David Cameron will pledge to deliver the world’s first seven day-a-week universal health service that will guarantee care to patients “wherever they are and whenever they need it”.

Umm, are we really trying to claim that every other health service in hte world closes down on he weekends?

I don’t think this is true somehow….

16 comments on “Eh?

  1. “wherever they are and whenever they need it”. So those who claim that the NHS is in fact not only a UHS but also an IHS will be essentially correct?

  2. A short drive away from me is a GP clinic that offers bulk-billed (i.e. $0 out of pocket) doctor visits seven days a week, 8 am to 10 pm.

  3. In NL there’s 24/7 out of hours service.

    It’s eyewateringly expensive, and the “public” insurance doesn’t necessarily cover all of it.

    However, Brat #1, when we lived there, had a habit of falling scarily sick after 5pm on a Friday…

  4. Matthew L – “A short drive away from me is a GP clinic that offers bulk-billed (i.e. $0 out of pocket) doctor visits seven days a week, 8 am to 10 pm.”

    Bulk-billed? I take it you are in Australia? How old is that system? 30 years? Bureaucracies grow older and slower and more incompetent. They add staff who generate more and more paperwork. Until the seize up and stop working.

    I am sure that the NHS did something similar 30 years ago. Well, maybe 35 years ago. Come back when the Australian system is as old. All bureaucracies move in this direction. Australia won’t be any different.

  5. >How old is that system? 30 years?

    40 years. I remember someone saying something similar to me 20 years ago when I told them about the Australian system, and it’s still okay.

    However, it probably will get slowly worse, but not as the same same rate as the NHS. The British have this whole extra level of incompetency and entrenched interests which Australia doesn’t have.

  6. Promises are what BlueRinse specialises in . Making and then breaking them. Except the ones that make our lives worse. The promise to snoop more–he’ll keep that one.

  7. If we’re talking about non-emergency care beyond the GP level, then it might well be a world first. Routine hospital appointments at weekends? GP appointments after 5PM, so I don’t have to take half a day off work? Yes please.

  8. Tim,

    I don’t think “the world’s first seven day-a-week universal health service” means “the world’s first seven day-a-week health service”.

  9. So does this mean the “Envy of the World” is currently only so for five days of the week?

  10. SMFS: Yes, Australia. It’s a private for-profit clinic, not government run. It collects the government GP subsidy and runs efficiently enough that it doesn’t need to charge on top of that.

  11. It was so irritating to see the BBC news this evening. Doctors were assuming that 7-day cover had to mean more resources. “But where are the people to do that going to come from?”

    Neither the BBC, nor Cameron, challenged the assumption that weekend cover would require more people.

    If shop workers, pub workers, transport workers etc etc can work weekends and have a couple of days off in the week, it’s really not an unreasonable imposition for medics to do the same.

  12. @CJN

    Well, if you’re going to increase the workload by 20%, then you’ll need to find 20% more staff or more and more people are going to keep quitting the NHS and going to Australia.

    It’s 20% rather than 40% because most (hospital) doctors already end up working every other weekend.

  13. Matthew: whereabouts is that? My GP practice (inner Sydney) bulk-bills Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, and only takes private appointments the rest of the time. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a massive improvement on the current iteration of the NHS GP system.

  14. > Well, if you’re going to increase the workload by 20% …

    Why should the workload increase? Two things. Firstly, we’re not talking about having more illness and injury that needs to be treated; we’re talking about treating it more promptly and at times that are more convenient for patients. That’s not more workload. Secondly, the current system actually increases workload, as minor infections that take hold on a Friday have three days to become far more serious before being treated.

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