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NHS vs. Red Cross - a humanitarian crisis?

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  • Having used both, the French 'model' takes some beating imo

    Thanks to our membership of the EU of course...

    As for privatisation of the NHS, now lets see....

    Which health systems are considered to be providing better outcomes for most of their citizens at the current time? I believe it's generally true to say that the French, German Austrian and Scandibloc systems are rated as such. Are they privatised? Nope

    Is there a "privatised" model we can study? Yes. The USA. Right...

    On the other hand, those Euro models are all insurance based. As my old boss, one of the three Powell political brothers, wrote back in the mid 90s, perhaps we should combine the best of both, because we actually "do" insurance quite efficiently as a country, and it is said that at GP level at least, the insurance system makes people think twice before going to the GP for a chat, because they will have to reclaim a fee on their insurance.

  • Not sure why you had to quote my post for that rant.
  • Not sure why you had to quote my post for that rant.

    Because you mentioned the French system and your experience of it. Obviously.

    And what is ranty about comparing different models and wondering whether we can learn something from them?

  • Don't feed it, it'll keep coming back.

    Ooh good lefty put down. 457 points earned.
  • Don't feed it, it'll keep coming back.

    Ooh good lefty put down. 457 points earned.
    Bless your little cotton socks.
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  • Australia seeks to reduce costs by cutting the number of people that see a patient before they leave hospital.

    Oh we are doing that here too! The target number is 0.
  • There is currently no incentive for the NHS to become efficient. It is everything that is wrong with socialism. Is there any institution as bloated as the NHS which consumes more and more money every year for no perceivable benefit?

    Other than keeping people alive.

    We spend a decreasing ratio of our wealth on the NHS courtesy of Austerity. We are the 6th richest nation in the world. Perhaps the organisation is innefficient but why not commission a Royal Commission rather than continually reduce budgets without any research into its effects. Australia seeks to reduce costs by cutting the number of people that see a patient before they leave hospital.
    I'm old enough to remember us being the 5th richest in the world.
    I might have started that one back on page one. Given the California has recently surpassed France, it's only a matter of time. We're taking you down!!!! We have avocados.
  • I wanted to take a brief interlude to post a couple article from Dr. Jen Gunter, who has twice now had to visit NHS A&E and explains how far ahead of the US system it is. It's been a while now, but I have been treated under NHS. It is of course far from perfect, and I still hear stories of the ridiculous wait times from friends. But it is something you should be proud of. By all means keep discussing ways to improve it, as it desperately needs improvement. But do not forget that you have done what many countires have tried and failed to do.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/nhs-american-doctor-privitisation-i-have-a-message-a7207706.html

    https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/an-american-doctor-experiences-an-nhs-emergency-room/
  • Huskaris said:

    SDAddick said:

    Huskaris said:

    It's long overdue that we reduced the overseas aid budget and spent some of it on the NHS and other care services.

    £12.2 billion pounds per annum is a staggering sum and if only £0.5M was diverted away from foreign causes such as Ethiopian pop groups (it now has), it would make a massive difference.

    I'm all for foreign aid, but not in such massive sums, when our own services are in dire straits.

    Agreed, one thing is for sure, every penny that goes to someone from abroad in NHS services should come out of our foreign aid budget. It might mean that there is less Spice Girl groups in Ethiopia, and for that I can only apologise for being a cold hearted bastard, but sometimes, and this is a cliche, charity begins at home.
    If, as the sixth largest economy in the world, you cannot figure out how to provide proper care to your own citizens, it is ridiculous to blame people in foreign countries who desperately need help (some of which is the result of the empire). This is not a Labour or Toy thing, this is a human decency thing.
    First of all, I would completely disagree with the idea that empire has been a negative influence on these countries. I would argue, as an example, that India would be far, far worse today were it not for the Empire's influence, and don't get me wrong a lot of that was to exploit their natural resources, but no one would deny the Romans did a lot, and I am sure a few hundred years from now once all the self hating people have died away the British Empire will be viewed in a similar way.

