What? You ask Dear Reader: Does the above image has to do with the Future Financing of the NHS? We here you ask. There will of course be those British Gazette readers who will instantly recognise the car as an example of the iconic Jensen Interceptor. And then there will be those that simply regard the above as a car. There will be a very strong gender correlation to this of course!
Aficionados of classic cars will know that the Jensen FF was a four-wheel drive (4WD) coupe produced by the British manufacturer Jensen Motors between 1966 and 1971. It was the first non all-terrain production car equipped with 4WD and an anti-lock braking system – the Dunlop Maxaret mechanical system used hitherto on aircraft, military vehicles and racing cars. They will also know that the Jensen Interceptor was and is a VERY expensive car to maintain especially in the concurs condition of the example above. It is said that such classics are like all mistresses – expensive to maintain!
Apart from “FF”, the relevance of the above is due to the plain simple fact that the human body – like a car – requires more maintenance as it ages and is prone to increasing breakdowns. Most car owners understand this and purchase their cars accordingly. Many people purchase the nearly new slightly used second hand cars and sell them after two, three or four years – before major problems develop. You cannot do the same with the human body: you are stuck with the one you are born with and therefore the better you look after it – the longer it will last!
And this of course is one of the problems the NHS has to contend with: an ageing population. It also has to contend with ever rising expectations. As medical science develops new treatments for aliments the public not unreasonable expect this to be supplied by the NHS on the same basis as before: FREE.
But of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The “free lunch” in this well known saying refers to the nineteenth-century practice in American bars of offering a “free lunch” in order to entice drinking customers.
We chose this phrase as deliberately as we chose the image of the Jensen because one of the major problems at the heart of the problem of funding the NHS is American. At the heart of the Jensen was a Chrysler V8 engine and Chrysler’s TorqueFlite automatic transmission. At the heart of the NHS is private provision of health care services to the state funded NHS. Private businesses of course have to make profits. These profits come out of the money the state allocated to the NHS.
This of course is something that is well known and is opposed (quite rightly) by many on the left of British Politics. The chief opponents of this are of course the Unions representing NHS employees.
Although the latest threat (TTIP) from private businesses has an EU connection -
- the main threat insofar as the “Privatisation of the NHS” is concerned is and always has been from the USA.
It is well known that healthcare in the USA is provided largely by the private sector and is largely an insurance based service.
Private health care insurance is affordable if you are young and healthy but not if you are old and sick!
It is also well known that politics and politicians in the USA are funded by private business – or “Lobby Groups” as American politicians like to call them.
The US healthcare industry makes billions of US $ from the present basis on which healthcare is provided. Like any industry, it will zealously guard its interests.
The US healthcare industry regards the British NHS as a very great threat to it – as many poor Americans who have been literally bankrupted through illness demand a British style NHS from their politicians.
The US healthcare industry ensures that this does not come about by spending millions of US $ on lobby campaigns designed to dissuade the US politicians and their voters to go down this road.
The lobbyists of course realised that as long as the British NHS existed it would be a threat. As a result they advised their client – the US health car industry – to follow the Roman dictum: The best defence is attack.
As a result, the US State Department has constantly pressured the British Foreign Office to reform the NHS.
This is why Labour governments have introduced private provision of health care services to the state funded NHS. No US Secretary of State would suggest that the UK abandon the NHS. They know that this could not possibly be implement – at the moment. But they want to see it altered – a foot in the door so to speak.
Be in no doubt there would be costs as well as savings to reforming the NHS along the lines desired by the health care unions. Restoring a centralised wholly state run NHS would save a huge amount of money. It could not be done overnight and there would be contractual obligations to the existing private providers to be discharged and/or renegotiated. But getting rid of the artificial and false “internal markets” would save money.
Putting the clock back of course cannot be done without leaving the EU. This is because the UK has obligations to follow EU dictates in this area. Then of course there is the USA. Be in no doubt – there will be a very great cost should the UK have the audacity to do what the USA does not want it do do: Leave the EU and to have a fully socialist style centrally planned NHS.
There will be inevitable consequences. These consequences will be severe.
Expect Hollywood to make derogatory films about the Royal family based on documents seized by the US Army in Germany at the end of WWII. Expect a reform of the Security Council with the UK loosing is status as a Permanent Member – with Veto – on that body.
An early consequence of this will be a demand by the Security Council for the UK to enter into negotiations with Argentina to transfer sovereignty of the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Another consequence will be that there will be no replacement of Trident with a successor US system.
OK then, the UK is out of the EU, off the SC and the Falklands (but not their population) will have been sold to Argentina – for as much as possible hopefully. Where does the extra money to fund the NHS come from? Well in addition to the money from Argentina, there is the scrapping of Trident.
However we need to think in terms of ongoing revenue and not one offs.
The British Gazette has a suggestion, well two if one is going to be pedantic:
1. Sugar Duty and: 2. Fat Duty.
These duties would be levied on processed foods and would mean that the more sugar and fat they contain, the higher the duty. That means things like ready (microwaveable) meals, desserts, jams and so forth will be more – possibly much more – expensive.
Importantly the duties should also be applied to all forms of take away food supplied by the many and varied purveyors of such across the UK. This includes “Indian” and Balti take-aways, kebab outlets, Burger suppliers such as McDonalds and of course the good old fashioned “Chippy” (Fish & Chips).
This will NOT be popular! Especially as people with lower incomes tend to purchase such foodstuffs and frequent these outlets.
It is necessary however. The basic assumption is this: take a youth for instance. He likes his burgers and his curries. Thus from the age of 12 to the age of 48 he is a regular consumer. Until that is the day he experiences a pain in the chest and/or difficulty in breathing, dials 999 and receives a stent or two soon afterwards! The cost of the ambulance trip, the operation and his ongoing medication will have been paid for by the sugar and fat duties he had already paid via the numerous take away he ate in the past.
If of course this middle aged man continues with his love of such afterwards, his next appointment will likely be with the Grim Reaper.
So there you have it! No easy choices!
But then as British Gazette readers will know insofar as the statements by Britain’s Europhile politicians are concerned: “If it sounds to good to be true – It invariably is!”