Abolish the NHS
Britain has worse health care than the rest of Europe.
Ambulance workers and nurses are planning to strike in England and Wales on Monday in what could become the largest walkout in the National Health Service’s history.
Emergency care will still be provided, but planned operations and outpatient services are being postponed.
Unions says nurses and paramedics are overworked and underpaid. They are demanding a 5 percent increase in wages over inflation, which is 14 percent. The governments of England and Wales have given an average of 4.75 percent with a guaranteed minimum income of £1,400 per month.
Health workers deserve a raise, but this won’t solve the NHS’s many other problems. At some point Britain has to accept the NHS is the problem.
Shortages of everything
British health spending has increased 12 percent since the pandemic. 12 percent more doctors and 8 percent more nurses have been hired.
Shortages remain. There are almost 47,000 nursing vacancies in England alone. 34,000 nurses quit in the last year. Nearly half were younger than 35.
The reasons have been well understood for years: high stress, high chance of burnout, low pay, lack of say in procedures and working hours, and a sense of being taken for granted by administrators. COVID-19 and high inflation were the final straws for many.
Meeting salary demands could come at the expense of investments in buildings and equipment, which are outdated. Nineteenth-century hospitals may be pretty, but they are expensive to bring up to twenty-first-century standards. Britain has fewer CT and fewer MRI scanners per capita than France, Germany and the United States.
More money, worse outcomes
British health-care spending is also high in per-capita terms: $5,390. Only fourteen countries spend more, including France, the Netherlands and the United States.
Yet with that money, Britain achieves far worse outcomes.
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