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Peterm1000

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You assume though that everyone is against changes? What's wrong with change, it isn't always for the worse.

Speaking personally (though I know I am not alone), I think the NHS/PHE is a shambles and not fit for purpose. We pay too much money for a sub-par service that is revered like a religion in this country despite very poor outcomes in many diseases. It has too many bureaucrats and is too centralised making it clunky and slow to act as we have seen to our cost in the last year. Scare stories about privatisation prevent us from having the proper conversations needed to reform the NHS.
The UK spends substantially less on health than all other G7 members except 1. However, the percentage of that spend that is publicly funded (i.e. the NHS) is one of the highest in the world. In other words, to have a truly great health service, we need to pay more. But other countries have individuals pay that rather than the state. So - either raise taxes, have people buy private healthcare insurance or stop complaining about the service we get.

I am sure there are efficiencies that can be made, but I doubt they add up to more than 10% and to get a top quality health service will need more than 10%.
 

Rorschach

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The UK spends substantially less on health than all other G7 members except 1. However, the percentage of that spend that is publicly funded (i.e. the NHS) is one of the highest in the world. In other words, to have a truly great health service, we need to pay more. But other countries have individuals pay that rather than the state. So - either raise taxes, have people buy private healthcare insurance or stop complaining about the service we get.

I am sure there are efficiencies that can be made, but I doubt they add up to more than 10% and to get a top quality health service will need more than 10%.
I wasn't talking about our spend as a figure/% I was talking about how we spend too much for the service we get, i.e it is very poor value for the taxpayer.

I have no problem paying more tax if the service we get reflected what was put into it. As Phil rightly pointed out, if the NHS was so great why are we the only country in the world to use this system and clearly it isn't the best as the results show.
 

Phil Pascoe

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"Thirdly, the European Commission is an entirely appointed institution, not democratically elected, and it has the monopoly of proposing laws ..."

Yes, I know how it works - that's why I voted to get the hell out of it. :LOL:
 

Jacob

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"Thirdly, the European Commission is an entirely appointed institution, not democratically elected, and it has the monopoly of proposing laws ..."

Yes, I know how it works - that's why I voted to get the hell out of it. :LOL:
If that really was the issue for brexiters (it wasn't) then it should have been item one of the brexit negotiations (it wasn't) and the process of improving EU democracy could have been pushed forwards.
In fact I doubt one in a thousand brexiters even noticed details like this in the first place, so well spotted Phil!
Hope you are happy with the way things are panning out. Presumably Cornish fishing is really flourishing now?
 
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Jacob

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One big issue with brexit is yet to come; that is how brexit voters are going to face the fact that it was all a dreadful mistake.
Many are saying it already.
Johnson and co will blame all and sundry for the failings.
Just have to hope the disappointed don't get too angry and take to the streets.
 

MarkDennehy

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I'm not sure I understand the level of distaste at EU officials being appointed when it's the UK government that appoints them...
I mean, I get the disconnect between voting for your local representative and your local representative apointing an EU official, but you have the same disconnect between your vote in a general election and who the PM is - you don't get a vote in the latter at all, the winning party in the Commons decides that. It's the same level of disconnection between the ballot box and the office whether you're talking about the EU commissioners or the PM/Chancellor/Ministers in the UK government (or the Taoiseach/Tánaiste/Ministers in the Irish government).

(I'm not defending that disconnect, btw, I think it's a bad thing; but I don't see how the EU is worse than local government by the metric of disconnection)
 
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doctor Bob

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One big issue with brexit is yet to come; that is how brexit voters are going to face the fact that it was all a dreadful mistake.
Many are saying it already.
Johnson and co will blame all and sundry for the failings.
Just have to hope the disappointed don't get too angry and take to the streets.
Have you been on the sauce again.
 

Terry - Somerset

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There is more than just the UK model of how democracy works:
  • first past the post is not the only democratically fair way of electing political leaders - it has strengths and weaknesses
  • holding ministers accountable for all that happens within their department is, bluntly, daft. They are a figurehead; the knowledge, experience, implementation etc sits with the civil service
The EU places more power in the hands of permanent (generally very able) unelected officials, and makes elected politicians responsible for strategy, direction, budgets. This has much to commend it. MEPs are sometimes deficient in holding the commission properly to account.

From what I saw the EU managed the Brexit negotiations far, far better than the UK. The members agreed strategy and negotiating stance with one focal point (Barnier). Any individual national interests were resolved largely below the radar.

Contrast that with the UK - political sniping, court cases, proroguing parliament, changes of leadership and negotiating team etc etc. A complete shambles whatever the outcome preferred.

This is not to suggest the UK should move to an EU style of democratic process - but in this case it was abundantly more effective.
 

selectortone

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The EU places more power in the hands of permanent (generally very able) unelected officials, and makes elected politicians responsible for strategy, direction, budgets. This has much to commend it. MEPs are sometimes deficient in holding the commission properly to account.
Well, if we are to believe TV series like "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister", and more recently "The Thick Of It", our government is run along similar lines, with most of the real power wielded by (unelected) Permanant Secretaries and their many minions.
 

sploo

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You assume though that everyone is against changes? What's wrong with change, it isn't always for the worse.

