L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

19 December 2006 Blog Home : December 2006 : Permalink

BUPA Help The Suspect Paki!

Because it's sure that the wonderful NHS won't (links best not read while eating by those of a sensitive disposition).

Thanks to Tim W's britblog roundup last weekend I read the first post about the incredible grottiness of the NHS. Tonight I've read the second. Phrases like "searing indictment of the whole system" spring to mind along with ones like "do not be seiously ill in England" and "BUPA, I love you". I believe that were it not for BUPA (or equivalent) Mr SuspectP would no longer be blogging on this world. He'd probably either be comatose, a non-comatose vegetable or dead.

The problem is that, as the NHS doctor has written over again, the NHS has degenerated into box ticking rather than actually healing people. He also points out that the NHS pays its chief executives comapatively little and, more importantly IMO, fails to fire them (or anyone else as far as I can tell) for rank incompetence.

I don't know what the complete answer is, but I am positive that one answer is to break the damn thing up into much smaller parts and fire most of the managerial deadwoodoverhead. However firing the deadwood without doing anything else won't help any more than the ZANU labour proposal to throw ever increasing amounts of dosh at it and attempt to micromanage the entire process. I'm not a NHS expert, thanks be to any deity that happens to be listening I'm in robust health and I don't live in England anyway so this qualifies me about as well as anyone to prescribe solutions.

Firstly, from observation and anecdotal evidence, there is no clear chain of responsibility. Even for basic things like cleaning. The NHS has outsourced services without thinking about ways to ensure that the service is performed to an appropriate standard. Even when incentives are in place they are so feeble, cumberous and slow that they are about as effective as being whipped with a piece of cotton wool. This means that the incentives are to cut corners and shift the blame elsewhere. Combined with this is a level of centralization and micromanagement that means that the people on the ground are not able to use their discretion. Unfortunately I find myself limited to the role I criticise lefties for, pointing out the problems without coming up with viable solutions.

I think that one solution might be privatise the entire hospital system and possibly much of the GP system too. Then give every entitled UK resident a health credit card filled up with say £1000/year and the freedom for them to use that to go whereever they want for treatment and for the £1000 to be transferable between people but not exhangable for anything else. People could top it up by means of insurance or cash payment or by transfers from other cards. But they would decide how (and where) they wanted to spend the money. If they blew it on plastic surgery and then had a major illness then they'd have to pay it back over the next few years somehow and so on. But they'd quickly have an incentive to use good hospitals not crap ones and sicne the crap ones would get fewer patients they'd get the required kick in the arse to get better, and if they didn't they could close and sell their assets to some other one that could use them better.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin