In which I agree with @richardjmurphy

\"Richard

@RichardJMurphy Richard Murphy

The NHS is far too important to be left at the mercy of ideological and incompetent intervention

 

Quite so, quite so, which is why we need to remove it from the control of politicians. You know, those incompetents who gain their position of power over us and the NHS through ideology?

13 comments on “In which I agree with @richardjmurphy

  1. An argument I hear all to often- and I admit, it does often come from the left, but let’s not pretend it’s unique to them- is that a move must be opposed because its “ideological”. This puts the speaker in a bad situation, since it means any ideological statements they make must be bad. In practice, such claims mean “ideology I don’t like”.

    That much is fucking obvious.

  2. Assuming an NHS exists, who is going to control it then, if not politicians? Mandarins? Should it be “independent”, that is, run by political class cronies? If you’re going to have something owned by the State, who other than politicians should be in charge of it? I mean, I presume most everybody here would prefer there not be an NHS. But if you’re going to have one…

  3. Ian B

    Why do you assume that everybody on here would prefer there not to be an NHS? It’s not so much the existence of the NHS that’s the issue, it’s how it’s run.

  4. Maybe that’s an unreasonable assumption, I just figured you know, rightwingextremistneoliberalheartlesstorybastards kind of thing.

  5. Despite being a “rightwingextremistneoliberalheartlesstorybastard” I’m with Frances C on the NHS…

    It’s a fantastic idea.

    Unfortunately, its present incarnation is showing very clearly that a Stalinist, top-down structure isn’t the best way to go about it. “Free at the point of delivery” in no way implies that the government, acting for the taxpayer, has to run the show as well as finance it. France, for example, seems to have a rather effective health system that mixes state finance and (mainly) private organisations to deliver a better solution than the NHS.

  6. If there is a NHS the people who need to run it are the ones who are closest to the coal face. They are the ones who can see what needs to be done and they are the ones who can make things happen. The higher up you go in a hierarchy the less they will know what’s happening at the front, a matter of filtering of information by those in the chain of command and also being out of touch.

    If there is to be a NHS they best way to fund it is for the people doing the work to spend the money they receive from the state. It shouldn’t be spent on the basis of out of touch people thinking up schemes. It should be spent in reaction to what is actually happening. So no planning, or at least minimal.

    So the NHS will still be state funded. The state is currently paying something like £2k per person per year for health care. That money could go to private hospitals who would spend it wisely because they will do their best to keep a good reputation and also be efficient to maximise their profits.

    Private companies currently provide care homes paid by the state so why not hospitals.

    It is heartless to want private companies to provide health care. Well is it heartless for NHS hospitals to let patients languish in corridors for hours and put them up in mixed sex wards and force women having abortions to use maternatity wards.

  7. Being more extremist than the lady, I can say flat out that I am in favour of the NHS and my paying taxes to fund it (yes, I do use the NHS but more than once I have gone through a decade without ever seeing my doctor so this is ideological not economic).
    What I find intolerable is the mismanagement – I still remember after well over a dozen years taking my younger son for a meeting with a consultant and we shared a waiting room with pre-natal group *all* of whom were required to turn up at 9 am for appointments that were, in a few cases, after 2 pm – but none of them were told when they would see the consultant. Leaving me to fester for 5 hours would be bad enough but ladies in late-stage pregnancy …

  8. “The NHS is far too important to be left at the mercy of ideological and incompetent intervention”.

    Quite. An organisation that consumes more wealth than the entire country pays in income tax is too important to permit taxpayers to have any influence over it.

    So the employees of that organisation (who are clearly the most able to determine the best way to run the service, according to SadButMadLad) should be in charge and the patients be damned because they are clearly an obstacle to the delivery of a health service, which would run much more smoothly without them, as John77 observes.

    For some reason, though, he seems to think that this abysmal level of worthless parasitism is an aberration of management, rather than an intrinsic feature of a Socialist command economy.

    I ask NHS lovers: would this shitty rubbish of a service be acceptable in France? In Germany? In Sweden? These countries spend less on healthcare than we do in Britain. So why do they get a better service?

  9. bfoD,

    For some reason, though, he seems to think that this abysmal level of worthless parasitism is an aberration of management, rather than an intrinsic feature of a Socialist command economy.

    One benefit of the Lansley reforms is that they put the budgets in the hands of independent GPs, who will decide what care is best for their patients within their budget. And anyone can switch GP, which means GPs have to balance the needs of all their patients.

    I’m not sure it’s the best model, but I’m convinced it’s going to be better than what we have now, to the point where the only people who will want to go back are the more extreme elements on the left.

  10. John77

    Are you really more extremist than me? I think my views are quite similar to yours. The organisation and management of the NHS is awful.

    I had to spend five days in hospital after a major operation three years ago. After the first day, when I was too woozy to notice, the disorganisation drove me nuts. The staff were brilliant, but the system was a mess. I couldn’t wait to get out of the place. And that was after months of waiting to be given appointments, being kept waiting for appointments because of overbooking, my notes going missing, an urgent request from my GP for an ultrasound scan never arriving at the scan department, and an attempt to remove me from the surgery waiting list completely so they could meet new government targets for waiting lists (good strategy that – get your waiting list down by removing people who were already on it before the new targets were set….). The only parts of the whole affair that went smoothly were my admission to hospital and the operation itself. It took nearly a year from my first discussion with my GP to having the operation that we knew from the start I needed. What a disaster.

    The NHS really needs root-and-branch organisational reform, but there are so many vested interests involved that it’s difficult to see how that can possibly be achieved without dismantling it completely.

  11. I wonder if Ritchie will have a post titled “In which I agree with Tim”?

    Not even if Tim posts a deeply ironic piece. The WGCE’s ego is too fragile. As is seen by his behaviour with non-fawning comments.

  12. “I ask NHS lovers: would this shitty rubbish of a service be acceptable in France? In Germany? In Sweden? These countries spend less on healthcare than we do in Britain.”

    No they don’t, they spend more. Whether you measure it in $ or GDP terms.
    http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/OECD042111.cfm
    http://topforeignstocks.com/2010/07/04/health-care-spending-comparison-across-oecd-countries/

    I support the NHS, albeit it’s a pity that every incoming government feels compelled to rearrange its administrative structure. It would be much better to spend management time on sorting out the actual problems.

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