pots of gold at the end of a Brexit rainbow?

It was a moment in time in-between Johnson waving a Cornish Pasty, bacon butty, whilst grinning inanely.

The majority that voted to leave the EU in 2016 had made up there mind decades ago.

Even the real instigator of Brexit Nigel Farage conceded defeat on the night.

Only to weep tears on learning the result.

The NHS need reform head to toe.

Your life and the lives of our families could depend on it

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The NHS does not provide it services for free.

Those life saving services have to be paid for.

Taxpayers.

The decision to be made is who and how, and how much by whom.

Yes and ultimately how the NHS or the new NHS is to be managed.

That is it, away from political interference

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Likewise @Mr Kipling - On the few occasions I have used the NHS when back in the UK, I've NEVER been questioned.

@wallace - Fortunately when we have visited she hasn't had to use any health service, but its irrelevant, as if she did she is covered on my Private Policy.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

You know wallace have one thing in common.

We have been the recipients of cutting edge J health care.

I for falling off my motorcycle, actually I rode into the back of a London taxi, my fault, shattered a hip.

Wallace need for care was much more urgent than mine.

J health care system has a cost, but operations on my hip and knees have been a life saver.

I still walk around like a extra from Thunderbirds.

But I can drive and enjoy life.

I know I could not have had that treatment in UK.

Honestly.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Could you believe for a second a care giver in Japan would withdraw there labor?

For any reason, let alone political motivation, or personal gain?

There is the difference.

Any why I pay in Japan

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

theResident

I was just trying to understand all the different problems and actions. So you have attended a hospital without a GP letter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No, the NHS is not on life-support. It’s shuffled-off this mortal coil, and is currently hammering the last nail into its coffin. And all because of successive tory governments, Boris bloody-Johnson, that red bus and for the want of £350 million every week.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wallace......

So, I expect just like theResident, you are at least continuing to pay your NI and tax on your British income. If not, then you are gaming the system.

I have paid more than enough tax to cover the cost of my treatment a zillion times over.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Mr Kipling

Wallace......

>    So, I expect just like theResident, you are at least continuing to pay your NI and tax on your British income. If not, then you are gaming the system.

> I have paid more than enough tax to cover the cost of my treatment a zillion times over.

Yes, that is the sort of answer people gaming the system would say. In other words, you have paid no British taxes or NI for 35 years. A very short period you did contribute somehow entitles you. I also paid tax and NI probably longer than you.

The total cost of healthcare is not covered by the NI payments.

At least the theResident still pays tax and NI.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The people who claim to hate the "socialists" are the ones gaming the system.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I have paid more than enough tax to cover the cost of my treatment a zillion times over.

I very much doubt it. What you are suffering from is incurable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just looking at current life expectancies and Japan is ahead of the USA and the UK. But UK is ahead of the USA. Can't be all that bad and I think I would rather take my chances with a system like UK's than the USA's unless I was filthy rich. Perhaps they should introduce some copays like Japan does depending on your income. The US is where a lot of reforms are needed as well especially with the billing disaster. Infant mortality rate in UK is lower than that of the USA. My feeling (and I heard this from co-workers/friends from UK) is if you have a real emergency where life or limb are at risk (I'm not talking about waiting for a knee replacement surgery - and often those are unnecessary anyway if you change lifestyle habits) you will be seen by a UK hospital. Paper cut in the UK? yes, you might never see a doctor. Motorcycle accident in the UK and you need an urgent vascular surgeon to save your leg? You will be seen soon from what I hear. England is a developed country. Just make some hard reforms and improve the NHS. It will work.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I have paid more than enough tax to cover the cost of my treatment a zillion times over.

Is that a real story? What profession to be specific did these taxes come from? If this was a real story then just go to any hospital in the world and pay cash. Where would Bill Gates go and just go there.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You could double, triple the budget and it would still be 'on life support'. The NHS has been 'in crisis' for decades no matter what government is running the country.

I'm not taking a cheap shot here because I like Brits a lot, but they aren't the healthiest of people, and these days they aren't the wealthiest of people. There's only so much money to go around and it's a hideously expensive business.

