Sunday, 12 September 2010

CASE 066 - The failing public health service

Great Britain's National Health Service (NHS) was created on July 5, 1948. As with all government programs, bureaucrats underestimated initial cost projections. First-year operating costs of NHS were 52 million pounds higher than original estimates1 as Britons saturated the so-called free system.
Many decades of shortages, misery and suffering followed until 1989, when some market-based health care competition was reintroduced to the British citizens.

Unfortunately for those requiring care, a mostly socialist health care system has problems. The articles and commentaries in this section identify some disasters caused by government intervention in the British health care system. I also recommend reading David G. Green and Laura Casper's economic report, Delay, Denial and Dilution: The Impact of NHS Rationing on Heart Disease and Cancer to see the inevitable outcome of the necessary rationing of government health care. The financial failings of health care organizations are a recurrent cause of discomfort for politicians and policy makers (Lewis et al., 2006). The recent history of health care systems across the globe can he read as a history of attempts to tighten financial management, so as to mitigate this discomfort (Ilumphrcy et al..I998). A range of organizational and managerial reforms have been deployed to
such ends. In the UK, the introduction of internal markets in the early 1990s saw the creation of a new type of entity, called NI IS trusts, with a statutory duty to break even. I Subsequent reforms have repeatedly sought to address the problem of financial failure through yet further organisational reforms, revised governance mechanisms. new risk management systems, and ever-renewed regulatory interventions. Despite these efforts, and a substantial increase in the level of health care funding by the UK government during the past decade, a significant proportion of NIIS bodies keeps reporting deficits or overspends (Audit Commission, 2006 2008). Also, more of these deficits and overspends are significant in size.`

Many reviews and stories to look out for, Straight from the newspapers

Labour's secret plan to send overweight children to NHS fat camps
- Laura Donnelly, September 6, 2009 [Telegraph UK]
Burnham Forgets 230,000 on List
- Macer Hall, August 14, 2009 [Daily Express (UK)]
£1.2bn bill for the bureaucrat army within the NHS
- Jenny Hope, August 13, 2009 [Daily Mail (UK)]
Couples Face an IVF Postcode Lottery
- Katherine Fenech, August 6, 2009 [Daily Express (UK)]
Kidney cancer patients denied life-saving drugs by NHS rationing body NICE
- April 29, 2009 [Daily Mail (UK)]
Girl, 3, has heart operation cancelled three times because of bed shortage
- David Rose, April 23, 2009 [Times Online]
Number of children going to hospital to have teeth pulled soars by 66% since 1997
- Daniel Martin and Cher Thornhill, April 12, 2009 [Daily Mail (UK)]
NHS 'failings' over elderly falls
- March 25, 2009 [BBC]
Learning disabled 'failed by NHS'
- Nick Triggle, March 24, 2009 [BBC]
Cancer survivor confronts the health secretary on 62-day wait
- Lyndsay Moss, March 21, 2009 [The Scotsman]
Culture of targets prevents nurses from tending to patients
- Claire Rayner, President of the Patients Association, March 21, 2009 [Telegraph UK]
Children being failed by health system, says head of watchdog
- Sarah Boseley, March 21, 2009 [Guardian Unlimited]
Our cancer shame: Survival rates still lag behind EU despite spending billions
- Jenny Hope, March 20, 2009 [Daily Mail(UK)]
Failing hospital 'caused deaths'
- March 17, 2009 [BBC]
Health gap drive 'wasted money'
- Nick Triggle, March 14, 2009 [BBC]
Longer GP opening hours branded wasteful 'PR exercise' by doctors
- Lyndsay Moss, March 13, 2009 [The Scotsman]
"Political meddling" threatens general practice, warns GP leader
- March 13, 2009 [Management in Practice (UK)]
Children at risk through lack of training for doctors and nurses, report warns
- Rebecca Smith, March 13, 2009 [Telegraph UK]

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