Healthcare is expensive.
Hundreds of Britons have launched GoFundMe campaigns so far in 2022 to raise money for private medical expenses, frequently citing their desperation after spending months or even years on NHS waiting lists. One Northern Irish family felt compelled to get private treatment overseas for their 12-year-old son’s curved spine after being told they would have to wait years by the NHS. They eventually raised £50,000 and the treatment was carried out successfully in Turkey.
I cannot reliably claim if the statistics are true. The spending graph from FT, however, is alarming:
One in 14 of Britain’s poorest households now incurs “catastrophic healthcare costs” in a typical year — where costs exceed 40 per cent of the capacity to pay. This is up from one in 30 a decade ago, coinciding with a period in which the share of the poorest who feel their healthcare needs are going unmet has risen from 1 per cent to 5 per cent. But when thousands of people on low incomes feel forced to raise money from strangers to circumvent a struggling healthcare system, this is surely the starkest signal yet that the NHS is at breaking point.
This is instructive. NHS is possibly “failing” or “tottering on the brink of collapse” or possibly any other epithet you can care to use. Since I don’t practise there, I can’t reliably claim if these statistics are true. Nevertheless, I hope that policy framers are well aware of these issues.