Search This Blog

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

NHS Overspend - again!

The mainstream media is reporting yet another NHS overspend this morning (18th June 2014). 

Of course, this is not new news - such overspends have been a regular feature of NHS health news for the last 60+ years and more. The usual reasons given (including by the BBC Today programme) is that the NHS is underfunded (currently the spending freeze is highlighted), and there is an ageing population. Yet the BBC Today programme featured two other health-related features.

These news features were not linked by the BBC, of course, although there is a very clear link, as I have pointed out, in considerable detail, in my e-book, "The Failure of Conventional Medicine" (click here to read this). Conventional, drug-based medicine has always been expensive. Some drugs can cost £30,000 per annum per patient, and a few much more than this. 

Yet whilst the cost of conventional drugs is an issue it is NOT the fundamental reason the NHS is constantly found to be overspending. Indeed, the reason for NHS overspends are contained within the BBC's own reports today on Aspirin, and on Crohn's disease.

The NICE guidance on aspirin overturns conventional medical practice that has been in place for decades. What does this mean? It means that the NHS has now recognised that people have been taking a drug is not very effective.

"Aspirin has been used for years to help protect patients from strokes, but mounting evidence suggests the drug's benefits are too small compared with other treatments".

Yet the main problem with aspirin is not just that it is ineffective. There is a growing recognition that aspirin is positively dangerous to our health, especially when taken on a long-term basis. This, of course, was not mentioned by NICE, or by the BBC, but it could well be the primary reason for the change in advice.

In terms of cost, this means is that the NHS has been using a largely ineffectual (and harmful) drug on the basis that it was doing us some good. This is not a one-off situation. It has been repeated regularly over the years - we are given a drug because it is supposed to be effective, only later for us to be told it is not effective! 

We are, however, not usually told that the drug we have taken for years is also dangerous.

However, this is not the case with the BBC's feature on Crohn's disease. The cause of this particular epidemic was actually mentioned. Antibiotic drugs. And particularly antibiotics given to young children. The dangers of antibiotics drugs have rarely been discussed by the mainstream media. The conventional medical establishment have, said for over 60 years, that these drugs were "very safe", and it has been on this understanding that most parents have allowed their children to take them over the years. 

The admission that Antibiotic drugs meddle with our gut flora, disrupt our digestive system, and can ultimately cause Crohn's disease, was mentioned in this BBC feature - but the issue was not pursued. The mainstream media, including the BBC, has rarely, if ever, discussed the issues of medical drugs causing such epidemics of chronic disease. There are many examples of this but they appear to be 'no-go' areas for our media!

So what are we facing in this situation? What are we missing? Basically, we are missing a vicious circulatory in the way we are delivering health services to sick people, and the outcomes.
  • Start with an overspending NHS......
  • Then consider the use of drugs, over decades, that are eventually found to be ineffective (and also harmful to our health).....
  • Then consider the epidemics of chronic diseases, like Crohn's, often new diseases, caused by conventional drug treatment, which add to the levels of illness the NHS is having to cope with.....
  • Then consider the additional demands this places on NHS services......
  • And then ask the question - why does the NHS overspend its huge budget......
I wonder when the Media is going to be allowed to do some 'joined-up' thinking on the issue of health, and the domination of conventional drugs within the NHS?