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So what to do with the NHS?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by dumpty, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    The chair of the BMA referenced the report from The Health Foundation and The Institute of Fiscal Studies.


    The difference is not as great as you recalled:

    UK has 2.8 doctors per 1000 of the population
    France has 3.3 doctors per 1000 of the population

    Of course, the French spend significantly more on their health provision (11% of GDP) than we do (9.6% of GDP).
  2. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Well obvs, my priority might be a new job or a nicer flat but that doesn't figure in any party's manifesto.

    But the NHS, that's my priority for society - along with other public services - and thus I will vote for a party who shares those priorities. Maybe that's an odd thing to do.
  3. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    So for every 100 doctors we have, per 1000 population, France has almost 18 more.
    And spends, in terms of GDP, 114% of what we do.
  4. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I Don
    People might have priorities of staying healthy or getting well that do not require input from the NHS but may save the NHS money, the extent to which the NHS provides for society is clearly what's being discussed as well as how it can be done and for how long. The dividing line comes along through this spectrum of services for voters and I guess that's why this thread was started so not necessarily obvious either. Quite often we are unaware of what we can do personally and collectively especially when we are busy identifying reasons why we can't do.
  5. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Exactly. And, more to the point, we are trying to fund it the same way as 70 years ago. With an ageing population this is untenable; a new funding system needs to be found. What it is, I don’t know. Maybe we need to extend what has been done for dental services and bring in a charge for consultations with a GP, even if only a couple of pounds (which could be waived for ongoing visits). That would be seen as beyond the pale by many, especially given theNHS was set up to be free at the point of contact, but something needs to be done.
  6. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    In the majority of cases IVF is not really something chosen by those undergoing it; it is the result of something going medically wrong - and things going medically wrong is exactly what the NHS was set up for. Many IVF treatments are paid for by the patients anyway. Most NHS trusts only offer one free round before the patients pay (some offer none). Getting the balance of drugs correct is not easy and the majority of first cycles don’t work so people have to then find upwards of £2000 to go through the process again. And even if a cycle is successful, any subsequent cycles have to be paid for, even if it is defrosting stored embryos.

    1 in 6 couples have trouble conceiving and may need to go through IVF. You probably, therefore, have many friends who have gone through it.
    Burndenpark likes this.
  7. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I don't really understand the point you are making here, @needabreak. Part of the NHS' problem is that it's a victim of its success. Its ability to patch people up after their silly lifestyle choices left them in need of medical assistance only tells a part of the story. Decisions made by corporations in search of greater profit, have a massive negative impact on the overall state of the nations' health, but it can take decades for the effect of those decisions to be both identified and obtain the political will to deal with them.

    I have a lovely story to relate about how a corporation tried to use NHS resources to test a new type of cigarette, with the aim of proving it less harmful than the other cigarettes it produced, possibly even hoping there could be some health benefits associated with smoking them.

    They funded a trial in the hospital I worked in, which by a fluke of chance, spectacularly backfired on them. They needed volunteers prepared to smoke both types of fags and have their lung function tested beore and after.

    This was when house prices started to go through the roof. We had a few smokers in the physics department who were desperate to save enough money to put a deposit on a mortgage for a home down before they became unaffordable, so the chance of a free fag was dream come true.

    I wasn't a smoker myself back then and had already got onto the housing ladder, so the smoking trial had little interest to me, however I had witnessed how a colleage I shared the workshop with, had a wonderful way of getting things done in a telephone call. That guy could charm the nuts off a tree.

    I leant how he did it and used it to my advantage ever since, so I tutored the smokers how to go about charming the technician tasked with conducting the smoking tests how to go about getting her to let them have the rest of the packet the test fags came from.

    I need to explain that the lung function tests were being done with the aid of a spirometer, which at that time was an expensive mechanical device that plotted the results of the test onto graph paper, which then needed to be interpreted by someone who understood maths well enough to be able to calculate what the graph meant.

    My best student was an electronics whizkid, who once tutored in the gift of the gab, managed to get all the fags he's need; and save the money he need for the deposit on his first home, but it was through ownership of knowing how to charm the technician, that he was always able to jump the queue at being a guinea pig.

    Consequently he spent a fair bit of time in the Respiratory Medicine Dept, learned what it was all about and thought to himself "There has to be a simpler and cheaper way of doing these tests, so he invented the world's first electronic spirometer.

    He subsequently became a multi-millionare, but more importantly, the device he invented, made spirometry available to all. What was once only found in hospitals like the one I worked in who could afford to own spirometers, became available to every hospital and nowadays GP surgeries have them.

    It made it far simpler for GPs to prove to people suffering the consequences of smoking-related diseases, the part that smoking was playing in their ill heath and encourage them to give up.

    How about that? A trial sponsored by a tobacco company in the hope of making a profit, resulted in a circuitous way of assisting smoking cessation.

    As an aside, there was a factory I drove past every day on the way to work called Molins. https://www.molins.com/en

    A few years after I left the NHS, the factory closed down. By then I had set up my engineering business, which was making all manner of stuff for advancing where the future of respiratory medicine might lead and the flow transducers that the electronic spirometers relied on.

    There was a gifted engineer who had worked all his life at the Molins factory and was made redundant when it closed, who lived near where I did and advertised for sale, a variety of the engineering tools he'd never use again.

    When I went round to buy them, he explained a lot about the technology that goes into making cigarettes. Those of us who rolled our own, might find it difficult to appreciate how fast a cigarette machine does it. In the time it takes you to roll a fag, a machine would have made ten thousand of them. Every single one identical and perfect, but if you look at a fag and know a bit about how difficult it actually is to make stuff, you'll marvel at the skill required to produce a cigarette manufacturing machine.

    It wasn't just the tools he sold that were invaluable to me at various points. The conversation about his time at Molins helped me rethink how I could improve the ways I was making stuff that would ultimately play a part in smoking cessation.

    As I said in another thread today, the paths our lives take, are influenced my by chance than design.
  8. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    I don't see this as a priority for the NHS, nor the world generally. Encouraging depopulation ought to be a priority if we are to take tackling anthropogenic climate change seriously.
    lanokia likes this.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You cannot depopulate in the next 50+ years without removing living people.

    However, fertility rates have been falling for 60 years, with many parts of the world at or below replacement level, so that's great progress.


    Climate change is a consumption problem, not a population problem.
  10. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Put another record on.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    towncryer and needabreak like this.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Just posting the facts.
    Burndenpark likes this.
  12. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Where would we be without our daily dose of soma?
    towncryer and needabreak like this.
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Free to talk nonsense dressed up as fact.
  14. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    It was a hypothetical question; not a fact? Rather than replaying that second rate punk single for the umpteenth time, you might instead reflect for a fleeting moment before hitting repeat.
    towncryer and needabreak like this.
  15. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Okay, given that we need to be at zero carbon energy by about 2035, how will "depopulation" occur by then and assist us in meeting that target
  16. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    That fleeting moment. Did it pass you by?
    needabreak likes this.
  17. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Priority was the question ( check back page 1). My brother died prematurely aged 56, in part owing to a prolonged waiting list. I trust your daughter fared well.
  18. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I wouldn't worry about it as it went off topic when I was advised how I should decide who to vote for.
  19. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Oh OK.
    needabreak likes this.
  20. ajrowing

    ajrowing Lead commenter

    Given that she had the cosmetic surgery the same day that I suggested it, the NHS doctors involved clearly prioritised it, were they wrong? Edit to add, it was the first thing the doctor who carried it out did after his morning ward round, suggesting perhaps his highest priority of the day?

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