South African comparisons…and “Don’t believe the myth that the NHS is unaffordable”.. 

South African is attempting to provide universal healthcare. The resources do not match the demand, and the shortfall is much greater than that of the UK Regional Health Services. There is corruption in almost every hospital and at every level. Junior doctors arrive late, leave early and are tempted to provide private care. Nurses are lazy and demotivated, especially in the worst hospitals. Disengagement prevails, but denial is not an issue… Zuma has raised the price of (subsidised) flour… putting SA at risk of unrest.

Dr Wilmot Jones of the Democratic Alliance (opposition to Jacob Zuma) writes to Business Daily suggesting changes, and denies that National Health Insurance (NHI) is necessary and says it is too expensive:

Business Daily South Africa Health 29th Feb 2016: Eight steps to get healthcare for all

There are some analogies with South Africa. There is a free press, and just like ours, it contains vicious criticism of the system, but also of Mr Zuma and his party. However, Mr Zuma does not care because none of his voters reads the press. (The TV and Radio are virtually controlled by the government, and their criticism is muted.) The majority of the UK population will not read and digest the accumulated contents of NHSreality – until it is too late.

Whilst their system is already pretty desperate, does it represent the future for the UK? It is only affordable if we ration overtly.

The perils of public office: Will Mr Hunt outlast Mr Zuma?

Meanwhile some reporters continue to advocate saving our universal health service. Neena Modi in the Guardian 9th February reports: Don’t believe the myth that the NHS is unaffordable

Four flawed beliefs have dominated the actions of UK governments on healthcare over the past 25 years: personal responsibility for health supersedes government responsibility; markets drive efficiency; universal healthcare is ultimately unaffordable; and it is entirely legitimate to view healthcare as a business.



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s