I also hear that the nursing staff are superb (as they are in most countries) and that very few people have complaints about the amazing work that they do. Remember where Florence Nightingale came from!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In a major speech in January, Rishi Sunak unveiled his five priorities to stabilise the Government after months of crisis and political chaos.

The Prime Minister promised to cut NHS waiting lists, slash inflation, grow the economy and tackle the small boats crisis.

But six months on, not a single pledge has been met - and Mr Sunak seems to be getting further away from achieving many of his promises.

Downing Street has refused to give a timeframe for when these pledges will be achieved, only saying it will be "for the public to judge at the appropriate time".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

theResidentToday  05:12 pm JST

Yes,I have been here for 31 years have no vote in the UK, correct..But I am a member of the Conservative Party and DO have a vote in Leadership elections. Your point being?

Being a member of the party and voting in the leadership has nothing to do with it.

Mr KiplingToday  09:23 pm JST

I have paid more than enough tax to cover the cost of my treatment a zillion times over.

No you haven't. We don't pay our taxes on a "I'm alright jack" payment system. You may need that cheap pill yourself, but we pay for everyone. Someone needs ICU, they havent paid for it. They've contributed to it. And it is a an insurance policy. If you fail to pay your National insurance.. then you are not entitled to use the service. Although A&E services will be allocated because thats the system..if its just bog standard treatment..your supposed to pay.

itsonlyrocknrollToday  08:10 pm JST.

We have been the recipients of cutting edge J health care.

I for falling off my motorcycle, actually I rode into the back of a London taxi, my fault, shattered a hip.

I know I could not have had that treatment in UK. 

Absolute rubbish. A shatted hip would be seen and triaged immediately, and without question. I myself have been in the operating room seeing those ops being done, and some people actually lost their legs. The consutant in the UK who would have done that op is also the very same consultant who would do the same op privately. I worked in a certain certain hospital and you would have gotten the same treatment, on the same equipment on the same table with the same scalpel. Absolute rubbish. As an ex medic, i think i can safely debunk your opinion. and thats all it is! I have seen both systems, and both have there faults and there good points.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

DizLassToday  11:00 pm JST

You could double, triple the budget and it would still be 'on life support'. The NHS has been 'in crisis' for decades no matter what government is running the country.

True, but it did much much better under a labour government, and that is shown by the waiting lists when they left office. and it is confirmed financially too. However austerity was put in place,and the public voted for that. Falling for the lie of NO debt must be past onto the next gen.Which really is a lie because debt has never been removed. What they really mean is, we want debt to be low as a % of GDP....not erased.

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/general-election-2010/money-spent-nhs

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Like many other public entities that once benefited the commons, the NHS, once the jewel in the crown of Britain's welfare state and now being replaced by paste glass in a creeping malicious Tory switcheroo, is facing a manifestly dire future with a self-inflicted Brexit a roadblock to any realistic solution. The only remedy now, still fiercely resisted by the gaslit majority, is to put the Tory party itself on life-support along with Starmerlabourites. Since this scenario is not in the cards, things are going to get much worse for another generation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

True, but it did much much better under a labour government, and that is shown by the waiting lists when they left office. and it is confirmed financially too.

Fair enough. You seem to have knowledge of the industry. Recent Tory governments have had to deal with issues that the Blair government never had to though. Labour governed a very unique few years of explosive economic growth if I remember.

The consutant in the UK who would have done that op is also the very same consultant who would do the same op privately. I worked in a certain certain hospital and you would have gotten the same treatment, on the same equipment on the same table with the same scalpel. Absolute rubbish. 

Are you saying that NHS surgeons also work in private hospitals? I wouldn't blame them if they did, but I didn't know that they were allowed to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have been the recipients of cutting edge J health care.

I for falling off my motorcycle, actually I rode into the back of a London taxi, my fault, shattered a hip.

I know I could not have had that treatment in UK. 

Absolute rubbish.

I was thinking the same. Utter nonsense.

My experience with the NHS includes how they dealt with my father who died of cancer and my mother who requires frequent hospital visits. Superb staff.

My parents had and have respect for the institution. That would include not taking advantage of the system ( pathetic to read some who do ) , returning equipment used and supporting the workers looking for a decent wage.

