Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The NHS is no longer the envy of the world

Ever wondered why more and more people feel the need to take out private health insurance? Well, ask yourself this: If 90 people were killed in a network of private hospitals because of poor hygiene, would you take your business there? But when the same thing happens in our state run hospitals, people shrug their shoulders and life carries on.

It never ceases to amaze me how a country like Britain that is so free market oriented runs a health care system that is like something out of the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, our French neighbours, despite their supposed hostility to capitalism, run a public healthcare system where everyone get healthcare, and people get to choose where they're treated, yet many of the services are provided by the private sector. Isn't it about time we had a more mature debate about the NHS? All too often, it's presented as a simple choice between a centralised state run health system versus and an American style private health system. In reality, you can quite easily have a mixture of the two as they do in continental Europe.

Would you fly with an airline that had a poor safety record? So why should you be forced to go to a filthy hospital? In continental Europe you have a choice, why can't we have the same here?