Have we become too accepting as a society, it certainly feels like this within the UK, this week I turn my frustration to towards the government and in particular the NHS.
The NHS or for my American followers the National Health Service was founded on the 5th July back in 1948 – at the ripe old age of 67 things have progressed, changed, evaporated and often become forgotten.
Offering free medical treatment and emergency services for more than 64.1 million people currently living within the UK, it is on the edge of existence, with increasing costs, reducing funds and an ever increasing population something has to give.
Back in 1948 the NHS ran with a budget off £437 million or in todays equivalent this was approximately £9 billion – the operating budget for 2015/16 is £115.4 billion.
I am in no position to criticise or to comment on the services they provide, my experience to date (37 years) has been nothing but praise, but from an outsider looking in there seem to be some obvious improvements, certainly to reduce spend and re-generate or invest into the future.
It is currently estimated that the NHS spends £750 million a year on its energy costs alone, through simple changes such as efficient lighting, solar panels and efficient boilers this could be reduced by £150 million or a 20% saving. I know the obvious question is who is going to pay for this, yet each year our local councils and those within Parliament are spending money like an 18 year old lottery winner.
In 2013 a local council spent £19,000 on hiring a ‘motivational magician’ the District Council in question was the Cotswald’s. £3 million was spent on biscuits within Parliament I am not here calling all MP’s fat bastards but seriously £3 million on biscuits. It becomes ludicrous when you really dive into the detail and the facts, for example The Home Office in 2012 spent £427,000 on rubber bullets – yet no Police Authority in the land is authorised to use them.
I would agree that as a nation we must help those around us – however spending £720,000 on professional actors by the Prison Service to help inmates with interview skills is a piss take. Yes re-habilitation is important but not when the above sum would have paid for a further 33 junior nurses.
Re-evaluation has to be taken on our NHS and how we can reduce costs and improve the service offering, last year missed appointments cost the NHS over £1 billion pound, every UK citizen is issued with a National Insurance number, our European travellers have an EU card, personally every individual who misses an appointment should be fined, I am unsure of the amount but I do believe this can be easily managed.
For those in employment a missed appointment charge would be taken through you NI deductions during payroll, for those on benefits (i do question that they actually qualify) however the deduction should be taken out of there weekly/monthly benefits total.
I make it sounds so simple, but change needs to happen and quickly.