The “Self-Care Campaign” say one fifth of all GP appointments are avoidable, if us Brits had a bit more common sense. Well duh! It should be taught from a very young age that a headache or a cold should be treated through the usual means (Lemsip, Paracetamol and a dose of serious manning up…) for at least a week before seeing a GP. Now that’s common sense.
The NHS is completely overstretched, and wasted General Practice time by these common ailments are contributing to the unsustainability of the world’s greatest health service. Now over sixty years old, Britain’s health service has served as a beacon to universal healthcare around the world – that your right to be treated has no discrimination by salary, creed or colour – yet serious reform is needed to maintain such a status. Julia Manning, in a piece on Conservative Home, says “The emphasis on the knowledge that we are treated no matter what has been interpreted by too many as an entitlement with no obligation. It’s unaffordable.”
After spending billions on dodgy IT systems, middle-management tiers that save even less lives than they do money and infrastructure ill-equipped to have significant impacts have damaged the National Health Service. The “Postcode Lottery” means health service provision becomes a larger factor of consideration when choosing where to live. House prices are more expensive in areas with good local health services. So the “free for all” mantra doesn’t exactly specify how free, and in which areas.
We need to save the NHS, and to do so, we need to cut the bureaucracy, something David Cameron and Andrew Lansley, Shadow Health minister have advocated for the Conservative Party. The best way to do so is to decentralise management and scrap the stifling culture of endless inefficiency-fostering targets. Getting rid of the “middle man”, sourcing and renegotiating contracts and PFI deals cutting subsidies to treatments which give patients infections such as MRSA will help to make hospitals more accountable and the NHS more cost-effective.
According to a report released today, it costs the NHS £2bn a year to deal with non-ill people. We, as a nation need to take better responsibility. Your ten minute consultation on that bad back you have had since yesterday could have been ten minutes spent on dealing with a genuinely ill person. If you feel offended by this article, and subsequently, feint, sick or stressed, then don’t go and see your GP – call NHS Direct.