@Abe234

Good stuff.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It’s true that Conservative governments have presided over the NHS for the majority of its life.

But for most of the years since the NHS was founded, it’s clear that Labour have out-spent the Conservatives.

https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-have-the-conservatives-nurtured-the-nhs

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because that small percentage was the difference as it turned out. A horrible mistake - when you consider its cost the working class the most.

So your anger is directed against the small percentage rather than the much larger percentage which delivered the kidney punch to the UK economy which left less in the coffers to invest in institutions like the NHS.

Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No point in asking the NHS or pointing any finger at them. They have been starved of funding/ had their budgets slashed by the masters of privatisation. Record numbers of nurses and doctors have left the industry (something like 170,000 vacancies by those who left).

In the UK we continue to pay our national health taxes which have been diverted by the conservatives. Many National Health hospitals have had whole floors repossessed and handed to private health - which is an abject disgrace to use publicly funded hospitals and not ask private health to build their own hospital wards.

Ambulances not turning up to emergency calls and overnight waits in A&E is an abuse of our human rights. Especially when the conservatives have not offered a full-on private healthcare replacement.

But the chickens are coming home to roost for these conservatives - the UK railways that were privatised have been run into disrepair by private shareholders who fail to reinvest and grab their dividends instead. Exactly the same for British water businesses who were privatised with sewerage floating into our rivers and oceans and Thames Water alone running up a deficit of GBP5 to 10 billion.

This is the worst face of capitalism and privatisation and a warning for the rest of the world - inventing a divided payout system where there is no rule for reinvestment.

The silver lining is that the conservatives are hugely damaged by this and Johnson and Truss and Brexit and they will be out of power for at least a couple of terms when Labour and Starmer walk the next election.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Abe234, what a nasty little so-and-so, I was rushed to St Thomas's Hospital's to the then Trauma and Orthopedics unit however I have needed a number of operations since.

Look Abe234, I was informed from a surgeon in Brighton when visiting the UK before the pandemic, where I have business interests, I would be subject to a waiting list.

However if I was to opt for a private funded solution I could choose my surgeon and the hospital.

I chose Japan, my home, on and off for some 14 years to carry out all the subsequent operation and remedial care

Jimizo, staff in Brighton travel back to there counties, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic etc to have routine and sometimes what could be considered urgent operations.

I am glad your experiences of the NHS have been positive, and genuine condolences for the loss of your father who died of cancer.

The facts constantly reported to me by the staff in Brighton paints a very dark and disturbing portrait of local NHS health care in a dire state reported time and again to be the appalling management of the trust.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wallace....

Yes, that is the sort of answer people gaming the system would say. In other words, you have paid no British taxes or NI for 35 years. A very short period you did contribute somehow entitles you. I also paid tax and NI probably longer than you.

No, I have paid huge amounts of tax to the UK in the last 35 years. As I should, but also enough to cover the use of the terrible health service staffed by some very good people.

The unhealthy lifestyles of the population are also a major cause of the NHS woes. Obesity is the norm in the UK will all the health problems that goes with it.

Given the choice to be sick in the UK or Japan, who would choose the UK?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You know Abe234 I wake up every day reminded of my motorcycle foolishness, all the operations. knees too, the scaring. the gait when walking, I choose my clothes, trousers instead of skirts.

I joke now, but still hide way in the olsen spa on visit with my nieces.

Of course I was not left in the road to bleed out.

However the surgeon was open and factual in stating to me I would need subsequent operations.

I am not for a moment complaining of the treatment I received at St Thomas.

Absolute rubbish, you state, you actually think I am suggesting I got up walked or crawled off......Remarkable for a so called medic/operating theater tech?

The fact still remains I would have succumbed to a lengthy waiting list in the UK, that was a undeniable fact at the time, aided by a lengthy course if pain killers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And please stop saying the NHS is FREE.... it is not free. Some people are paying huge taxes for the pleasure of waiting two years in pain and discomfort for treatment. "Best health service in the world?" lol

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mr Kipling

Wallace....

