NHS - Let's have a REAL debate

I was in the audience for the Victoria Derbyshire show recently for a "debate" on the NHS. The format for the debate was as expected with the 4 main party's present all offering to the audience and the viewers at home what they would do with the NHS if they were in power. This was a political programme unlike none I had ever seen or been involved in before; due to the fact that audience participation was the main purpose of the show.

Now with an emotive issue such as the NHS there was inevitably some emotive stories from the audience, about good or bad (overwhelmingly bad) experiences with healthcare in this country. As I listened to all these horror stories about 6 moth queues and neglect from GPs I began to ask the question to myself: why would anybody want such a system?

But when one audience member suggested that perhaps we could look at other systems of healthcare like that of Holland that involved a certain amount (not total) of private ownership, he was booed and shouted down as if he had just suggested a Fourth Reich. I thought this was supposed to be debate with people putting forward contrary opinions about how to do healthcare in this country?

The "debate" continued and the horror experiences of healthcare in Britain continued to mount up all the while the 4 panel members traded blows about who would put the most billions into the system, as if they were planning to pay with monopoly money (I wouldn't put it past some of them). Then the most extraordinary thing happened, when asked by Victoria Derbyshire: who do people trust with the NHS most then? A gentlemen behind me said "None of them! They've all let the NHS down time after time!" He received perhaps the biggest clap of the night.

Now this truly puzzled me. The populist rhetoric of politician bashing seemed to resonate with the audience, but I found myself asking, who by definition has to run the NHS (which this audience so desired)? Politicians! And remarkably members of the audience seemed to think that a state run system can be done without politicians!

But what were the audience offering by way of a solution? Well pretty much the same as the panel: more state control of the NHS and ultimately more money. I thought to myself, we so despise politicians 'weaponising' the NHS but all we could offer as a solution was more involvement and ultimately just chucking taxpayer money at the problem. What's that old phrase about the cure being worse than the disease? The state runs most things badly, it was no good at building cars, or installing telephones or running airlines, it is no good at running hospitals.

Here's my (unpopular I know) opinion let's start looking at other systems. Let's look at our European neighbours who combine the public and private sectors to create healthcare systems that are superior to our own. Let's start looking at the idea of personal health accounts that will bring decisions closer to patients. Let me make it cleat this does not mean a system where the 'poor' go unattended, many of these systems make sure that all are catered for, but those who have the ability to pay for higher standards can do so.

I do not underestimate the unpopularity of my opinion, but please do not just simply brush aside those of us who'd like to see a more choice for the individual when it comes to healthcare. Let's engage in the debate about healthcare in this country properly, don't just dismiss it and automatically submit to the status quo.

By: Ross BryantLibertarian @RossBryant01

NHS - Let's have a REAL debate NHS - Let's have a REAL debate Reviewed by Admin on 18:06 Rating: 5

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