The travails of NHS

I am focused on the ongoing issues with the NHS, because despite Clarion calls to “overhaul” it, the NHS remains the shining example of how socialism can go wrong. Therefore, it provides a great example in the modern era on how not to devise healthcare policy.

I link from Financial Times itself; the article is behind the paywall, but this is the only mainstream publication with an almost permanent archival system. I had covered their interesting engineering chops earlier in the iteration of my blog. Nevertheless, here it goes:

Private healthcare is far from a cure all | Financial Times

Growing numbers of Britons are turning to private healthcare as frustration grows with the country’s state-run health service. In its half-year results at the start of this month, Spire said it expected “significantly increased demand for healthcare” given that the waiting list for NHS treatment has swelled to almost seven million.

Insurers often have an annual limit on outpatient treatment, dictated by the terms of your employer’s contract with them. Ours doesn’t tend to change much each year though alas consultants’ fees do, and only in one direction. Inpatient treatment is less restrictive, probably because you’re statistically less likely to need it.

We asked the hospital why they did not inform her of the charges for the various tests in advance and were told this was not possible because of “commercial confidentiality”. Different insurers are charged different prices so everything has to stay hush-hush.

These are almost similar issues being faced by the US (“across the pond”, as they say). However, as the UK is pushed towards a gradual economic decline (it’s another Third World country in nominal GDP terms) and almost ran colonial plunderer, its luck is running out. I am not suggesting the country will collapse on its own; not yet. NHS will eventually get “reformed”. Private healthcare is rearing its head there.

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