   Yes, that is the sort of answer people gaming the system would say. In other words, you have paid no British taxes or NI for 35 years. A very short period you did contribute somehow entitles you. I also paid tax and NI probably longer than you.

> No, I have paid huge amounts of tax to the UK in the last 35 years. As I should, but also enough to cover the use of the terrible health service staffed by some very good people.

If you have paid taxes then only at the amount set by law, But do you also pay NI because that is what pays for the NHS?

But if you have lived in Japan for 35 years why are you paying British taxes?

"The UK has a double taxation agreement with Japan so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. "

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mr Kipling

And please stop saying the NHS is FREE.... it is not free. Some people are paying huge taxes for the pleasure of waiting two years in pain and discomfort for treatment. "Best health service in the world?" lol

If you are paying huge taxes you can also afford private healthcare coverage and I guess most of your healthcare takes place in Japan, not the UK.

The NHS is free at source.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NHS has been a political propaganda football for as long as I can remember.

I am not a clinician or a medic, I have in a limited capacity whilst a lowly economics researcher at college taken part for monetary gain to as part of a team, cast my fiscal and monetary pencils over a number of London NHS trusts.

Abe234, TigersTokyoDome, Jimizo, Wallace, Paustovsky, EFD, sorry to name but a few.

Valued JT commentosr and contributors.

There has to be change fundamentality to financial modeling within every level of the NHS funding criteria.

I know politically the NHS is sycophant when any suggestion of change to the insistence that the public access be free at the point of need for healthcare.

Pretty please read that LSE link I posted.

Again ...

https://www.lse.ac.uk/News/Latest-news-from-LSE/2023/f-June-2023/Costs-of-new-drugs-threaten-financial-sustainability-of-NHS

Some in society will have to pay more than others, the politics is question of who how and cost modeling.

Also the structure of the trust system need reform.

I am not some right wing harpy

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Royal College of Nursing estimated in 2021 that the average annual salary of an NHS nurse is £33,384. The pay rise introduced across the NHS in 2023 means that the average is probably now closer to £37,000.

The highest is a band 9. £114,949.00 per annum.

Does that band 9 also come with a band 9 with attractiveness and physique, too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@wallace: The NHS is most defintely NOT free. Its funded by every taxpayer,and therefore paid for mostly by the highest tax/NI payers. Its unsustainable. The Japanese model is far better as you have in fact pointed out.

Private Health Coverage comes with MANY jobs. Not just the wealthy. Yes, of course most of of my (if any) treatment takes place here, as I'm here 47 weeks of the year, and I'll mix and match between private and public whichever is more convenient on any given day.

In visits to the UK, I've only had cause to visit the local GP and have not required a referral to a specialist for anything.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

also @wallace - There are many reasons why people may wish to pay NI in the UK AND tax on certain incomes for various reasons like having assets that they may wish not to declare to the authorities here, but stay on the right side of the taxman elsewhere. Sorry if this befuddles you a little. We do have to think out of the box sometimes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

theResident

@wallace: The NHS is most defintely NOT free. Its funded by every taxpayer,and therefore paid for mostly by the highest tax/NI payers. Its unsustainable. The Japanese model is far better as you have in fact pointed out.

*

I have never once stated the NHS is free. Being a universal health service it is free at the point of service. There are fewer problems with the Japanese system. Especially when it comes to dentists. We have a local dentist who gives same-day appointments and we never pay more than ¥1,000.

Private Health Coverage comes with MANY jobs. Not just the wealthy. Yes, of course most of of my (if any) treatment takes place here, as I'm here 47 weeks of the year, and I'll mix and match between private and public whichever is more convenient on any given day.

I have had my own business for 50 years.

In visits to the UK, I've only had cause to visit the local GP and have not required a referral to a specialist for anything.

Ok, thank you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wallace,

I visit, once a month-ish to my local medical practitioner, he is a wonderful 65 year old doctor, he is the epitome of a subject that practices what he constantly advises his patents/clients,

He is as thin as a rake.

The surgery is in my local sunny mart.

I am anything other, as thin ok, but he tells me my liver and kidneys are or could become a casualty of my life style.

I pay accordingly, I wonder if I should pay more, others sitting in the sitting room needs is greater than mine.