    And I am not blaming foreign countries at all. My personal opinion is that money that is wasted is money that is wasted. We waste a LOT of money. Claims of £350 million a week are ridiculous when it comes to the EU, but we waste a lot of money that we needn't waste. A lot of money isn't going to blankets for Syrian migrants, or food for the starving, it is going to ridiculous vanity projects... Spending money for the sake of spending money (as we are commited to in our foreign aid budget as it is locked in at a percentage) is ridiculous.

    Huskaris said:

    As is always the case with the NHS, your opinion will be based entirely on your political leanings.

    My personal opinion is that you could quadruple the amount of money the NHS gets and it would still be demanding more. That is not *just* a criticism of how much they love pissing money up the wall but also a comment about the drug companies/equipment manufacturers who will base their prices on what they know the NHS can afford.

    It's the NHS though, so mustn't grumble... Labour good, Tories bad etc... Such an asinine argument.

    I've worked in the NHS under both labour and conservatives. Both equally bad.

    There are some fundamental issues regarding funding that are just not widely understood.

    The NHS of today is about as high tech as you can get and it gets more high tech year on year. It's a fact of life that leading edge medical equipment is expensive and whereas 20 years ago it could adequately perform for a good number of years these days it's more or less obsolete buy the time it's bought and installed. Patients demand the best and why shouldn't they. The level of training required to use the new generations of equipment is enormous. Bright young things are just not interested in doing the highly educated stress filled, target driven under paid jobs the NHS has to offer.

    Again. I could go on forever.

    My point exactly, but instead, any time a Conservative so much as stands for election, they want to privatise the NHS and throw everyones gran out onto the pavement to die, whilst lighting their cigars with crisp £50 notes they have stolen off some poor pensioner somewhere. Like I said it is ridiculous and the arguments about the NHS are much, much more complex than that, especially with regards to things like NHS inflation which you mention. Medical inflation runs at a much higher rate than general inflation, for obvious reasons such as tech and innovation which costs money.

    If you increase the value of the NHS budget year on year by the consumer prices index, in real terms for the NHS, it is getting poorer.
    HS2, for example?
    And Universal Credit - jeez, what a mess..
    UC really isn't too bad. It was a mess 5 years ago but it is now back on track (well a 5 years delayed track) but is rolling out quickly. And is really making a difference. Once the previous system is no longer running there will be significant savings.. Yes money is being wasted all the time both systems run alongside each other but eventually there will be a huge net benefit.

    Studied it in detail for my Uni thesis this year if you're wondering how I know all about it.
    @aliwibble not sure why this warranted a lol. I'm fairly well informed on this particular subject. If you have a counter point feel free to explain.
    Probably because you were banging on about your thesis, some people on here hate uni-types like you.
  • I love avocados.
  • seth plum said:

    I love avocados.

    Me too mate. And California avocados in the summer are the best. At any given time my BAC (Blood Avocado Content) level is probably a good .85
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  • Another thread descends into trains and railways ffs

    I love this site sometimes
  • edited January 8
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  • edited January 8
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  • Huskaris said:

    SDAddick said:

    Huskaris said:

    It's long overdue that we reduced the overseas aid budget and spent some of it on the NHS and other care dire straits.

    home.
    not a Labour or Toy thing, this is a human decency thing.

    Huskaris said:

    As is always the case with the NHS, your opinion will be based entirely on your political leanings.

    .

    .
    And Universal Credit - jeez, what a mess..
    UC really isn't too bad. It was a mess 5 years ago but it is now back on track (well a 5 years delayed track) but is rolling out quickly. And is really making a difference. Once the previous system is no longer running there will be significant savings.. Yes money is being wasted all the time both systems run alongside each other but eventually there will be a huge net benefit.

    Studied it in detail for my Uni thesis this year if you're wondering how I know all about it.
    Ok, so we had a system that was working pretty well - unemployment benefit (different types) and housing benefit. Then - because housing has become more expensive over the years, with consequent knock on to the housing benefit bill, someone in Government had an idea that it could make it look like it had reduced the housing benefit bill by - in effect - abolishing housing benefit. (UC contains an element which covers claimants' housing costs.) So you roll out UC to all claimants of working age, and - voila - the housing benefit bill goes down (as UC claimants are no longer able to claim HB.) Dress it up as creating something that is "simpler" for claimants, and job done.

