Thursday, January 4, 2018

The National Health Service Is Failing

I am sure you remember the time when famed Times columnist Paul Krugman declared that the horror stories about Great Britain’s National Health Service were all false.

Apparently, Krugman was wrong, yet again. He was so wrong that the New York Times itself reports today that the NHS is an ungodly mess, a third world horror show.

Here’s the opening:

At some emergency wards, patients wait more than 12 hours before they are tended to. Corridors are jammed with beds carrying frail and elderly patients waiting to be admitted to hospital wards. Outpatient appointments were canceled to free up staff members, and by Wednesday morning hospitals had been ordered to postpone nonurgent surgeries until the end of the month.

Cuts to the National Health Service budget in Britain have left hospitals stretched over the winter for years, but this time a flu outbreak, colder weather and high levels of respiratory illnesses have put the N.H.S. under the highest strain in decades.

The situation has become so dire that the head of the health service is warning that the system is overwhelmed.

In the midst of what was purportedly news analysis, the Times offers an opinion: the problems can all be solved with more money. It is almost a cliché, but when socialist policies fail we are told that we need to spend more money on them. But, this assumes that the money would be there, if only a band of right wing meanies wasn't siphoning it off to fuel the military or industry.

Then again, we recall the immortal words of Margaret Thatcher:

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.'

Could it be that Great Britain just ran out of other people’s money?


trigger warning said...

SS: "when socialist policies fail we are told that we need to spend more money on them"

Reminds me of History's Greatest Socalist Quote, via George Papandreou, socialist candidate (PASOK) for Prime Minister of Greece, just prior to the Greek economic collapse:

"The money exists, it is only that Mr Karamanlis [opposition] prefers to give it to the few and powerful."

Sadly, the money did not exist except in fevered socialist consumption fantasies, and once rabidly anti-German Greece is now a German vassal state. Without a shot being fired.


Sam L. said...

My guess is the money is diverted to supporting the "Asian" population.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The socialist solution to every failed social/economic policy: MORE. But eventually, you run out of other people’s money. That’s why they are destroyers, plain and simple. They create nothing, they flourish as parasites on the entrepreneurial economy, and then they run out of largesse on which to feast.

Ares Olympus said...

It does surprise me when systems that demand human participants work as well as they do. How do you get enough qualified and capable people on call in sufficient numbers to keep everything running? The only safe way would seem to pad the system with surplus capacity, and find busy work for people during low demand periods, or have lots of people "on call" 24/7 when things are critical. And I suppose both trick are used.

And I imagine the problem is when there are no problems, smart people think padding the system is a waste, and try to streamline things which works for a long time, until it doesn't, and then everyone is complaining until the surplus capacity is restored. And the whining about costs starts all over again.