Nope, we think this is all just lovely Zoe

We hear much less from foreign critics, across the spectrums of politics and wealth, acknowledging how great it would be never to have to stay in a job for the health insurance, never to have to go bankrupt following a life-changing illness, never to have to gamble on the accident-proneness of your own children. The NHS is more than collective insurance against disaster: it changes everything about the confidence we have and the peace we know. The people who can see that best are the ones who don’t live it.

It’s just that every country other than the US manages this and no one else does it like the NHS. There’s other, better, ways of achieving this goal.

14 thoughts on “Nope, we think this is all just lovely Zoe”

  1. She references Justin Bieber, who I believe is Canadian. I believe that Canada does actually run something vaguely similar to the NHS.

  2. Having seen rather too much of the NHS this year from both sides of the counter, it is one huge steaming pile of ordure.

    The admin staff and nurses don’t give a toss about anything, the civilians – the satchel-holders, as one doctor calls them – do nothing but float from meeting to meeting and the GPs are just pill-pushers.

    I’m sure that any other organisation could achieve the same pathetic level of patient care with 45% of the staff at 30% of the cost.

  3. john, to begin with the NHS could function by exploiting the stock of habits and attitudes – e.g. discipline and good behaviour – it inherited. But as with an extractive industry, eventually the resources get depleted so you end up with our present state of affairs.

    The great clue to the intellectual hopelessness of the defence of the NHS is the fact that its apologists funk comparing it with any other system bar the US’s omnishambles.

  4. Oh dear:

    ‏@kinsman_a Wales, United Kingdom
    @zoesqwilliams Here’s some of the research not done for your smug, lazy Guardian piece.

    @kinsman_a you think I don’t know Justin bieber is canadian? You are literally banned from reading anything else I ever write. Seriously

    @kinsman_a you just won’t ever get any of it. Find something else to read

  5. I think if you were going to find the physical embodiment of the Guardian, it would be Zoe Williams. The snobbery, the cluelessness, the genuine nastiness (read her articles on private education) – it’s all there.

  6. Only insurance-based healthcare systems provide any incentive for people to look after their own health. Providing a ‘free-at-the-point-of-use’ healthcare encourages fecklessness and encourages (unlimited) demand.

    That said, the NHS contains pockets of excellence, while in the next department or ward treatment is at best mediocre and at worst very bad.

  7. Providing ‘free-at-the-point-of-use’ healthcare also encourages ‘nanny statism’ because this is the only way that a socialist healthcare system can acceptably limit demand.

  8. Providing ‘free-at-the-point-of-use’ healthcare also encourages ‘nanny statism’

    For an awful lot of people that is a feature, not a bug. The NHS is the one thing preventing Britain’s busybodies, puritans, and prodnoses being told to fuck off and mind their own business.

  9. Rob

    Absolutely – a genuinely nasty piece of work who would be a primary candidate for extraordinary rendition to ISIS controlled territory. The hilarious Thing about the quote is the assumption that any other system (except for maybe Cuba and North Korea) feels the need to describe itself as ‘the envy of the world’

  10. Single-payer legal care, set up along the lines of the NHS.

    Because there’s no solicitor or barrister who’s ever done anything worth more than minimum wage.

  11. All international comparisons show the British NHS as the best value for money, the only criterion Tim usually considers.
    As a national comparison there is the Vets: we have a brilliant caring Vet now, but she also shows up how extortionate the others were before her.

  12. French politicians always say that their system is the envy of the world…funny that nobody else copies it.

    Probably rinse, repeat, in every country with a statist system.

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