Did he really say this?

All of which proves the absurdity of the drive for productivity in the NHS and many other public services.

Yup, he really did.

Because it’s a public service we don’t want to maximise output and minimise inputs. Because, you know……

Facepalm.

24 thoughts on “Did he really say this?”

  1. Its only saying what we know to be true – public ‘services’ are primarily services to those employed within them, and only secondarily to the alleged consumer of said services. Thus any improvement to service provided may only come if it does not negatively impact the employees, or indeed benefit the employees as well, in higher wages or less onerous duties.

    Its an interesting thought experiment to consider what would happen if at some point in the future a machine is developed that can scan the human body, diagnose exactly what is wrong with you and produce a perfectly tailored medical solution automatically, there and then. A sort of robo-doctor if you like. What would be the response of the Left? Hurrah, the poor will now have perfect health outcomes at very little cost? Of course not, its use would be fought to the death so that all those made redundant by it could keep their middle class jobs and pensions.

  2. The Other Bloke in Italy

    I think Snag must be new here. Stick around Dear Boy, and prepare to be astonished from time to time.

  3. But it is perfectly consistent with his thinking:

    – “productivity” is an economic concept

    – economists are all wrong

    – therefore productivity is wrong

  4. I like the use of the word ‘essential’. To me ‘essential’ means it would be essential even if the UK only enjoyed the GDP of, say, Zambia. I would have thought that we would start with the money available and then decide on a hierarchy of services. And if we really didn’t like the outcome we could increase the money inputs.
    But to start by defining all health services as axiomatically ‘essential’; very common but very wrong.

  5. He also says …..’it’s about guaranteeing failure to meet peek demand’……..

    Does anybody know what ‘peek demand’ is?

    Is it pay per look or something?

  6. He calls himself an economist (at least on his blog). If GlenDorran is correct about his viewpoint on economists, hasn’t he then admitted himself to be wrong on everything, no?

  7. @Jim

    ‘Its an interesting thought experiment to consider what would happen if at some point in the future a machine is developed that can scan the human body, diagnose exactly what is wrong with you and produce a perfectly tailored medical solution automatically, there and then. A sort of robo-doctor if you like. What would be the response of the Left?’

    Already been done – I’ve seen it on Star Trek and what happens is you only need one doctor for an entire starship. Having said that, during the building of the starship, Pulse and the BMJ were apparently inundated with angry letters.

  8. Jim,

    “a machine that can diagnose and produce a solution”

    I already have this machine: it’s called Google. Unfortunately the medics’ guild has sewn up the market such that I still need their stamp of officialdom to actually buy the medicine that the machine recommends.

    The man with the red flag is still walking in front of my car.

  9. Oh and if Google tells me I need an x-ray, the gatekeepers block me again. Many decades ago shoe shops had x-ray scanners where customers could freely examine their own foot bones. Today the machine has to be operated by a medical professional with qualifications recognised by the Royal College of Radiologists, and even then only with a referral from a “qualified medical professional”.

    We wouldn’t necessarily want to return to the days of radiation blasters on every high street; but do you really need a three year degree to learn how to switch on an x-ray machine?

  10. @ Andrew M
    I remember those machines – very valuable, without them my feet would have been even (far) more distorted than they are by ill-fiiting shoes

  11. The problem with productivity is that it must at some point measure outputs, which is the last thing you want as a state employee (or someone paid to present their views like yoo-know-hoo).

  12. ‘Peek demand’ might be the curtain-twitchers in the ‘Woking’ tax haven one of his other posts revealed…

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