And why not?

Where is the Marshall Plan for the NHS?
The non-Covid healthcare crisis calls for radical steps to save lives and ensure the system is fit for purpose

Sounds good to me, let’s get the Americans to invest in it all.

13 thoughts on “And why not?”

  1. Fit for whose purpose though?

    Many would believe the 1m plus NHS employees and certainly their unions are not dissatisfied with the status quo (subject to regular pay increases and “above inflation” levels of taxpayer money being poured into the bottomless administrative pit). Now if only something could be done about all those pesky patients.

  2. The Marshall Plan for the NHS already happened: we were pouring the same money into it while it was sat idle. What did it do with it all?

  3. The excellent Le Fanu in yesterday’s Tel: you’ll have to forgive his doctor-grade arithmetic (or maybe it’s a typo?).

    “It was disheartening, if predictable, for Dr Rosie Shaw of the Doctors’ Association to excuse the vexatious non-availability of some family doctors over the past year, blaming it instead on ‘chronic underfunding’ of the Health Service. Not a bit of it. Over the past thirty years the NHS budget has doubled, doubled and then doubled again from £30 billion to £140 billion pounds a year with a substantial increase in the number of registered family doctors from 34,000 to 47,000. To be sure more might be working part time but then they can afford to since the generous 50 per cent pay rise back in 2004 that increased their average income in excess of £100,000 a year. “

  4. The two alternatives are either save the NHS or save lives because even before the shut idown to protect it, it was scoring badly on outcomes, something the people it’s supposed to serve may selfishly find important.

  5. The NHS has just won the lottery of lives. Covid has eliminated many of their most demanding patients. Old people with multiple health issues, diabetics and the obese are time consuming and expensive to treat. The disease has mostly spared smokers and drinkers so the “sin taxes” will keep rolling in.

    So this is a perfect moment to start doing a better job. No doubt they won’t, for reasons.

    Unfortunately private medicine in the UK isn’t much cop either, being expensive and with worse outcomes by international comparison.

  6. Surely the non-covid crisis can be best alleviated by the NHS getting the fuck back to work?

    It can be best alleviated by nuking the NHS from orbit and allowing us to have a functioning non-producer-captured non-stalinist-take-what-you’re-given-and-like-it system that actually cures sick people.

  7. Didn’t Marshall Aid effectively create the NHS in the first place? We spent all our US cash on handing out free healthcare, while the (West) Germans spent theirs on rebuilding their shattered economy. To the extent it overtook the UK’s within a pretty short space of time.

  8. @Jim

    You are correct and the National Insurance Contribution was used to rebuild the post-war British military, which caused Aneurin Bevan to resign from the Labour Government.

    Prior to the National Insurance Act 1911, 75% of people had private health insurance via mutual, friendly societies, village schemes, Union schemes. The various schemes being localised were supervised by the local people who paid and benefitted, therefore medical care was under the control of the people. Centralising it in Whitehall scuppered that.

    Nobody but the politicians, doctors, for-profit insurance companies wanted it.

  9. John B
    Nobody but the politicians, doctors, for-profit insurance companies wanted it.

    The doctors were mostly against or undecided. Remember “stuffing their mouths with gold”

  10. Bloke in North Dorset


    Not according to this paper:

    The Marshall Plan
    This account has not mentioned the Marshall Plan. Can’t West Germany’s revival be attributed mainly to that? The answer is no. The reason is simple: Marshall Plan aid to West Germany was not that large. Cumulative aid from the Marshall Plan and other aid programs totaled only $2 billion through October 1954. Even in 1948 and 1949, when aid was at its peak, Marshall Plan aid was less than 5 percent of German national income. Other countries that received substantial Marshall Plan aid exhibited lower growth than Germany.

    Moreover, while West Germany was receiving aid, it was also making reparations and restitution payments well in excess of $1 billion. Finally, and most important, the Allies charged the Germans DM7.2 billion annually ($2.4 billion) for their costs of occupying Germany. (Of course, these occupation costs also meant that Germany did not need to pay for its own defense.) Moreover, as economist Tyler Cowen notes, Belgium recovered the fastest from the war and placed a greater reliance on free markets than the other war-torn European countries did, and Belgium’s recovery predated the Marshall Plan.

    What looked like a miracle to many observers was really no such thing. It was expected by Ludwig Erhard and by others of the Freiburg school who understood the damage that can be done by inflation coupled with price controls and high tax rates, and the large productivity gains that can be unleashed by ending inflation, removing controls, and cutting high marginal tax rates.

    Its a good read BTW, and not very long.

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