    Only, Universal Credit is not actually that "universal", including as it does only 6 benefits ( income based JSA, income based ESA, income support, Child tax credit, working tax credit, housing benefit). This leaves at least 7 other types of benefit which people can claim (contribution based JSA, contribution based ESA, carers allowance, child benefit, DLA, maternity allowance, PIP ), not to mention Council tax support which from April 2013 was changed from a universal national scheme to one devised by individual local authorities (so, 326 different schemes across local authorities just in England - so much for simplicity!).

    Apparently, the DWP estimates the cost of introducing UC to be £15.8 billion. Remember, this is not money spent on something new or that we actually needed. And then add into the mix the switching of dealing with housing benefit from local authority control to the DWP, the 6 week delay until any UC can be awarded from date of claim, and the potential for an increase in rent arrears as a result, it is hard to see any real benefit to the public purse. And of course housing benefit will continue to be paid to all non working age households who are in receipt of benefits/pensions. While the HB bill may well go down as a result of this, the overall cost to the public purse will just go up and up.
    I think you are thinking about UC as something that it is not. UC is a complete overhaul to the entire (almost) benefit system. 97% of benefit claims were to the 6 benefits it replaces. It is not just a replacement for housing benefit and it was not conceived as such.

    The issue with the Current (or legacy) system is that because there as requested on many different benefits there he interactions between these are ridiculously complex. There are huge distortions to the system due to the interactions and random different hours rules. I have done analysis on the Marginal effective tax Rates of these people. Basically for many people they were in a position whereby they earn an extra £10 but due to benefit withdrawals (and tax and NI) they are worse of. The system made people worse off by working more. Due to this low (and often negative) return to work, the issue of welfare dependency was worsened considerably. And this became an intergenerational issue with many having no obvious route out of poverty. There are knock on costs on health services, social services and the police.
    UC changes this with the single taper rate (a more generous rate than all the benefits it replaces) and the smooth withdrawal from benefits mean people will always be better off if they choose to work more. Again can't remember the figures but a large number of people will be moved into work and a large number of people will work extra hours. Assigning a monetary value to the knock on impacts can't accurately be done but these benefits shouldn't be underestimated.

    Other problems. Take up was appalling. Many people who were eligible for benefits were only claiming one or not all they were entitled to. This was because they had to do separate often complex claims for each benefit. With UC one claim and you get all elements for your entire household.

    In terms of administration the current system was an absolute mess. 6 benefits run by different departments with no data sharing or information sharing. Huge overlaps in admin work being carried out multiple times. This in itself is estimated as a 0.2bn saving yearly once UC is fully rolled out. There are also horrendous levels of fraud and error taking place because claimants can easily tell one department one thing on an application and tell another department a totally different story. This costs us 2.2bn a year and will effectively be eradicated.

    These two factors will represent huge savings to the exchequer.

    Due to increased take up (as explained above) and targeting a higher proportion of money at those on the lowest income deciles. Poverty will be reduced, estimated 350000 less children in poverty and half at million less adults.

    There is the obvious reduced complexity for the claimant.

    A claimant will have their own work coach who they will see every meeting and will build a relationship with.

    The digital system is quicker to react to changes in income and you will receive an adjusted amount immediately. This compared with the 4 week gap when moving from job seekers allowance to tackle credits. Yes that's right 4 weeks without any benefits just as you start work. You mention the 6 week wait from claim to payment. That was for the test group that were subject to live service (processed manually by a person). That has now ended. Under the digital system it is 4 weeks the same as the current system.

    I refute the claim the current system is working well. There are hundreds of papers doing detailed analysis of it and it is an utter shambles.

    As for the other benefits they are not being brought into UC but they are being considered in the design and so will augment the benefit rather than further complicating it. The previous system was cobbled together over time and didn't work together at all. This will all marry together much better. For example the disability element will reply on DLA/PIP for its information about you rather than having an entirely separate work capability assessment which will check exactly the same thing.

