The UK National Health Service is getting worse, but it seems more money is being spent on it

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by kazenatsu, Mar 25, 2024.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I've taken a look at statistics for the National Healthcare Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (UK), which provides government-run healthcare to the UK population.

    Everyone knows the services at the NHS are getting worse and the system is underfunded. But at the same time the statistics show that more and more money is being spent on it.


    UK GDP 2000 1.666 trillion (in USD) (equivalent to 2.293 in 2015)
    UK GDP 2015 2.935 trillion (in USD)

    100 USD in 2000 is equivalent in purchasing power to 137.64 USD in 2015
    £100 in 2000 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £151.83 in 2015

    UK population
    58.89 million (2000)
    65.12 million (2015)

    2.293 trillion GDP / 58.89 million population = 38937 per capita (in USD)
    2.935 trillion GDP / 65.12 million population = 45070 per capita (in USD)

    Annual public healthcare spending per capita in the United Kingdom (UK) (in GBP)
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/472940/public-health-spending-united-kingdom-uk/
    2000 1,021.65 (GBP) (equivalent to 1,551.17 in 2015)
    2015 2,316.95 (GBP)

    "In 2022/23, health spending in the United Kingdom was 3,085 British pounds per capita"
    Government spending on health per capita UK 2023, by region
    Published by D. Clark, Jan 4, 2024



    related thread: NHS overburdened and overcrowded (British Socialised Healthcare) (posted in Healthcare, Apr 16, 2022)


    I can advance a possible theory. Expenses are getting higher due to increasing land and housing costs, which is due to increasing population and many city areas becoming overcrowded.

    This means the UK is becoming poorer in land, and in housing infrastructure (per person). So despite more money being spent (and seeming wealth), it is possible increases in NHS spending has not kept pace with this effect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
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  2. Ddyad

    Ddyad Well-Known Member

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    People need more money for healthcare, and less government. NHS has always been a dangerous boondoggle.
     
  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    While I don't disagree with you, I don't think that is really the issue here.

    The issue is why are things growing worse in the NHS.
     
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  4. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That is a possible factor but I doubt it's a major one and would be one of many.

    It is true that NHS/UK Healthcare spending (which aren't necessarily exactly the same thing) continue to increase in real terms, though in 2000-2015 you have picked the period of the greatest increases (coincidentally I'm sure :cool: ).

    It is a complex an multifaceted topic though but I think there are a couple of major factors. First related to healthcare in the developed world in general. Medical science over the last hundred years has progressed massively. The scale and scope of diagnosis, treatment and, significantly, management would be unrecognition only a few decades ago, but much of that capability also costs an unrecognisable amount of money.

    Take cancer for example. Fifty years ago or so, a cancer diagnosis would come relatively late and would often be an effective death sentence. There would be limited viable treatment beyond palliative care (which isn't even entirely funded by the NHS) and sadly, that wouldn't usually need to be for very long. Today is vastly different. Various improvements in testing, screening and general awareness means cancer is typically diagnosed very early, meaning the wide range of available treatments are effective and we are now at the point where the majority of cancer patients survive. Of course, that requires a lot more funding, both in screening, actual treatment and ongoing support to cover after effects and possible relapse.

    General public health is another global issue, though one the UK is among countries where is it especially bad (though that includes the US as well). Modern diet and lifestyles aren't especially good, social pressures seem to impact physical and mental health more and, ironically, the improvements in diagnosis and treatment mentioned above means we have ever more older people receiving ongoing healthcare to manage chronic conditions (diabetes is a classic example of that).

    These facts impact all healthcare systems, it's just that how those effects present themselves and how immediately apparent they are, will vary significantly depending on the underlying system. Some aspects of how the NHS is funded and managed have a greater negative effect in these things, primarily I think due to it being bound to the whims of political cycles (usually the five-year election cycle we have but in recent years, much shorter). All of the alternative systems have their own unique consequences and difficulties though, and the idea some kind of massive shift in how healthcare in the UK is run could unequivocally bring massive benefit is false.
     
  5. Ddyad

    Ddyad Well-Known Member

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    Improving government is rather like pushing molasses uphill in winter.

    "George Bernard Shaw once said: "Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force." When liberals make the argument that capitalism is the cause of all of our problems, they are either speaking out of abject ignorance or being totally disingenuous to protect their own political interests.
    We have not had true free-market capitalism in this country on any wide scale. Where we have had economic successes in this nation's history, it has been those times when people have done something outside of the government's involvement. Every single time the federal government has been involved, it has created chaos, waste, and corruption. The historical record is overwhelmingly one of gross incompetence." — Ziad K. Abdelnour
     
  6. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member Donor

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    Because it's run by administrators for administrators overseen by administrators. The NHS is beset with internal issues caused by administrators, unions and bad practise....
    West Kent Hospital trust is verging on bankrupt so in order to save money they hire a team of administrators to look at cost cutting...the administrators then figure out that they can get cheaper medical instruments from India when buying in bulk which they do.....plastic No10 surgical scalpels for example arrives all bagged in bulk 1000 at a time....not individually/sterile sealed...all in one sealed box...you open the box and then you have 999 unsterile instruments which you can't re-sterilise....in fact most of the kit on order is so cheap it's not really fit for purpose....but hey....it's cheap right! Which is all the administrators wanted so that they can show they've achieved a cost reduction target and are paid a bonus for that!! See the problem.....and that's typical....

    But the main issue with the NHS is that its a political tool...it's the third rail of British politics....touch it...you die. It badly needs re-vamping, reforming and re-designing for the modern age but unfortunately nobody will because nobody wants to commit political suicide. The model no longer works but nobody has the ability to re-form it
     
  7. Ddyad

    Ddyad Well-Known Member

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    Deadly Big Government Boondoggles like NHS cannot be fixed through "reform".

    "Nor should the risks of this new plan be underestimated. NHS restructuring rarely works out as intended, as I know from my own experience. We must avoid the jobs merry-go-round that happened last time, with managers accepting huge redundancy payments only to be re-employed a few months later. The politics, too, are risky, with Labour always tempted to turn any reforms into a secret privatisation conspiracy story. However, I would not expect that from the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, given his strong track record of constructive opposition."
    THE GUARDIAN, An NHS shakeup could be revolutionary – but only if staffing levels are boosted too, If this is to be a ‘1948 moment’, ministers and health leaders must ensure it is not just a reshuffling of the deckchairs, By Jeremy Hunt, 15 Feb 2021.
    https://www.theguardian.com/comment...shakeup-staffing-levels-ministers-jeremy-hunt
     
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