In 1997 the U. K.’s Labour Party promised voters that, once in office, Labour would solve the National Health Service's chronic problems of bloated government management, long waiting lists for essential services, and, as perceived by many, a decline in the quality of their health care.
Labour won a huge majority; and has remained in office since.
So how have things worked out for voters who count on the NHS for their health care?
I think the following helps to answer that question.
From the Mar. 9 right-leaning Daily Telegraph:
Wards closed and staff cut as NHS cash crisis bitesThat story drew this letter on Mar. 10 :
Compulsory redundancies (personal cuts to Americans - JinC) in the NHS (National Health Service) were announced yesterday, despite record investment in the service.
Unions predicted that more job cuts would follow after hospital trusts announced ward closures, the cancellation of 24-hour care and staff redundancies.
Sir-On Mar. 10 the left-leaning Guardian told its readers:
To provide for those who cannot provide for themselves is necessary and accepted.
To insist that everybody must be obliged to use the same public provision, to prevent those who have money having an advantage over those who have not, is not merely dogmatic silliness, but is also the reason the NHS is hugely more expensive than it need be and hugely less efficient than it could be.
David Taylor, Ffestiniog, Gwynedd
NHS forced to fix bungled private sector hip replacement operationsFriends here in Britain all say things are worse than the Telegraph and Guardian reports suggest.
Drive to cut waiting lists resulting in poor surgery
Overseas staff asked to do unfamiliar procedures
NHS hospitals are having to repair the damage done during botched operations on people who have been sent to private centres for hip and knee replacements to cut waiting lists, it is revealed today.
Independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) have been set up around the country using mainly surgeons from overseas to take the pressure off major NHS hospitals by fast-tracking the easiest cases.
But Angus Wallace, professor of orthopaedic and accident surgery at Nottingham University, writes in the British Medical Journal that "the number of patients we are seeing with problems resulting from poor surgery - incorrectly inserted prostheses, technical errors and infected joint replacements - is too great."
In the next few days I'll post again on Britain's NHS