So, there we have it; an international report confirms that Britain’s NHS is second rate in European terms. For years we had to listen to the insufferably smug Gordon Brown and his cronies telling us proudly how much money was being “invested” in the NHS, how wonderful it was, how we should be proud and so on. Now we learn that all this vast investment has merely kept us well behind the best standards in Europe.
- not enough doctors; one of the lowest ratios in Europe
- doctors paid too much; one of the highest rates in Europe
- people seeing doctors only 5 times a year, compared to for example 14 in Japan (even though the Japanese are far healthier than we fatties)
- not enough cancer scanners, as they are too expensive
- more avoidable deaths than our European partners
- fewer acute care beds than other OECD countries
- infant mortality rates among the highest in Europe
- life expectancy among the lowest, particularly for women
- the seventh most inefficient health system in the OECD
Britain is an overcrowded, demographically-imbalanced country with high numbers of immigrants (up to 80% of classes in some London schools are immigrants and half the population of London was not born in the UK) and with a serious obesity and alcohol-abuse problem, so the pressures and demands on the NHS are enormous.
What doesn’t help is the failure to recognize all this and/or the factors revealed in the report but to indulge for years as the Labour Party did in the self-satisfied delusion that their tsunami of ill-judged expenditure in the NHS was effective. The service is in fact second rate compared to our competitors, and only when this is accepted can we hope to start putting things right.
There is a peculiar mentality in Britain whereby if one complains about something shoddy one is often told to stop complaining, to be positive, to be supportive … in other words, tow the PC line. Perhaps it’s time that angry complaining about what is wrong should be welcomed rather than continuing to wallow in the smug complacency typical of the last government.