Speaking personally (though I know I am not alone), I think the NHS/PHE is a shambles and not fit for purpose. We pay too much money for a sub-par service that is revered like a religion in this country despite very poor outcomes in many diseases. It has too many bureaucrats and is too centralised making it clunky and slow to act as we have seen to our cost in the last year. Scare stories about privatisation prevent us from having the proper conversations needed to reform the NHS.
It depends on the change. Certainly the NHS is a large inefficient organisation, but the main current problems are a decade of underfunding.

My other half is an NHS doctor, who's also worked in both German and US hospitals. Believe me, you don't want a privatised commercial system like the US.

Ironically, as she (the "boss") points out; in the UK system you have a central NHS contract, so you don't really have much power (as a doctor) to say "screw you, I'm going to a different hospital for a better deal". A privatised system of hospitals (like in the US), each with their own contracts, would potentially be a good thing for doctors; hospitals would have to compete on benefits, salaries, working conditions, and equipment. Certainly she believes she'd be paid much more in that system.

However, she absolutely does not want that to happen - because the burden of financing then falls on the patient. Hospitals will compete to perform profitable procedures, and actively avoid the "pointless" stuff (such as looking after someone as they're dying of cancer). You also end up with the population either having to pay for medical insurance (significantly more expensive than their outlay under the current UK system), or face having no cover and being bankrupt as a result of illness.

However, if you are wealthy, and especially if you are wealthy and in a position to benefit from selling off a publicly funded NHS, then such privatisation is very attractive. That's far more likely to be the end game for those on the right wing of the economic spectrum (such as the current Tory government). The idea that those individuals would seek to "reform" the NHS to make it better for "the people" is fanciful, and at odds with their long term program of defunding it.

So - you're absolutely right; change isn't always for the worse. However, the kind of change (for the NHS, rights of UK workers, food standards) that we're likely to see in our current political situation will almost certainly be very much for the worse for the common plebs like us.
 

selectortone

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Here's my experience of NHS vs Private Healthcare:

When my late wife was first diagnosed with cancer it was in an NHS hospital. She received initial treatment via the NHS until I cleared it with the private health insurer I had with the company I worked for. Once I got the OK, her treatment was transferred to the much smaller private hospital on the other side ot the road (Poole General vs The Harbour Hospital for those who are interested). I was a little surprised to find that the oncologist and surgeon who looked after her were the same two doctors she had had at the NHS hospital. While she was undergoing chemotherapy I could see them scuttling across the road between the two hospitals. While chatting to one of the nurses one day she told me that all the physicians worked for both. And when it came to radiotherapy, or use of any other large equipment like MRI scanners, they wheeled my wife over to the NHS hospital to use their machines.

Now, I loved my wife dearly (still do) and I wasn't about to question these practices, but it was always in the back of my mind that we were, effectively, jumping the queue for these machines. In the end she died anyway after a long and painful time, in 2005, so it's moot.

She had a private room at the Harbour Hospital, her own TV and phone, posh menu, ensuite toilet. But when it boiled down to it she received exactly the same treatment, by the same physicians, as she would have done under the NHS, just more luxuriously.

That's experience No 1, here's experience No2:

A couple of years ago my daughter, who was staying with me at the time, had a minor operation that involved a general anaesthetic. She has private healthcare through her company and the op was carried out at another local private hospital. Very nice.. private room, shower in the loo, choice of lunch.... all very posh.

Brought her home at 5pm. Throughout the evening she was a bit breathless and in the morning she was like a severe asthmatic, couldn't catch her breath at all. I called the private hospital and they told me to take her to Bournemouth General, the closest A&E. (I thought... WTF??? but did as I was told)

You read all these stories about 3 hour waits in A&E, well, they take problems with anaesthesia very seriously. We were there 5 minutes when the triage nurse called her. Got a summary of her symptoms and she was being wheeled to the Major unit two minutes later. The Major unit is for "serious injuries and illnesses". She was seen immediately by an intern, then a doctor, then a consultant. A pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) was initially suspected but quickly ruled out by a blood test (done and results returned within 15 minutes) and a chest X-ray indicated pulmonary oedema (fluid on the lungs) - probably caused by a bad reaction to anaesthetic administered at the private hospital. She was then transferred to the AMU (Acute Medical Unit) for observation. Happily, her breathing got back to normal over night and she was discharged the next day.

I had nothing but admiration for NHS workers even before covis. It's off the scale now.
 

Rorschach

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One big issue with brexit is yet to come; that is how brexit voters are going to face the fact that it was all a dreadful mistake.
Many are saying it already.
Johnson and co will blame all and sundry for the failings.
Just have to hope the disappointed don't get too angry and take to the streets.
You wanna get yourself down to Radio Rentals, your record is still broken.
 

Phil Pascoe

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... She had a private room at the Harbour Hospital, her own TV and phone, posh menu, ensuite toilet. But when it boiled down to it she received exactly the same treatment, by the same physicians, as she would have done under the NHS, just more luxuriously ...
My mother asked her consultant what the difference would be - the treatment's exactly the same, done by the same people - but you'll have a nicer room afterwards.
 

Jacob

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My mother asked her consultant what the difference would be - the treatment's exactly the same, done by the same people - but you'll have a nicer room afterwards.
And when it's a bit more advanced she would have the option of paying for the nicer room ahead of the queues, or waiting longer getting a less nice one cheaper.
 
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