    That 15bn figure is the Marginal cost of UC so the cost of running it on top of the current system as well as the cost of setting up the it systems to run the etc. Once the current system is phased out that cost will shoot down and then become a net saving. Yes housing benefit will be around longer than the rest but that will eventually be replaced by pensions credit rolling out for those above working age and so HB will also be phased out.
  • edited January 8
    Continued..
    The system is being brought in as a cut. Because Osborne bottled the cuts to tax credits that were supposed to being in line with the cuts to UC. So it's going to being unpopular but that doesn't mean it's not a positive policy.

    Yes there were some serious cock ups in the first 5 years of implementing the policy. It really was a shambles and they have cost huge amounts but there will still be a long term benefit. It is a long way behind its initial schedule which has cost more money but it is a sensible policy reform and will have social and fiscal benefits in the long run.

    I know that at least 6 other countries are designing a similar system to UC to replace their complex system but they are waiting for ours to be worked out before they implement it so they can learn from the many mistakes we make and don't have to pay the costs.

    It's are sensible policy. The civil services inability to get it right or on schedule shouldnt detract from that.

    I'll send you my thesis when it's done if you're interested.
  • SDAddick said:

    There is currently no incentive for the NHS to become efficient. It is everything that is wrong with socialism. Is there any institution as bloated as the NHS which consumes more and more money every year for no perceivable benefit?

    Other than keeping people alive.

    We spend a decreasing ratio of our wealth on the NHS courtesy of Austerity. We are the 6th richest nation in the world. Perhaps the organisation is innefficient but why not commission a Royal Commission rather than continually reduce budgets without any research into its effects. Australia seeks to reduce costs by cutting the number of people that see a patient before they leave hospital.
    I'm old enough to remember us being the 5th richest in the world.
    I might have started that one back on page one. Given the California has recently surpassed France, it's only a matter of time. We're taking you down!!!! We have avocados.
    Just one point - San Andreas fault.

    It's only a matter of time,,,,,,,,

  • Huskaris said:

    SDAddick said:

    Huskaris said:

    It's long overdue that we reduced the overseas aid budget and spent some of it on the NHS and other care services.

    £12.2 billion pounds per annum is a staggering sum and if only £0.5M was diverted away from foreign causes such as Ethiopian pop groups (it now has), it would make a massive difference.

    I'm all for foreign aid, but not in such massive sums, when our own services are in dire straits.

    Agreed, one thing is for sure, every penny that goes to someone from abroad in NHS services should come out of our foreign aid budget. It might mean that there is less Spice Girl groups in Ethiopia, and for that I can only apologise for being a cold hearted bastard, but sometimes, and this is a cliche, charity begins at home.
    If, as the sixth largest economy in the world, you cannot figure out how to provide proper care to your own citizens, it is ridiculous to blame people in foreign countries who desperately need help (some of which is the result of the empire). This is not a Labour or Toy thing, this is a human decency thing.
    First of all, I would completely disagree with the idea that empire has been a negative influence on these countries. I would argue, as an example, that India would be far, far worse today were it not for the Empire's influence, and don't get me wrong a lot of that was to exploit their natural resources, but no one would deny the Romans did a lot, and I am sure a few hundred years from now once all the self hating people have died away the British Empire will be viewed in a similar way.

    And I am not blaming foreign countries at all. My personal opinion is that money that is wasted is money that is wasted. We waste a LOT of money. Claims of £350 million a week are ridiculous when it comes to the EU, but we waste a lot of money that we needn't waste. A lot of money isn't going to blankets for Syrian migrants, or food for the starving, it is going to ridiculous vanity projects... Spending money for the sake of spending money (as we are commited to in our foreign aid budget as it is locked in at a percentage) is ridiculous.

    Huskaris said:

    As is always the case with the NHS, your opinion will be based entirely on your political leanings.

    My personal opinion is that you could quadruple the amount of money the NHS gets and it would still be demanding more. That is not *just* a criticism of how much they love pissing money up the wall but also a comment about the drug companies/equipment manufacturers who will base their prices on what they know the NHS can afford.

    It's the NHS though, so mustn't grumble... Labour good, Tories bad etc... Such an asinine argument.

    I've worked in the NHS under both labour and conservatives. Both equally bad.

    There are some fundamental issues regarding funding that are just not widely understood.

