John Burn Murdoch makes a point here:
Chronic illness makes UK workforce the sickest in developed world | Financial Times
With direct impacts of Covid ruled out, the most plausible remaining explanation is grim: we may be witnessing the collapse of the NHS, as hundreds of thousands of patients, unable to access timely care, see their condition worsen to the point of being unable to work. The 332,000 people who have been waiting more than a year for hospital treatment in Britain is a close numerical match for the 309,000 now missing from the labour force due to long-term sickness.
This may sound alarmist, but deep restructuring of the NHS (as a “free service”) will be resisted for obvious reasons for those who can still access healthcare. The “socialist” system, once the pride of the UK has become a cankerous sore, is often put up for ridicule by Financial Times. Interestingly, the NHS version heavily inspires the Singapore healthcare co-pay model. While not perfect, but has done exceedingly well, and I recommend scaling up to other countries after adapting it to local challenges.
Covid is undoubtedly a factor in the NHS’s ongoing crisis, through staff absences, additional pressure on hospitals and limiting the capacity to work through backlogs. But where other countries’ healthcare systems are proving resilient, the UK’s is on its knees
I feel sorry for the ordinary people who have no role in the mismanagement of the affairs.