This I believe is crux of UK NHS health care. access to all.

Tragically we look from afar and wonder.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@wallace: And none of your employees have requested health insurance in 50 years?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

theResident

@wallace: And none of your employees have requested health insurance in 50 years?

I have never had any employees. Extra work is handed over to others I know without charge.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I find it very distressful reading the media stories about how long it takes an ambulance to reach a patient even when they are left on the ground and only left in a hospital corridor while waiting for treatment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@wallace - and this is where sometimes it is difficult to take your experiences seriously when it comes to matters like this. Its a wonderful life being an artist but somewhat disconnected from the real world.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"The government (ministers), they may use private health care but the ordinary citizen in the UK uses the NHS, relies on the NHS."

The Royal Family also does not use the NHS

Anyone with private insurance or money will turn to private hospitals where they will find treatments not available on the NHS too

0 ( +0 / -0 )

theResident

@wallace - and this is where sometimes it is difficult to take your experiences seriously when it comes to matters like this. Its a wonderful life being an artist but somewhat disconnected from the real world.

Because you have very little limited knowledge about my life you think you know something when in fact you don't. For more than 25 years I was involved with cooperatives. Workers and housing. My business has been very wide.

Electrical engineer for major institutions and top-level companies. House construction. Organic farming. Translations. Printing and publishing. Website designing and various other online. International document delivery service. Interior design. Fabric printing for the famous Ascher of London. Theater lighting. Lighting design for famous bands. And so many more.

So you think you know anything? Over the years I have given well-paid work to hundreds of people without taking a single penny for it.

I have been very much connected to the real world.

But none of it is to do with the NHS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kurisupisu

The Royal Family also does not use the NHS

But all of their low-paid staff use the NHS.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

theResident

It is indeed, very honourable what you have done over 7 decades - but without having taken a single penny for it and being involved in co-ops does NOT connect you to the real world. Its an outdated socialist idea. So, I do understand your lily-white attitudes to much discussion in this thread, but your viewpoint is somewhat naive to be taken seriously by anybody still working and saving for retirement in the real world.

No not 7 decades just 57 years. Nothing to do with socialism so again you understand so little. Cooperative is not politically based and embraces all people. Not left-wing or right-wing. More like the Quakers but without the religion.

We all get to choose how we want to live. I guess you may be one of those who can only do one or two occupations. Life is for experiencing and living.

Like I forgot to mention building the domes at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu 50 years ago. Great experience and those domes are still standing and in use today. You can see them on Google.

I don't care what you think. Your life is in your hands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

theResident

also @wallace - There are many reasons why people may wish to pay NI in the UK AND tax on certain incomes for various reasons like having assets that they may wish not to declare to the authorities here, but stay on the right side of the taxman elsewhere. Sorry if this befuddles you a little. We do have to think out of the box sometimes.

You are gaming the system because all PRs have to declare all income from overseas. The income I receive from overseas is declared here. I also only pay tax here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Then I can assure you that there a lot of 'gamers' right here, in Japan. Naive to think not.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

theResident

Then I can assure you that there a lot of 'gamers' right here, in Japan. Naive to think not.

I don't know. I am not one of them. Strange how the "socialist haters" turn out to be the ones gaming the system. I don't know many foreigners here but the ones I do know play it straight.

Have you looked up Aschers of London?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is simply astonishing to see the bile from the remoaners here. The NHS has been a mess for ages. It's simply wasn't designed to cope with millions of new arrivals. During the time I've been living in Japan, the population has increased by 10 million! However much money gets thrown at it (and the Tories throw them enormous sums), it keeps getting worse. But it's all the fault of the xenophobic Brexiteers, apparently!

Get over it; you lost.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@theResident

What do you mean that window closes in July, for national insurance?

thanks!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

t is simply astonishing to see the bile from the remoaners here. The NHS has been a mess for ages. It's simply wasn't designed to cope with millions of new arrivals. During the time I've been living in Japan, the population has increased by 10 million! However much money gets thrown at it (and the Tories throw them enormous sums), it keeps getting worse. But it's all the fault of the xenophobic Brexiteers, apparently!

Get over it; you lost.

