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The NHS is seventy years old

The NHS is seventy years old

Is it time for retirement?

From its humble beginnings, the NHS is now the 5th largest employer in the world – only behind major corporates like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. Interestingly these two are the only non-state run companies in the top five. With a workforce of 1.7 million and varying standards around the country, it’s an easy target for criticism.

Every year the cost of the NHS increases as a result of growing demand and more money is given to support it. Wal–Mart would simply build another branch or online distribution to meet the same demand. So how do you manage this demand? There are two options normally considered – withdraw from sale or place a premium on the product or service in question. So here is where the difficulty actually is. The NHS service has an emotional attachment, so following any decision, whatever the outcome it will be an extremely unpopular one. Yet still, the fact remains that the NHS as it is now is not sustainable and cannot continue.

So is there an answer?

The future of progressive healthcare lies with smaller businesses being able to react quickly without the ties of red tape. With the help of today’s technology and easier collaboration, funding opportunities and the vast amount of expertise available in the community as a whole, pressure could be relieved where it is strongest – such as A&E departments and physiotherapy waiting lists.

An ageing population requires more medication, more equipment and more care. Most people believe in and support the NHS but when it comes to their own health or that of their family or friends, views may change. If something is available locally at a reasonable cost, especially when it avoids long waiting times – would it be sufficient?

 

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