New scaremongering over cost of NHS ignores vast possibilities for change

The NHS budget would have to rise by two per cent every year until 2066 to be balanced, the OBS said. [Image: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images].

You didn’t think the NHS crisis would go away just because Theresa Mayfly made a (poor) speech about Brexit, did you?

Not a bit of it! The Tory government and all its stooges have a lot more scaremongering to do, if they’re going to get you to accept privatisation of healthcare and make you start paying health insurance.

(That will be on top of the tax and National Insurance you currently pay for the NHS, because you can bet they aren’t going to cut your taxes any time soon.)

Today’s turn of the screw has it that the NHS will need an extra £88 billion in funding over the next 50 years because medicines and treatments are going to become more expensive and more of us are going to need them.

That is, of course, a preposterous statement.

It assumes that nothing will be done to alleviate the causes of funding pressure on the health service – and that would only be true if the Conservatives stayed in office for the next 50 years, inflicting their wretched rule. They should come with a health warning: “Tories can seriously damage your health.”

This is demonstrably true. Remember when then-Health minister Alistair Burt filibustered a bill that would have provided cheap and effective drugs for the NHS by compelling the Government to seek new licences for medicines that were not covered by patents but which could benefit patients? He probably added billions to the 2067 cost of the NHS, right there.

There are other ways to reduce costs besides the price of medicines, though. For a start – ending bed-blocking. How many healthy people are in hospital beds because there are no care homes for them and their own family members (if they have any) simply won’t have them?

That can be solved very easily, with a little funding for social care, and a little education for family members. There are advantages to having somebody at home all the time, especially a senior citizen, that some families do not realise. I shall not go over those arguments here, but be assured that they are good.

Over time, it is likely that fewer people will fall victim to some health threats, because information enabling their prevention will become available. That should reduce the burden on the health service and prevention is always better than cure.

Some health threats, of course, happen because of workplace conditions created and supported by Conservative policy. Light-touch regulation means companies are able to flout the Health and Safety at Work Act, leading to accidents and also long-term health needs caused by poor conditions in the workplace.

Low pay causes stress, mental illness and also physical illness, as workers struggle to make ends meet. It also causes low productivity and harms profitability, although Tory-supporting bosses get upset whenever that is explained to them.

Proper regulation and decent pay would solve a majority of these workplace problems.

Finally, there is the spectre of private health companies and the huge amounts of money they are stealing from the public health system. Eliminating them – and the bureaucracy that supports them – would free more than £22 billion today. Who knows how badly they’ll be fleecing us in 2067, given the chance?

None of the above requires a breakthrough in medical science.

All it needs is the will to do things in a better way – starting with the removal of the Conservative government that is the cause of so much illness.

Get rid of the Tories and we could – literally – save a fortune.

The NHS budget will need to increase by £88bn over the next 50 years, meaning governments could have to raise taxes or cut spending in other areas to fund it, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said.

The soaring costs threaten to render public finances generally “unsustainable”, according to the OBR’s latest fiscal sustainability report. It says the government could find it hard to deliver on its pledge to balance the budget during the next parliament.

The NHS’s budget will need to increase from £140bn in 2020-21 to about £228bn by 2066-67 in order to keep pace with the rising demand for healthcare, according to the OBR’s projections.

Source: NHS will need £88bn extra by 2067, says OBR forecast | Society | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “New scaremongering over cost of NHS ignores vast possibilities for change

  1. jeffrey davies

    hmm while all around the big companies get bigger tax relief from our pot of taxes not theirs they robbing our tax wealth which we all paid into to theres enough for the peasants but these gredie swines want the lot wake up before branson sauce gets dumped on us all

  2. Dez

    It is not clear if these predicted costs are inclusive of any impact of wholesale major privatisations. This is where actual costs are increased by actual costs added to which will be fat profits including fat cat salaries and bonus payments of course for screwing the taxpayers. Lastly the bad news huge reduction in quality and care as they slash the costs of running the basic services. Privatisation of the dental service is good example of what will transpire. The reason they want to fast track it all is once the deed is done it will never be able to put the NHS back together again.

  3. Barry Davies

    Well just getting rid of the tories wouldn’t help because labour are as bad when it comes to provision of health and social care, and no one else currently looks likely to break the big two’s grip on power. May’s decent speech about Brexit was never going to make any difference to the abysmal way the NHS is currently run.

    No one doubts there is an advantage to having someone at home, especially if you have been discharged from hospital but are unable to care for yourself, unfortunately these days the idea of the nuclear family being available is outdated many families are fragmented due to movement s with work or to find it, and as we have had decades of being told even the terminally ill have to work society as a whole tends to look down on people staying at home even to look after sick relatives, so that is another mythical expectation.

    The term bed blockers is used by those with little insight into the reality of the situation. There is far to much privatisation, or outsourcing to use the governments terminology in the NHS and until this is reversed the trusts are all dissolved and the extraneous bodies set up to run a private health service are removed we will carry on wasting money.

    It has come to my attention that the role of the health visitor is to be abolished, most people think they take over where the midwife leaves off and tracks early life development, but they also have a major input into the care of the elderly at home, another nail in the coffin for getting people out of hospital and back into their own homes, when they need more help than even a local and available family member can give.

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