Skip to main content

As much about the NHS as Brexit.

It isn't difficult to see that the NHS is struggling because it has been starved of adequate funding. £22 bn of so-called 'efficiency savings' have ripped it apart.

The Tories claim that funding has increased over the last decade. Of course, that is strictly true. But in real terms per capita, this is not so.

The population has increased by 6%, and the proportion of older people has also increased.   In future years, the UK population is set to grow further still.

The projected population surpasses 70 million in 2029 and reaches 72.9 million by 2041 – increases of 6.1% and 10.4%, respectively, from 2017 (figures from ONS).

As the population increases, so will the demands on health and care services.  A negligent government misunderstands that remorseless relationship.

The last Labour government pushed up spending on the NHS as a percentage of GDP following the commitment to raise the level to the average of European countries.   This saw waiting lists and times fall dramatically and improvements in delivery.

Historically, spending on the NHS has increased by 4% per year.   The Tories reduced this to barely 1%, far short of the funding needed to keep pace with rising demand.

The Nuffield Trust calculates that to put funding back to the level in 2010 would require increases of at least 4% per year.

So who do you trust on the NHS: The Tories, who have slashed per capita funding over the last decade and seen increased waiting lists and times and the collapse of in-house services, or Labour with its history of making NHS funding a priority.

Spending on Health is not a luxury we can't afford.   It is a necessary investment and part of our economic infrastructure.   A healthy population is a more productive one and less dependent on overstretched care services.

Brexit won't rescue the NHS. On the contrary, it puts it in jeopardy.   We need a government with the right priorities.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

A time for every purpose

All life moves. Or, more precisely, all life moves purposefully.  This is true even for trees and plants.  Movement is essential for maintaining life.  Animals migrate; plants disperse.  Some form of migration is an ingredient of all life.  For many organisms, it is a key function of reproduction.  We don't reproduce merely to create a new organism, but also to disperse the population - finding new fertile ground, or resources. Reproduction is a form of migration. Reproduction isn't merely to replicate. Reproduction produces change and diversity.  While we may have strong resemblences in families, we also have differences.  Creating a difference is how evolution works.  In this sense, nature is a continuous exploratory process, finding what works best.  Nature senses change and responds.  Some of this is immediate and physiological or behavioural; some of it is over generations.  If we look at a forest over long periods of time, we would see that it shifts. There is a movement

A weaver's tail - the harvest mouse

Living in the grass is a tiny mouse: the tiny harvest mouse, with a wonderful scientific name that sounds like the title of a Charles Dickens Novel,  Micromys minutus.   It is the only British mammal with a prehensile tail. It uses its tail to hold on to the slender grass stems, at the tops of which it builds a nest. Photo: Nick Fewing These tiny mammals (just around 5 cm long) build a spherical nest of tightly woven grass at the top of tall grasses, in which the female will give birth to about six young.  In the fields, we see cows and horses brushing away flies with their tails; often they will stand side-by-side and end-to-end, and help each other.  Two tails are better than one!  In nature, tails are put to good use.  Just as a tight-rope walker uses his pole for balance, so for some species, a tail provides balance. When running, a squirrel uses its tail as a counterbalance to help the squirrel steer and turn quickly, and the tail is used aerodynamically in flight.  But many anima