Updated links 1st September 2015 – after apology.
The problem regarding Wales relates to size, poverty (Health Minister Mark Drakeford warns boards on spending), rurality and relative ignorance. The people might prefer to have worse outcomes, waiting times, perinatal mortality, and survival/life expectancy if they have relative convenience. They might also be willing to put up with less “choice” than others paying the same taxes. Perhaps they prefer less information and a more paternal state? In other words Wales might knowingly choose a spread of resources different to that in England, where people are willing to travel and have more inconvenience for better outcomes. We don’t KNOW because we have never had the debate.. In a land where the health system debate began, there seems to be no fire left in the Welsh dragon..
This is my response to Bill Morgan in a blog on the Spectator (The coalition government is not blame for the latest NHS ‘crisis’). Bear in mind that Morgan was a Special Advisor to Lansley so there is a whiff of the Mandy Rice-Davies about his post.
You rightly start by saying that the 2010 winter was affected by a flu outbreak. However, you then go on to say that 2011, 2012 and 2013 were uneventful. This is not true. There was more flu and norovirus at this point last year compared with now. Last year the NHS could cope (just) with the flu, this year the NHS cannot cope even without flu. It is this problem we have to address. The run up to Xmas was mild – just like it was the year before – so why wasn’t 2014 like 2013?….
…“Your Wales argument is a red herring. Wales is mostly rural, it has higher levels of deprivation than England and is arguably too small and too dispersed to be an effective health system. The problem in Wales is not Labour, it is Wales, and maybe we should accept that devolution of the NHS to Wales was a mistake.”