It would be quite entertaining to have a cup of tea and a Jaffa cake while you gave a power point presentation of the numerous benefits of Brexit.

The NHS is just the most obvious disaster because it was the emotional blackmail used against the public but really it is just a symbol of the absolute decline of Britain's standing in the world.

Outside of a few public schoolboy spivs looking for deregulation, nobody, I repeat, nobody has benefitted from Brexit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Labours Wes Streeting has a plan of reform, however the Guardian half hearted refusal to fully acknowledge his reforms will mean fundamental change is striking, if your excuse the pun.

Labour’s Wes Streeting is half right about how to fix the NHS

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/apr/24/labour-wes-streeting-nhs-britain-europe

Not a penny more without reform.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wallace...

"The UK has a double taxation agreement with Japan so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. "

I pay tax on UK income, so Japan does not double tax. I also kept my N.I payments and will get a UK pension.

And yes, I get my health care in Japan, thankfully.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr KiplingToday  05:49 pm JST

Wallace...

"The UK has a double taxation agreement with Japan so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. "

I pay tax on UK income, so Japan does not double tax. I also kept my N.I payments and will get a UK pension.

I guess you have unearned income which you also declare on your Japanese taxes which it is required. I think paying Japanese taxes is less than the UK. If you are paying NI just for pension then private investments will yield bigger pensions.

And yes, I get my health care in Japan, thankfully.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't blame the NHS. They are impacted by massive cuts to their budget and failure to re-staff.

The Japanese model works well because it is looked after by a government who fund it and do not let it fail. Japanese national health contributions actually get to their health system. Actually it does not matter whether the UK has National Health or Private Health it just needs a system that works (this government are providing neither). The Japanese model is something like 65% funded/ 35% out of your pocket but it works.

The British NHS is being set up to fail by politicians who believe in the private system.

The British NHS stands for everything that the current conservatives dislike (created by Labour's Bevan, socialism, public funding) therefore they wish it to fail to justify their own political existence. The problem is that the conservatives have not provided a viable alternative.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The British NHS is being set up to fail by politicians who believe in the private system.

Is this the same group that thought Brexit was a good idea?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangers, oh yes indeed. So actually the 52% of those EU referendum voters only have themselves to blame when they cannot get treated in A&E or need to call an ambulance because these are the same politicians who wish to ruin their health system. Nothing wrong with private healthcare when it works, but these politicians have no alternative. No surprises that these are the same politicians who led Brexit - the single worst political decision in the UK for this generation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The selling off of the NHS began under Blair with PFI, so its not just the Blue Tories at fault. Red Tories are to blame too.

Thatcher said her greatest creation was Blair. While this makes a lot of sense, it is probably false, because Rupert Murdoch created him probably more than she did.

In Britain, we traditionally think of Germany and Austria as (small "c") conservative countries, but in Vienna, 60% of people live in social housing. In Germany, you can travel the entire country essentially for free (the fee is negligible) on public transport. Such things are completely unthinkable in the UK, way left of even Corbyn's manifesto. The reason conservative countries can have those nice things and a functional health system as a given and Britain can't, and the reason British people, including full-time soldiers and nurses, are dependent on charity food at food banks is because Britain is now economically way to the right of Germany and Austria (home of $#%#$ Austrian Economics!). Britain is also in a far more pronounced economic decline compared to those countries. The two things are linked.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The selling off of the NHS began under Blair with PFI

It seems he's still involved.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-nhs-anniversary-barclay-b2369616.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fully 93 percent of more than 3,000 respondents believe the NHS should remain free at the point of care

It’s not “free”, it’s just paid for indirectly.

I would rather have direct control of where my money is spent, rather than not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Universal healthcare is free at the source or point of treatment. Working people pay NI but the unemployed, children, retired, disabled, and infirmed all receive free healthcare.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Universal healthcare is free at the source or point of treatment. Working people pay NI

I think over 80% of NHS costs are paid from tax revenue and not NI (link below). Not that it makes much difference whether from NI or tax, but I guess the old and young contribute too from the VAT on most products.

https://www.myhsn.co.uk/top-tip/how-is-the-nhs-funded

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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