    The NHS of today is about as high tech as you can get and it gets more high tech year on year. It's a fact of life that leading edge medical equipment is expensive and whereas 20 years ago it could adequately perform for a good number of years these days it's more or less obsolete buy the time it's bought and installed. Patients demand the best and why shouldn't they. The level of training required to use the new generations of equipment is enormous. Bright young things are just not interested in doing the highly educated stress filled, target driven under paid jobs the NHS has to offer.

    Again. I could go on forever.

    My point exactly, but instead, any time a Conservative so much as stands for election, they want to privatise the NHS and throw everyones gran out onto the pavement to die, whilst lighting their cigars with crisp £50 notes they have stolen off some poor pensioner somewhere. Like I said it is ridiculous and the arguments about the NHS are much, much more complex than that, especially with regards to things like NHS inflation which you mention. Medical inflation runs at a much higher rate than general inflation, for obvious reasons such as tech and innovation which costs money.

    If you increase the value of the NHS budget year on year by the consumer prices index, in real terms for the NHS, it is getting poorer.
    HS2, for example?
    And Universal Credit - jeez, what a mess..
    UC really isn't too bad. It was a mess 5 years ago but it is now back on track (well a 5 years delayed track) but is rolling out quickly. And is really making a difference. Once the previous system is no longer running there will be significant savings.. Yes money is being wasted all the time both systems run alongside each other but eventually there will be a huge net benefit.

    Studied it in detail for my Uni thesis this year if you're wondering how I know all about it.
    Ok, so we had a system that was working pretty well - unemployment benefit (different types) and housing benefit. Then - because housing has become more expensive over the years, with consequent knock on to the housing benefit bill, someone in Government had an idea that it could make it look like it had reduced the housing benefit bill by - in effect - abolishing housing benefit. (UC contains an element which covers claimants' housing costs.) So you roll out UC to all claimants of working age, and - voila - the housing benefit bill goes down (as UC claimants are no longer able to claim HB.) Dress it up as creating something that is "simpler" for claimants, and job done.

    Only, Universal Credit is not actually that "universal", including as it does only 6 benefits ( income based JSA, income based ESA, income support, Child tax credit, working tax credit, housing benefit). This leaves at least 7 other types of benefit which people can claim (contribution based JSA, contribution based ESA, carers allowance, child benefit, DLA, maternity allowance, PIP ), not to mention Council tax support which from April 2013 was changed from a universal national scheme to one devised by individual local authorities (so, 326 different schemes across local authorities just in England - so much for simplicity!).

    Apparently, the DWP estimates the cost of introducing UC to be £15.8 billion. Remember, this is not money spent on something new or that we actually needed. And then add into the mix the switching of dealing with housing benefit from local authority control to the DWP, the 6 week delay until any UC can be awarded from date of claim, and the potential for an increase in rent arrears as a result, it is hard to see any real benefit to the public purse. And of course housing benefit will continue to be paid to all non working age households who are in receipt of benefits/pensions. While the HB bill may well go down as a result of this, the overall cost to the public purse will just go up and up.
    Ohh and the idea that it is only being done to reduce the housing bill is ridiculous as the housing element is the only part of it that has been protected and remains exactly as it was under the current system. Almost every other element has been subject to changes and cuts.

    Take this alongside the more generous taper and spending on housing will actually be increased not cut

  • And Universal Credit - jeez, what a mess..

    UC really isn't too bad. It was a mess 5 years ago but it is now back on track (well a 5 years delayed track) but is rolling out quickly. And is really making a difference. Once the previous system is no longer running there will be significant savings.. Yes money is being wasted all the time both systems run alongside each other but eventually there will be a huge net benefit.

    Studied it in detail for my Uni thesis this year if you're wondering how I know all about it.
    @aliwibble not sure why this warranted a lol. I'm fairly well informed on this particular subject. If you have a counter point feel free to explain.
    Because while the principle of universal credit might be a sound one, I think your assessment that it's now back on track is somewhat optimistic, given the reports of the problems in the pilot areas for the full digital service. I get the impression that (rather like the execrable Universal Jobmatch system) the Universal Credit system has been designed to make things simpler for those processing the claims, rather than those actually doing the claiming.
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