Friday, August 14, 2009

Really strange

Just about everybody in Britain agrees that we have serious problems with our healthcare and, in particular, with the NHS, which swallows up a huge part of the budget, employs more people nowadays than even the Red Army and provides care that is mostly below the standard that could be expected from a rich, highly developed country.

Yet the only reason a debate is getting under way (even if it is still on the level of NHS the best in the world - no it is the pits) is because we are piggy-backing on the rather vehement American discussions that are actually about something quite different.

More on this absorbing topic tomorrow.


  1. I don't see how having more staff than the Red Army is a bad thing? I know it is a rather boorish catchphrase of the boorish anti-NHS brigade but please, so what? An army of men and women committed to helping people seems positive.

  2. Boorish eh? Not been accused of that before. I wonder why you picked that particularly inappropriate adjective.

    I also wonder why you came up with rather odd socialistic phrase "committed to helping people". Are they committed to helping people or are they doing a job? Personally, I would prefer it if they did their job well as in cleaned the wards properly so people did not get all kinds of diseases while in hospital; did tests and processed them outside the 1950s union hours of 9-5, Monday to Friday; spent less time running around with clipboards and more time paying attention to patients, accepted that preventative medicine is a good idea; and spent less money on management consultants.

    The point about the comparison with the Red Army is that a health service that is so overstaffed, so centralized and so anxious to impose its rather bureaucratic view of what it means "helping people" cannot be right. And it isn't. Not because the doctors or the nurses are bad. With very few exceptions they are good. But because the structure is all bad. Incidentally, the Red Army is seriously inefficient.