Thursday, 31 January 2013

What Role Do We Want The NHS To Fulfil?

The future role of the National Health Service is a very important question around which our politicians offer us no guidance. Debate simply slips around the edges of the serious situation that we are in that they do not have the courage to face.

I can understand their hesitation. This is one of an increasing line of issues that have been allowed to spiral out of proportion. Facing the beast will be unpopular.

It is a fact that the NHS cannot afford to provide every service, treatment and drug that people need or wish for. New medical treatments are hideously expensive and as we are living in a less healthy society the amount of lower cost treatments requires only increases.

The time has passed us by when it was acceptable for the NHS to treat all of our needs. Many will throw their arms up in despair at the idea and brand me as a monster. Shooting the messenger however does not have a great track record as a problem solving technique.

There is much media mileage on this issue and many issues that individually are a minefield. The pragmatic politicians will be outnumbered by the emotive careerist NOR'easter who, with their succulent soundbites, will be the darlings of the mollycoddling media.

Think I'm wrong? Just try to define elective surgery. Sounds easy enough. The medical need for a boob job or gender reassignment may be debatable. The spin protagonists could have a field day. Try abortion next. The medical need can be argued but the argument will be vicious. If not state funded for all then who pays and how? These are just a couple of the most obvious. Consider dental, optician services and prescriptions on a more everyday level.

The fact is that the costs are spiralling and the issue needs resolving as to what services the NHS will provide and what the individual will be charged for and how. If you are a member of any political party find out what their stance on the issue is. They probably can't give you a sensible answer. Raise the issue. It is for the benefit of the entire nation that you do!


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